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Second annual concert benefiting Margaret Munday Scholarship returns to WKU

Margaret Munday plays the piano at her home in Auburn, KY.
Lisa Autry
Margaret Munday plays the piano at her home in Auburn, KY.

A concert featuring a diverse set of performances is back at Western Kentucky University for a second year.

The show raises funds for the Margaret Munday Scholarship overseen by the Mu Iota Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI). In addition to helping music students from diverse communities pursue their dreams, the scholarship also honors the legacy of Margaret Munday.

“She was the first Black graduate from Western Kentucky University with a degree in music, so we as a music fraternity definitely regard her as a trailblazer,” said Abby Krent, President of the Mu Iota Chapter of SAI.

In 1956, Munday transferred to WKU from what is now known as Kentucky State University, a historically Black school. This was just two years after the Brown versus Board of Education ruling that desegregated the nation's public schools.

While at WKU, Munday successfully perused her bachelor’s degree and later became the first Black teacher at Auburn High School in 1964. She eventually taught at every school in the Logan County School Public System and retired in 1995 after more than 30 years as a music and chorus teacher.

In October 2022, WKU's former Northeast Hall was dedicated as the Margaret Munday Hall. It was around this time that SAI members got together and launched the scholarship for music students in honor of Margaret.

“We wanted to dedicate this to her because we are a music fraternity and really admire the work she has done,” Krent said, adding that, historically, the fraternity has been largely occupied by people of color.

“We have a lot of sisters that are of African American decent, and we all come from pretty diverse backgrounds, so we wanted to celebrate, especially, a very prominent and influential Black figure that comes from Western Kentucky.”

The benefit concert will reflect the culture of the fraternity in that it will include a wide array of performances. Krent, who will be performing during the show as well, told WKU Public Radio that the chapter is excited about this year’s lineup.

“We were focusing more on celebrating Black culture last year, whereas this year, we wanted to open it up to everybody and make it a celebration of a diverse selection of the arts,” she said, noting that in addition to singing and instrumental music, the show will also include dance performances.

The concert will feature several artists from WKU alongside a Louisville-based Indian dance company, entertainment from the American String Teachers Association, as well as a speaker from the NAACP.

This year’s scholarship recipient will be announced at the end of the program, which gets underway at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2.

The concert will be held in the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center Recital Hall on the campus of Western Kentucky University.

Event details and ticket information can be found online at the SAI Mu Iota Chapter’s Facebook page.

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