Expressions of King’s Legacy to take place March 7

Program features keynote by CNN political commentator Tara Setmayer and musical guests

Rochester Institute of Technology’s 37th annual Expressions of King’s Legacy event has been rescheduled for noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center. CNN political commentator Tara Setmayer headlines the program that will also feature performances by viral female tap dance band Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies and vocalist Kearstin Piper Brown. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged.

In addition to her work as a CNN political commentator, Setmayer is an ABC News political contributor and former GOP communications director on Capitol Hill. She regularly appears on CNN’s prime time programs and contributes to ABC’s The ViewGood Morning America and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Prior to joining ABC, Setmayer gained prominence as a CNN political commentator during the 2016 presidential election cycle where Vulture recognized her as one of 2016’s “Top 20 Election Coverage Stars” on TV. In 2017, she was named as a board director for Stand Up Republic, a nonprofit organization formed in the wake of the 2016 election to unite Americans behind the defense of democratic norms, ideals and institutions.

Syncopated Ladies is a female tap dance band known for their viral videos and founded by Emmy-nominated chorographer Chloe Arnold. The group’s performances reinterpret music by artists including Beyoncé, Prince and Justin Timberlake through tap dance and their videos have amassed more than 50 million views online. Arnold’s choreography has been featured on hit television shows including So You Think You Can DanceGood Morning AmericaThe Ellen DeGeneres ShowThe Talk and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Soprano Kearstin Piper Brown recently made her main stage debut with San Francisco Opera as Clara in Heggie’s It’s A Wonderful Life. She also sang Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with San José Chamber Orchestra and Arias, a multidisciplinary show at Rochester’s Lyric Theater. In 2019, she will make her debut with Opera Williamsburg as Pamina. Brown will be accompanied by pianist Edward Rothmel, who is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano at the Eastman School of Music and works as vocal coach and music director for Si parla, Si canta in Urbania, Italy.

Syncopated Ladies, Brown and Rothmel will also deliver extended performances at the Expressions Centerstage event from 6-8 p.m. the same night in Ingle Auditorium. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event is also free to attend.

For 37 years at RIT, Expressions of King’s Legacy programming has been dedicated to celebrating the life and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The university has hosted many dignitaries and national performers such as CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield, former U.S. Ambassador and acclaimed civil rights activist Andrew Young, poet Nikki Giovanni, philosopher Cornel West and human rights activist Nontombi Naomi Tutu, the daughter of South African bishop and apartheid opponent Desmond Tutu.


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