Gospel Choir to rejoice in its legacy

Previous members and directors of the Gospel Choir gather together with current members to celebrate the 30th Gospel Fest.


John Uy/THE CHIMES [file]

Rebecca Mitchell, Writer

Students, alumni and directors of gospel choirs past will come together to honor a legacy 30 years in the making.

30th annual Gospel Fest

Biola’s Gospel Choir will gather together for the 30th annual Gospel Fest on April 23 at 7 p.m. in Calvary Chapel, with the theme as “Living Legacy,” to remember to sing God’s praises yesterday, today and forever, choir director Nena Wallace explained.

In addition to the current gospel choir leading praise and worship, six other directors and members of previous choirs at Biola also plan to attend. Each director and their members will perform a song impactful during their time at Biola.

“It’s going to be a really fun time where everyone’s remembering and just loving on each other and encouraging one another,” Wallace said.

During the program the student coordinators will speak about their experience at Biola and what gospel music means to them. Overall the event will be a time of reflecting on what God has done in the past 30 years and giving him the glory.

Link the past to the present

“What we’re doing is we’re trying to link the past to the present basically and bringing everything full circle and going on a journey and just seeing how God transformed it and how it just changed over time and what it is now,” Wallace said.

One of the ways Wallace hopes the choir will reflect on, without necessarily needing to address it, is the recent hate incident that occurred at Blackstone Hall.

“I don’t think there will be any change, love in our hearts magnifying God, I mean I don’t see why we would be deterred in any way,” Wallace said. “I don’t even know if we’re actually going to talk about it, but I feel like what we’re attempting to do is like a nice, really good remedy  without even like addressing it and possibly adding some salt to some wounds and putting a band-aid on it.”

While the event reaches out to prospective students during Connect to Biola, the students involved in Gospel Fest are also look forward to gathering with previous choir members.

“It’s so cool because me and everyone else in the choir right now, we are reaping the benefits of stuff that they’ve been doing for 30 years so we really get to celebrate it as a thank you to really thank all the members and conductors who’ve kept the choir going for so long,” said Shealynn Waller, sophomore cinema and media arts major and member of the choir.

stepping out of the comfort zone

With such a large gathering of people there will be Biola history to look back on and discover the ways things have changed through stories being shared.

“I’m really looking forward to just seeing everyone who was invited who had a part in keeping gospel choir going for so long all in one room, those who were in for the first 10 years are going to meet those who are in the next set of 10 years, they’re going to meet people they’ve never met before but we all have the commonality of being in gospel choir together,” Waller said.

Savannah Ozier, sophomore elementary education major and emcee of the event, shared why students should attend the event.

“It’d be a great experience to experience the gospel of Jesus Christ in a new way…step out of their comfort zone and enter into a new culture, this is the way that we worship God with gospel music,” Ozier said.

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