The public is invited to the concert at the college.

On Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Pratt Community College will host ARISE, an acronym for African-Americans Renewing Interest in Spirituals Ensemble, in the Carpenter Auditorium in celebration of Martin Luther King, Junior and Black History Month.

ARISE is comprised of history and music-minded individuals who seek to chronicle the struggles, conflicts, secret communications, and victories of their forefathers and mothers through song.

The group will perform African-American spirituals, an art that is slowly fading with time. The group will also present the history of the spiritual and its meaning throughout history.

"To have a group like ARISE come to Pratt is a great honor," said J.J. Rupe, Director of Vocal and Instrumental Music at Pratt Community College, who was instrumental in the process of bringing ARISE to campus. "Churches and schools in the area perform spirituals, but often the true meaning and reason of the spiritual is forgotten. I had the pleasure of performing in a concert this summer that included this amazing group, and I was taken not just by the fine musicianship of the group, but the passion and emotion that the members exude in performance."

The event will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m., and is open to community members and PCC students, faculty, and staff as well as people from surrounding communities.

ARISE was recently featured in Topeka, Kan. at the Celebration of Carols on Dec. 8, and has been seen performing all throughout the state.

"ARISE reminds us all of how intensely personal music is, and how music has played (and will continue to play) such an important role in the history of our country, and indeed the world," Rupe said.

For more information on this day of celebration at PCC, contact Rupe at 620-450-2183 or Misty Beck at 620-450-2209.

To see more performance dates at PCC, please visit the PCC Events Calendar at