The Howard Gospel Choir kicked off their welcome week, hosting various events around campus. Howard Gospel Choir encouraged interested students to participate in the events, in attempts to get them excited about their upcoming auditions.
Howard Gospel Choir was established in 1968 and performs frequently at Sunday chapel services, accompanying those in attendance through worship with song. The choir’s official mission according to their website is to “spread the good news of Jesus Christ through song. Our purpose and passion is to serve Christ with our musical gifts, bringing peace, restoration, healing and inspiration to all who will lend their ears and hearts.”
Cyan Shreve, a junior TV and film major with an Africana studies minor, spoke on this mission, and how it presents itself in the group’s worship.
“When we sing together, we bond together. We’re a group of individuals who have the same mindset, want the same things, and we constantly encourage each other,” Shreve said.
In 2016, they released their latest full-length album, Glorious God. This album remained on the top 30 charts for national sales and radio play for Gospel music for over 16 weeks, and was nominated for two 2017 Stellar Awards, four 2017 Rhythm of Gospel Awards, and one 2017 Steeple Award.
Nov. 9-12 marked HGC Week, a chance to meet current choir members, as well as ask any questions regarding the organization.
The overarching purpose of the HGC week is to prepare and excite the Howard University community for choir auditions, which occurred virtually from Tuesday, Nov. 9 to Monday, Nov. 15, and in-person auditions being held on Nov. 15.
The week kicked off on Tuesday, Nov. 9, with a week-long social media takeover, focused on their Instagram platform, @howardgospelchoir.
The takeover featured an opportunity to learn the names and faces of the HGC’s Executive Board for the 2021-2022 season. Dallas Jeanette, a junior psychology major and music minor with a concentration in voice from Westchester County, New York is serving as president. William Jones, a junior business management major from the Bronx, New York is serving as vice president.
The second day of HGC week featured a worship at the flagpole at noon on the Yard. Worship was led by Jeanette and Jones, as the group invited passing students to join them as they sang through Gospel songs such as ‘My God Is Awesome’ by Charles Jenkins, ‘Take Me To The King’ by Kirk Franklin, as well as a few fan-favorite original HGC tracks such as ‘He Loves,’ and ‘Glorious God.’
Jeanette spoke on the impact that gospel music has on her life.
“My favorite HGC song off the ‘Glorious God’ album to perform would have to be ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness,’” Jeanette said. “It’s such a fun song to perform and whenever I listen to it it really just lifts my spirits and reminds me that God has never forgotten about me and He is always faithful.”
Thursday activities featured a virtual Bible Study, much like the ones the group held during the pandemic, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom.
“Even through the pandemic, we would have Bible studies, even through the summer and that was one of the things that kept me going and kept me together,” Shreve said, “So I really love that family aspect of it.”
The final day of HGC week consisted of a meet and greet with the Gospel Choir from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at a table set up on the Yard. The choir holds auditions twice an academic year, once during the fall in August or September, and another in January for the spring semester.
And for those prospective new members, the group shares the same overarching message; take a deep breath.
“Don’t be nervous, put your best foot forward, choose a song to sing that you really love, that really ministers to you, and it will minister to others. Just be yourself,” Shreve said.
Interested students can schedule their audition, either virtual or in-person, by emailing Howard Gospel Choir at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copy edited by Jasper Smith