Glover performs with MSO

After patriotic rendition, actor, activist answers audience questions.

A capacity crowd greeted actor Danny Glover as he set Abraham Lincoln's words to music at Emens Auditorium Sunday night.

The opening speaker for this year's UniverCity, Glover strode out onto the stage alongside Muncie Symphony Orchestra conductor Leonard Atherton, to perform a narration for Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." Glover came to the lectern about halfway through the evening reciting the 16th president's sayings in a booming voice, celebrating the ideals of freedom and emancipation.

The evening opened with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" performed by the White River Youth Choir. MSO performed several pieces in addition to "Lincoln Portrait," including Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" (a somber piece which was played at Franklin D. Roosevelt's and John F. Kennedy's funerals), and "We Stand for Freedom" (a composition memorializing the victims of last year's Sept. 11 terrorist attacks) by Ball State professor David Stern.

"You toil and work and earn bread and I'll eat it," Glover said during the narration. "No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle."

After the performance and a standing ovation for MSO, Glover returned for a question and answer session with the audience, who inquired about a variety a topics ranging from his role in 1997's "Gone Fishin'" to his views on the current situation in the Mideast.

"It's important to be supportive of those factions that support peace," he said. "Who does war effect more than anybody else? Not men, but women and children."

Audience members cheered him when agreed to stay on, even after university president Blaine Brownell suggested it was time for him to go.

"I got one more question and then these two right here," he joked.

His views on education seemed to have made the biggest impact, as he told stories of his work with adult literacy programs.

"It was an excellent presentation, especially his themes of literacy," said graduate student H. Momo Fahnbulleh, who was there with his children. "I'm sure that by bridging the gap between the extreme intellectuals and those who aren't so fortunate, we will have solved many of the problems in the United States. His message goes beyond the borders of this country. It's global."


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