Louisiana gospel choir to perform at Memorial Church

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The Southern University Gospel Choir from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will fill the Memorial Church Sanctuary on Feb. 17 with a chorus of 50 powerful voices singing traditional spiritual music in celebration of Black History Month.

The choir, created more than 50 years ago, is well known in gospel music circles in the South and across the nation. The Rev. Calvon Jones, assistant minister in the Memorial Church, a gospel singer who released his first album in 2021, said he discovered the choir nearly a decade ago and was excited to create this collaboration with Southern University and A&M College, a historically Black college and university.

“I have been following this choir for quite some time and when I first heard them (on social media) I was blown away,” he said. “Their spirit, their charisma, their joy, their passion stood out to me, and I wanted to share it with the world.”

The choir is made up of about 50 singers and accompanying band, all students at the university. Jones said the choir’s music and performance are powerful, the kind of music that makes the heart race, the hands clap, and feet tap.

“This will be a high-spirited event,” he said. “I believe when you hear the sound of this choir, it’s going to move you in ways you have not been moved before.”

Black History Month is marked each February in the United States, Canada, and several European countries. It celebrates and honors the contribution, sacrifice, and stories of African Americans. Gospel music is a key thread in that history.

Elder Ernest Bowman Jr., advising director of the Southern University Gospel Choir, said he and members of the choir are looking forward to the performance during Black History Month.

“We are elated and excited to be with Harvard Memorial Church for the Black History celebration,” he said. “We are looking forward to a wonderful time with the Lord.”

The concert is schedule to begin at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Church Sanctuary and is free and open to the public. The concert will also be live streamed on the Memorial Church YouTube Channel.

“As we find ourselves in a world torn apart by conflict and war,” said Jones. “As we find ourselves in a world that lives uneasily in a climate of fear, with no clear vision for future days, it is my prayer that this service will reignite hope in the hearts of all persons in attendance.”