Gospel choir to perform spring show this week

(PHOTO/ Holly Ammons)
(PHOTO/ Holly Ammons)
Students in the gospel choir class rehearse Tuesday night in preparation for their upcoming performance on Friday, April 17.
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Lacey Alexander

Staff Writer

The Troy University Gospel Singers will present its spring concert this weekend.

“Grateful,” a show featuring contemporary gospel music, will be held in the Long Hall Band Room this on Good Friday, at 7 p.m.

Led by James Brown, assistant professor of choral music, the gospel choir and the accompanying band are composed of students from different majors and classifications. These students rehearse in class every Tuesday and Thursday and perform memorized material in a concert at the end of every semester.

Brown said while the first half of the concert will be upbeat, as past concerts have been, the second half will be softer and slower, and “reflective of a church service.”

“It’s been quite a journey,” Brown said. “They’ve really taken to it and enjoyed it, and they’ve recognized that this is much different from what we’ve ever done.”

Brown said once he found the piece the concert is named after, “Grateful” by Hezekiah Walker, he tried to build the concert around that piece.

Brown said “You Are Great” by Bishop Larry Trotter “was a definite game changer.”

“I was just sold on it,” Brown said. “The final one was ‘My Life, My Love, My All’—the choir really connected with it, and it’s a different sound than our typical perception of gospel music.”

Tia McMillan, a junior human service major from Monroeville, said her favorite is “Broken but Healed.”

“It’s something that speaks to you, especially if you’re a college student,” she said. “We have times where we are broken, but we end up healed from it. . .  it really touches me every time.”

Jermaine Van Buren, a freshman theater major from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, said the theme of one of the songs, “All I Need,” is “all you need to bring focus back into your life is a touch from God . . . sometimes that’s all I have to remember.”

Van Buren has been with the Troy University Gospel Choir for two semesters, and said gospel music will always be a part of him.

“I do think that wherever I go, I will always be singing gospel music. . . there will always be somebody that needs to hear it,” Van Buren said.

Van Buren’s peers said they agreed that they performed in the concert for the benefit of other people.

“We just wanna bless ’em,” said Stanley Fagg, a sophomore music education major from Bainbridge, Georgia. “It’s not about us; it’s about God through us . . . we don’t know what these students are going through every day, and maybe through a song we can save their life.”

“I just want people to leave with a sense of hope,” said Chelsea Blunt, a sophomore nursing major from Brewton. “There is someone there for you always; there is something to be happy about, always.”

Admission into the concert is free. Students interested in joining the choir next semester can get more information from the choral office in Long Hall.