×

Listen: Dartmouth Sing-Ins Honor Dr. Martin Luther King

  • Dartmouth students and locals are directed by Dartmouth Rockapella Emily Golitzin during a sing-in at the Paddock Music Library on Jan. 5, 2018. The sing-ins are scheduled for this month to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • At the Paddock Music Library, librarian and singer Memory Apata arranges the room for the sing-in on Jan. 5, 2018 in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth alumna singer-songwriter Tyné Freeman follows along during a sing-in at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., on Jan. 5, 2018 at the Paddock Music Library. Sing-ins are scheduled this month to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth alumna and singer-songwriter Tyné Freeman sings during a sing-in at the Paddock Music Library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, on Jan. 5, 2018. Jim Schley of Strafford, Vt., sings behind her. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth Rockapella singers Nitya Thakore, left, Alice Zhang, Savannah Maher, and Jennah Slayton surround Kathleen Shepherd, of Norwich, Vt. on Jan. 5, 2018 in Hanover, N.H. during a sing-in to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • At the end of the session at the Paddock Music Library, librarian and singer Memory Apata talks about the next sing-in on Jan. 5, 2018 in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • At the sing-in Rockapella Raleigh Nesbitt, left, Dartmouth student Lucas James and Rockapella Cecilia Lopez sing at the Paddock Musiic School on Jan. 5, 2018, in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Story by Liz Sauchelli
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hanover — Music, it’s said, has the ability to unite people from different walks of life. A common song can prompt new connections, and perhaps new levels of understanding.

It’s that type of feeling that Memory Apata, a music and performing arts librarian and graduate student at Dartmouth College, wants to convey with the weekly Friday Sing-Ins during January in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Apata started the series last January at the college’s Paddock Music Library, which is located in the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

“I think there’s something really special about music and singing that helps people express those things they can’t necessarily say with words,” Apata said. “If you can talk, you can sing, and you’re welcome.”

She started the sing-ins after noticing that the students she worked with were stressed out.

“The entire campus had a very negative feeling about it toward the end of 2016,” she recalled.

She was wondered what she could do to help: “What is a way that the library can support students through difficult times?”

Apata, who also is a performer, knew she wanted whatever she did to be centered around music. And then it came to her. “I want to teach music that reaches across borders and fosters understanding through the experience of singing,” she said.

During the Civil Rights movement, there were many hymns that were sung and evolved over time.

“I felt like that was the way to go because it was uplifting music that still allowed people to express the stress and frustration that many of them were feeling without focusing on a particular political issue,” Apata said.

And it turns out many in the community feel the same way.

During the first Friday sing-in in January 2017, “we had five people and most of them were library staff,” Apata said. “This year, the first Friday, we had 40 in attendance.”

Attendees range from Dartmouth students and staff members, to people who live in the wider community. While the repertoire of songs changes every week, there are some staples that are always sung, such as the song Bridges, written by Tyne, a singer-songwriter and Dartmouth graduate student.

One of the lyrics of the song is “to love is to build a bridge,” which Apata said “really puts into words what the whole point of the sing-ins is …. (to) build connection through song and understanding.”

Editor’s note: The two remaining sing-ins will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 24 at the Paddock Music Library in Hopkins Center for the Arts at 4 E. Wheelock St. in Hanover. For more information, call 603-646-3234.

Jennifer Hauck can be reached at jhauck@vnews.com or 603-727-3230. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.