Alex DeMetrick WJZ @ADemetrickWJZ 24m
Morgan State University choir kicks off the
entertainment at Mt. Vernon tree lighting.
Eric Conway writes:
What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, the Morgan Choir performed at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony to a capacity crowd at Mt. Vernon Place to be upstaged by activists protesting the Ferguson, MO death of Michael Brown and the non-indictment of the officer that shot him. You may recall, as we performed protesters where chanting “Black Lives Matter”. This disruption was so significant that it caused subsequent musical performers to be cancelled and triggered the lighting of the Christmas tree much earlier than planned.
Although I do not know the reason first-hand, I surmise that as a result of the disruption of last year’s LIVE event on local television stations, this year’s event was sadly not televised. In fact, this year one musical group cancelled at the last minute, which may have been a result of any angst of over potential protestors this year. Yes, we are in the throes of the first police officer’s trial for Freddie Gray! There definitely was some potential for disruption in this wake. Although I do not know the actual reason for not televising the proceedings, I do know that after many years of airing the event, this year the executives at the television stations decided not to air this year’s annual ceremony.
That being said, the ceremony did not suffer any disruption. In fact, last night’s ceremony was special in that this was the first time after a five year 5.5 million renovation of Baltimore’s version of the Washington monument. As many of my choir members shared with me afterwards, there was a great spirit in the air! Most of the local residents did not come out just for the music, or food vendors in the park, or the fireworks show at the conclusion, but for just jump-starting their Christmas season. Although it was not as cold as other years, 40 degrees Fahrenheit can feel quit cold when you are not moving around actively. We sang more music than in previous years, singing a thirty minute set. All was enthusiastically received. I made sure I had my camera running just to capture the event and share with you. See link below to YouTube posting of event. Also see link to a Baltimore Sun Article on last night’s event as well.
Link to YouTube: