Gospel Choir celebrates retirement for founder

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The Kent State University Gospel Choir celebrated the retirement of their founder and director, Linda B. Angotti, with a spring concert Thursday night.

“It is a bittersweet occasion to have to say goodbye, but we are grateful for everything you have given in your career,” said Nada Martinovic, an adjunct professor of music.

“A Family Celebration” brought the Kent State University, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and East Community Learning Center choirs together to commemorate Dr. Angotti.

In 1996, the KSU Gospel Choir was founded by Angotti, and since then the group has traveled and sang at places all across the world.

“Dr. Angotti always brings out the best in her students,” former student and Orange High School Band Director Brandon DuVall said.

The choir is open to all community members, faculty and students of all majors, ages and religious beliefs.

“Dr. Angotti understands that music and arts are not optional to an education, they are essential,” Martinovic said.

Many of Angotti’s former students and peers attended the concert, including President of Kent State Beverly Warren.

“I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, what you have meant to this university,” Warren said.

She went on to explain how many students Angotti has inspired in her career, and thanked her for her impact on the university.

“Most importantly Linda, you have been an influence to so many students who were searching, and they found their voice from you,” Warren said.

Performances from the individual choirs and combined choirs filled the night with music and celebration.

“We Are Family,” “Never Seen the Righteous” and “Go Down Moses” were just a few songs performed during the night.

“Revelation 19, Hallelujah, Salvation and Glory,” was performed by the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy choir and lead by Angotti’s former student Jennifer Moore.

“At a time when so many things are pulling us apart, this is what brings us together,” Moore said.

A performance of “Total Praise,” lead by Angotti, ended the night. All former KSU Gospel Choir members were invited to the stage to help sing the final song.

At the end of the song, Dr. Angotti said a final thank you to everyone in the audience.

“I’ll see you around,” Angotti said.