Ruben Studdard Concert Among Juneteenth Celebrations Hosted By UTC

A concert by “American Idol” winner and future University of Tennessee at Chattanooga faculty member Ruben Studdard will highlight a Juneteenth celebration at the University.

A collaboration between UTC and the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas, the free event starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 19, on Chamberlain Field. It will open with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“It is the tradition of the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas: Juneteenth Independence Day to ask a prominent Black person from our community to do the reading,” said Ricardo Morris, founder and CEO of Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas.

This year, the proclamation will be read by UTC Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement Stacy Lightfoot.

“The Division of Diversity and Engagement supports the mission of UTC by inspiring positive change, creating a more inclusive and welcoming campus, engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful experiences through campus and community partnerships,” Lightfoot said.

“This celebration underscores our commitment to diversity and inclusion and is a significant way to acknowledge the historical context and persistent effects of slavery in America.”

Lightfoot’s reading will be followed by a choral performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”—known as the Black National Anthem—in an arrangement written by UTC Professor Emeritus Roland Carter and now considered the standard arrangement at most historically Black colleges and universities.

Several other civil rights anthems also will be performed, followed by the concert by Studdard. Starting fall semester 2022, Studdard will teach two courses, one on the commercial side of the music business and one on the performing side.

Following the concert, Knoxville’s African drumming and dance troupe Indigenous Vibes from will perform.

Food trucks from Uncle Larry’s, Off the Grill, Bad Wraps and Bruster’s Ice Cream will be at Chamberlain Field for the celebration.

For more information on other Juneteenth events organized by the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas, go to:

UTC holds its own Juneteenth Celebration from 1-4 p.m. on Friday, June 17, also on Chamberlain Field. It will explore the origins of the national holiday and its cultural and historical importance.

Sponsored by the UTC Office of Multicultural Affairs and the UTC Black Faculty and Staff Association, the event will have food and T-shirts available while supplies last. The celebration also will feature a deejay, live music and games.

UTC Professor Emeritus Roland Carter will debut his new choral piece on Sunday, June 19.

Roland Carter’s new choral piece—Make Some Noise, Get In Trouble—will debut Sunday, June 19, at 5 p.m. EDT. It was written to honor the late civil rights leader and longtime congressman U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia.

Participants will gather online to perform the piece. It is open to vocalists of all ages and abilities around the world.

A virtual rehearsal will be held at 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 11.

Cost is $25 to be part of the online performance and $40 to participate in both the rehearsal and the performance.

For more information and to register, go to

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