‘Let Us Break Bread Together,’ The annual unconventional seasonal concert by the Oakland Symphony returns this Sunday afternoon, with a mix of holiday tunes, and songs from the era of the Black Panthers, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Conductor Michael Morgan says the program brings together choirs and ensembles in new arrangements of works made famous by Marvin Gaye, Sly and the Family Stone, and more.
There’s more information about the concert at the Oakland Symphony website.
“The ‘Break Bread’ concert for the last few years has always had a secondary theme,” Morgan says. “We had Sinatra one year for his centennial, had Pete Seeger, right after Pete Seeger died. And so this year, with Oakland doing basically a city-wide observation of the fiftieth anniversary of the Black Panthers, it seemed only natural for us to take part in that. And we planned this, of course, last year. We had no idea that as situation has it, that the world of the Protest Song was going to come back in all its glory thanks to our recent national events. Now the Black Panther era music and the protest music of the sixties and seventies, mixed in with everything from ‘Deck the Halls’ to ‘Sleigh Ride’ seems an appropriate way to bring our community together and prepare to march into the future.” They’ll be joined for the concert by the Oakland Symphony Chorus, the Klezmer band Kugelplex, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Mount Eden High School Concert Choir from Hayward, and Vocal Rush, from the Oakland School for the Arts. Morgan says: “It’s a huge community event, because you do have a stage that looks like the city of Oakland, with all ages, and ranges, and colors and everything on the stage.”