John Alston Speaks at Media, Pa., Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Susan Clarey

John Alston Speaks at Media, Pa., Celebration
of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

by Michael Lott
1/18/2010

John Alston
John Alston with members of the chorus

John Alston, associate professor of music, spoke about needing to continue Dr. King’s work for the social good at the Media, Pa., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, according to an article in The Delaware County Daily Times. Alston is founder and director of the Chester Children’s Chorus and founder of the Chester Upland School of the Arts (CUSA).

The Daily Times cites Alston's own tireless work with the Chester Children’s Chorus and CUSA as one example of such social good: "One can fairly characterize Alston as 'walking the walk' for more than a day, a month or a year." Reflecting on his experiences with the children, Alston said to the audience, "One of the things children always ask me when I go into the school is, ‘Can I help?’ Why don’t we do that when we grow up?" Some audience members took his message to heart, asking him the same question afterwards.

The Chester Children's Chorus comprises 100 boys and girls, ages 8 to 18, from Chester, Pa. It recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. The Chester Upland School of the Arts, envisioned by Alston and run as a public-private partnership between the Chester Upland School District and the nonprofit Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, opened in 2008. The Swarthmore College Bulletin profiled the school in its October 2009 issue.