UM Gospel Choir to ‘Send Up the Praise’ at Free Concert
New Fundraising Campaign Seeks Help with Costs of Nov. 2 Event
Every fall, the University of Mississippi Gospel Choir invites area community members to enjoy a night of fellowship and song performed by some of the most talented students on the Oxford campus.
The concert, set for Saturday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. at Tallahatchie-Oxford Missionary Baptist Association Building, is free and open to all students, faculty, staff, community members and friends.
However, while free to everyone, the concert is not without costs. The students pay for the venue, print the programs, rent equipment, assist special musical guests with travel expenses and bear the burden of many other costs.
To help offset these expenses, UM Gospel Choir members have launched a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding site, Ignite Ole Miss. The students ask prospective supporters to visit ignite.olemiss.edu/gospelchoir to make a gift of any size.
“The Gospel Choir’s fall concert celebrates the end of a semester of growth and showcases our talent and love of God,” said André Smith, the chief of staff for the choir and a senior biology major from Tylertown, Mississippi. “We must live up to our Grammy nomination and use our voices, spirit and assets to thoughtfully impact our community.”
The UM Gospel Choir began in 1974. It remains the only college choir to ever be nominated for a Grammy in the gospel category for the album, “Send Up the Praise,” nearly 20 years ago.
Since then, choir members have performed regularly, representing the university at sporting events, campus holiday celebrations, chancellor’s residence events and public concerts across the state and the South. Students dedicate long hours of practice outside of their academic responsibilities and also work to raise money to cover the choir’s operating expenses.
“The University of Mississippi Gospel Choir has been a pillar of student involvement and community for nearly 50 years,” said former choir member and advisor E.J. Edney, now the UM director of Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement.
“I am proof that the experiences students gain as members of the University of Mississippi Gospel Choir make a lasting impact. An investment in this choir and its work is an investment in a student experience that will keep students and community members connected to this great university.”
To find out more and contribute to the campaign, visit ignite.olemiss.edu/gospelchoir.
By Angela Atkins