Local students will get their time to shine during the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s annual Stairway to the Stars concert on Friday at 7 p.m. in Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall.

The concert will feature elementary, middle, and high school choirs from the district singing African-American spirituals and arts songs, as well as Gershwin’s “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess.” The guest conductor will be Dr. Albert J. McNeil, professor emeritus at UC Davis and founder of the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers. He will be joined by soloists Nell Walker and Michael Wright from the Jubilee Singers. The Stairway Band Concert will be on Feb. 11, and the Stairway Orchestra Concert will be on Feb. 13.

The concert has been a rite of passage for the past 65 years and has featured thousands of local students.

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