Gospel Choir Concert: ‘Heavenly Voices’ performs after intensive workshop

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By Isaac Furman

On the evening of Saturday, October 13, the Heavenly Voices Gospel choir hosted a concert that was open to both Union students and members of the Schenectady community.

While the performance was well attended by Union students and faculty memebers, a large number of Schenectady area community members also showed their appreciation for the music by  attending the concert.

Over two dozen students joined together to sing powerful gospel music. In addition,  a pianist and bassist provided background music.

Memorial Chapel was filled with the passionate sounds of gospel on Saturday evening. The sizeable audience was clapping and humming along to the songs.

It was clear by their reaction that they were enjoying the powerful songs performed.

The choir was able to keep the energy up throughout the entire  evening with their strong, soulful voices echoing ­­­­in the chapel, a venue that was incredible for its acoustics.

You did not have to be religious  to enjoy the music, even though many songs had a strong spiritual connotation.

The set list was well prepared to keep the energy up and create a soulful performance.

The highlights of the concert came during the four different solos.

Camille Harris ‘14, Kewan Harrison ‘15, Gina Riggins ‘14 and Ackeem Hill ‘13 stole the show and stunned the audience with their potent singing voices.

What made the concert even more impressive was that it was arranged in just under 24 hours.

On Friday night and Saturday morning, workshops were held for students, faculty, staff, and community members so they could learn songs that they would perform just a few hours later.

“It wasn’t difficult to learn the songs, because most [of the songs] were ones I’ve sang at my church before, or listen to daily on my iPod,” said Ackeem Hill, the president of Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir.

Hill credits Reverend Shaun Whitehead for directing an amazing and effective workshop, and Lynny Walters for putting together the dynamic set list.

These two people, along with all the members of the choir, deserve a lot of credit for putting together such an impressive concert in a short amount of time.

The members of the choir were also very pleased with the outcome of the concert.

Hill sums up the choir’s feeling of accomplishment, stating, “I always remind the choir that if we put God first, everything will fall right into place and this workshop was a perfect reminder of that.  From Rev. Whitehead’s musical direction to the beautiful harmonies the choir gave, this workshop concert was definitely one to remember.”

The same concert and workshop, directed by Shaun Whitehead,  was held for the first time last year, and it will hopefully become an annual event.

Credit should also go to the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Office of Campus Diversity for sponsoring the event.

There will hopefully be more concerts in the future that can highlight the impressive talents that were on display Saturday night.

No matter what your musical taste is, there is no way that a performance by the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir won’t move you.

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