Challenging girls to become women of 
intellect, character, innovation, action, and faith

NCDS News

Middle School Concludes Black History Month Celebration with a Freedom Concert
In conjunction with the celebration of Black History Month, and learning about Coretta Scott King’s use of music and art in activism, the NCDS Middle School curated its own Freedom Concert.

Middle School students learned about King’s connection to Boston as she studied Music Education at the New England Conservatory of Music. One way King was able to bring her love of music to the Civil Rights Movement was by becoming involved with Freedom Concerts. Freedom Concerts were held in support of the Movement, with music, art, and spoken word used to inspire and cultivate a sense of community. King both organized and performed at the concerts with her love of art at the forefront of her quest to help change the world.

After viewing a performance of King singing “We Shall Overcome,” which was considered the “song of the moment” and a central theme during the Civil Rights Movement, each student was asked to reflect on her personal "song of the moment" to contribute to an inspirational playlist that became a Freedom Concert playlist on Spotify.

During the Freedom Concert video announcement, Middle School co-president S. Beaver ’25 explained that student and faculty-submitted videos could showcase a song, dance or piece of art that speaks to this moment in history. “Whether it’s our celebration of Black History month, Women’s History Month, the amazing history made in this past election, or something connected to the global pandemic, you can share a song, dance, or even a painting.”

The result of the many talented Middle School students is a 23 minute video filled with inspiring song and dance. A. Unger ’25 sang “Not Alone” by Darren Criss, “I chose the song because it talks about getting through hard times together as a community,” Unger explained. “I feel that we should try to love each other. This song also conveys the message that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

At the conclusion of the Freedom Concert, Middle School Dean of Students Diane Popeo remarked, “I always think that the most beautiful reflection of our school, and who we are, is when you reflect it back to all of us. Thank you for being you and for sharing such loving contributions.”

The Middle School’s celebration of Black History Month also included honoring local Black women, including Representative Ayanna Pressley and her journey to becoming the first Black woman to represent Massachusetts in the United States Congress. In addition, the Goal IV Forum contained a weekly feature of notable musical performances from Black women throughout history. Musicians highlighted included Leontyne Price, the first Black woman to star as a leading performer at the Metropolitan Opera; singer, pianist, songwriter, and civil rights activist Nina Simone; and life-long advocate for civil and women's rights “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin.