Gospel choir to honor Cartwright

Meredith Compton

The Kent State University Gospel Choir and the African Ensemble will hold a concert to honor President Carol Cartwright and her tenure at Kent State at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in the University Auditorium.

The concert was the idea of Linda B. Walker, the founder and director of the gospel choir, who cites Cartwright as one of her mentors since she joined Kent State’s faculty.

“She has been our biggest supporter since the choir has started,” Walker said.

The choir is made up of graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

Graduate choir members will be represented by David M. Thomas’ gospel arrangement of Kent State’s alma mater. Alumni choir members will be represented by the reading of Cartwright’s biography by alumnus Brandon Duvall. Undergraduate choir members will be represented by Alicia Tate’s presentation of a gift to Cartwright. One piece titled “Ngombele” will feature dancer Rosalyn Dale, who will represent community members of the choir.

Walker also has invited all alumni of the gospel choir to perform along with the current choir for the concert on a song titled “Total Praise.” Walker formed the choir in 1996, and it performed its first concert in 1997.

Graduate student Abbey Bolton has been in the choir for almost six years and still gets excited for concerts.

“It’s our chance to shine,” Bolton said. “I love gospel music; I love being a part of a group that comes together.”

The choir has been preparing for the concert since the beginning of the semester, rehearsing during their class time on Monday nights.

One piece that students are particularly excited about is the different arrangement of the alma mater. Bolton said it is her favorite song on the program.

“I’ve always known it, but never sung it in a gospel arrangement,” she said.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Contact performing arts reporter Meredith Compton at [email protected].