HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Alabama A&M University will play a special role next month in the 90th birthday celebration of Rev. Joseph Lowery, the renowned civil rights activist and native of Huntsville.

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Renowned conductor and composer Dr. Henry Panion, an Alabama A&M University alumnus, will conduct a symphony in the Oct. 9 birthday tribute to Lowery.

Dr. Panion will conduct the Atlanta Symphony in a performance of “Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery: His Words – Our Gift, A Musical Experience”  at the Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Hosted by CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, the event is slated to feature star-studded appearances by Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Holiday, Peabo Bryson, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Cicely Tyson, the Morehouse and Spelman College Glee Clubs, and many others.

Lowery was the SCLC’s longest-serving president from 1977-97 and the 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work during the civil rights movement.

Lowery also gave the benediction at the 2008 inauguration of President Barack Obama.

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