San Diego performing arts
The MLK Jr. Community Choir San Diego at work. The opening Bodhi Tree Concerts show this season benefits the choir’s scholarship fund. Photo credit: @MLKCCSD via Facebook

To start its 2023 season, Bodhi Tree Concerts in San Diego presents Ken Anderson and Dale Fleming in “An Evening of Songs That Heal” at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The show, at St. James by-the-Sea, 743 Prospect St. in La Jolla, opens a four-show season, with shows in April, May and September. Each performance starts at $30, with season subscriptions at $100.

Fleming and Anderson, both with deep roots in local performing circles, are friends who’ve sung together for more than 20 years with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir San Diego. Inspired by recent personal losses, and saddened by turmoil in the U.S. and around the globe, they turned to the songs of their childhood, their faith and popular culture to develop the program.

“An Evening of Songs that Heal” is taken from the Negro Spiritual, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War era, Broadway and the church.

In keeping with the mission of Bodhi Tree Concerts, profits from the concert will benefit the MLK Jr. Community Choir Scholarship Fund.

Fleming, a San Diego native, has performed with the San Diego Symphony and Lamb’s Players Theater in Coronado, and also provided background vocals for nationally acclaimed artists, including rock group Foreigner and Lyle Lovett. She remains committed to the music ministry at the Bethel Baptist Church in San Diego. 

Anderson is a musician, songwriter, arranger and teacher who has served for 29 years as a choral instructor in San Diego County elementary schools. He is also the longtime director of UCSD’s Gospel Choir and volunteer director of the MLK Community Choir since 1996. He has performed with the La Jolla Symphony and San Diego Opera.

The upcoming shows that focus on Brahms and Cole Porter will be at the La Jolla Community Center, with the season closer, featuring Autumn Valentine, a chamber opera, at UCSD Park & Market in the East Village.

Bodhi Tree, in its 12th season, has a mission of performing intentional acts of kindness through music, in part by hiring local artists to inspire community engagement, philanthropy, and enlightenment. The organization has presented dozens of concerts leading to donations of more than $50,000 to more than 40 charitable organizations.