Gospel Choir to perform in Cartwright Hall

Jenna Gerling

The Kent State University Gospel Choir will offer a chance for students to relax before finals begin.

The choir will be singing Christmas and gospel music today from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Carol A. Cartwright Hall with guest high school choir, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, and a free performance by music term instructor George Bachmann.

“People always leave our concerts feeling uplifted,” said Linda B. Walker, associate professor and director of the Kent State University Gospel Choir. “It’s a culminating experience — it’s at the end of the semester with finals, and going to this will lift the spirits of students and give them hope. Gospel music will leave people revived.”

Sophomore communication studies major Vanessa Sellers, a second-year choir member, said attending this concert will help the audience in more ways than just reducing stress.

“I think that not a whole lot of people know what gospel music is, what it entails,” Sellers said. “It’s not just about music sometimes. It’s more like the people around you, it’s family and it’s God, but not in the perspective where you’re at church and someone is preaching to you. It’s more like you’re involved with it.”

The choir is offered as a class and is open to students, alumni, faculty members and people outside of the university.

Walker said because the choir is so open to everyone, it is a way to experience people and school culturally as well as religiously.

“Being able to participate in music is a very rewarding experience in itself. Music as an avocation is a rewarding experience (because) it makes us whole — it makes us who we are,” she said. “The diversity in the choir is important — diversity of race, ethnicity, age and major.”

Whitney Holmes, junior premed biology major and two-year gospel choir singer, said she thinks Kent State pushes diversity through its organizations and clubs, as well as the choir.

“Having a gospel choir alludes to the diversity in the music program, and it’s just another aspect that helps diversify Kent and give other students an opportunity to become a part of something,” she said.

Sellers said she sees how the diversity of the choir is very important for meeting new and different people from all over the country, but that the gospel choir can also help her practice her religion.

“It’s hard for me to get to church sometimes, and just singing, for me, is almost like worship,” she said.

Contact performing arts reporter Jenna Gerling at [email protected].