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Gospel Chorale brings faith to performance

VSUGC members include dedicated approach to the art of singing

Virginia State University Gospel Chorale is known for using their amazing talents to create a dynamic praise and worship sound. GC is a group on campus that welcomes all who are interested to pursue their talent and minister to those in the room with their glorious voices.

GC leader, Choir Director Sir Perry Evans, has directed the choir for 20 years. He believes in  supporting students by working with them to showcase their talent as vocalists.

“All kinds. All majors. All personalities. All walks of faith. As long as they are focused, and have a passion for singing, and a drive to grow vocally, and in music performance, they are welcomed to become a part of our family,” Perry said.

Senior Marjani Smith has been an active member of the Gospel Chorale since Jan. 2024, and she sings in the tenor section.

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“My music career began in middle school and continued in high school,” Smith said. “My entire life I have loved singing, and this is my first time really being in a choir. The moment I went to GC’s  rehearsal it made me feel vulnerable because of the religious aspect. Based on the energy in the room, the reason why I joined was because of the structure of the chorale and how the boundaries are set to a standard.” 

Other members share similar sentiments about Smith’s approach to the choir. Junior Joyce Parker has been a part of GC since Jan. 2023.

“Being a part of GC has been an amazing experience and I feel like I found my family on campus,” Parker said.

As representatives of the choir, Parker and Smith enjoy being a part of the GC community. They learned to be responsible and use their best effort and ability in singing.

“As a singer in the Gospel Chorale, it is imperative to be responsible. You must know where your tone of voice is, the volume, and you must make sure to add dynamics,” Smith said.

The choir is composed of students who dedicate a chunk of their time rehearsing and preparing for the next major event. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m., GC members constantly put in the work to be the best.

“We have Bible study first then we warm up and maybe do some choreography, or sing depending on the day. Then we pray out,” Smith said.

“Prayer and lots and lots of practice… music, practice, choreography drills, full show run-throughs, attire and more attire is how we prepare for a performance,” Perry said.

GC has performed at Commencement, VSU Homecoming, community events connected to Black History Month, and even for the Pope at the Vatican. GC is an inspiring group that calls for students seeking immediate connections to not only each other, but to God.

“Singing in the choir allows me to connect back to my roots and most importantly God,” Smith said.

“We spend a lot of time together which grows our bond weekly and in turn makes for a synergy that can never be duplicated. All of this is what makes us VSUGC. Ministry and performance,” Perry said.

VSUGC will be hosting their next concert at Virginia Hall Friday, April 19, at 7 p.m.

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