Soprano Coretta Scott was the favorite student of her high school music teacher in Marian, Alabama. She was selected to sing on a special program with internationally recognized Baritone Paul Robeson. Coretta aspired to be a concert singer like Marian Anderson. While studying in Boston at the New England Conservatory of Music on a scholarship, she was aggressively contacted by Martin Luther King Jr., a theology student also studying in Boston. For their first date, Martin invited Coretta to attend a concert featuring pianist Arthur Rubinstein with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Coretta subsequently had a dream.
“I always believed that there was a purpose for my life, and that I had to seek that purpose, and that if I discovered that purpose, then I believed that I would be successful in what I was doing. And I thought I had found that purpose when I decided that music was going to be my career — concert singing. I was going to be trained as a concert singer at the New England Conservatory of Music. I studied voice the first year, and after I met Martin and prayed about whether or not I should open myself to that relationship, I had a dream, and in that dream, I was made to feel that I should allow myself to be open and stop fighting the relationship. And that’s what I did, and of course the rest is history.”
Coretta sang recitals while attending the New England Conservatory of Music and she sang in the Conservatory chorus which annually sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Coretta earned a degree in voice and violin.
Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr were married June 18, 1953. The Kings had four children. Although the demands of raising a family had caused Mrs. King to retire from singing, she found another way to put her musical background to the service of the cause. She conceived and performed a series of FREEDOM CONCERTS, combining poetry, narration and music to tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement as fundraisers for the Southern Christian Leader Conference after marriage and between birth of four children.