Guest Conductor Spotlight: Dr. Lynnel Joy Jenkins

BCC News

This year, Dr. Lynnel Joy Jenkins is the guest conductor for She Persisted, BCC’s 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert. "I am honored to be the guest conductor,” said Jenkins. “I am excited to see what BCC and I can create together.”

“We knew that we would create the most impact with Dr. Jenkins leading the creation of the concert program and conducting the concert itself. Dr. Jenkins is a fantastic conductor and artistic partner, and our singers will learn so much from her,” said President and Artistic Director Dr. Anthony Trecek-King.

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the sound of music was a constant pillar in her community and family life. As a girl, Dr. Jenkins knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue music education as a career – she knew that choral music was “her true life calling.” Dr. Jenkins recognized her passion for teaching while sitting in on her mother’s adult choir rehearsal. Her mother asked her to conduct the choir, and it became a defining moment in her life.

This year’s Dr. King Tribute Concert isn’t BCC and Dr. Jenkins' first collaboration. Dr. Jenkins worked with the intermediate choirs in 2012 as a guest artist for the 4th Weekend of Song and Professional Development. BCC also frequently collaborates with Princeton Girlchoir in New Jersey, where Dr. Jenkins is Artistic Director. Years ago, Dr. Jenkins noticed the need for intermediate choirs to get touring experiences since touring is typically reserved for older, advanced ensembles. Her determination led to the creation of the Three Trebles Festival, a weekend of travel and musical exchange between the Princeton Girlchoir, Children’s Chorus of Washington from Washington D.C, and BCC’s own Central Intermediate Advanced Choir.

When asked about creating the program for the Dr. King Tribute Concert, Jenkins said, “Dr. Anthony Trecek-King had a clear vision of how we could work together to embody the theme of She Persisted." A major goal was to find pieces that would empower singers to feel like they can be persistent in their truth, bring their artistry, and support their artistry through song. Inspiring and uplifting, the program features compositions and words from singers, poets, historical figures, and composers. Pieces include “Letter from a Girl to the World” by Andrea Ramsey, “March of the Women” by Ethel Smyth, “We Shall Walk through the Valley” by Undine Smith Moore, and “Think (Freedom)” by Aretha Franklin. The program also features modern anthems, including “Glory” by John Legend and Common.

Jenkins hopes that when people attend the concert on Monday, January 21, 2019, at 7:00 pm that “the audience takes away the message of the singers, and that they will leave with some reflection, that will lead to much-needed action.”

Tickets for She Persisted are now on sale! Tickets for the concert are $15 to $75 and can be purchased through Symphony Hall. For further information, please call SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 or visit