By Shannon Thomason
Audiences will be singing along when the University of Alabama at Birmingham Gospel Choir presents “The Classics,” its 21st anniversary concert, Monday, Nov. 14.
The UAB Gospel Choir, directed by Kevin P. Turner, is part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music. The UAB Gospel Choir is a music performance class open to students of all majors. It performs traditional and contemporary American gospel music tours throughout the United States and abroad, and its acclaimed productions offer students one-of-a kind performance opportunities.
For “The Classics,” the evening will feature songs that have stood the test of time by Walter and Edwin Hawkins, Keith Pringle, L.A. Mass Choir, Milton Brunson & The Thompson Community Singers, Benny Cummings, Thomas Whitfield, Aretha Franklin, the Rev. James Cleveland, The Beautiful Zion Choir, and Daryl Coley. Specials guests include WAGG radio personality Leo Taylor, alumna/recording artist Valerie T. Smith and renowned classical pianist Daniel M. Cason with a tribute to the late Andraé Crouch, Turner says.
“Every song will be delivered with great care and authenticity at this 90-minute concert,” Turner said.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. concert, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. General admission tickets are $7, $6 for UAB students and employees with valid UAB ID. Tickets for groups of 20 or more are $6 each, with advance purchase required. For tickets, call the Alys Stephens Center Box Office at 205-975-2787, visit www.alysstephenscenter.org or call the UAB Ticket Office at 205-934-8001.
The 2016 UAB Gospel Choir recipient of the Dr. Mildred Givens Scholarship will be announced at this concert and will receive a $1,000 award from the Givens family. Local gospel pioneers and trendsetters DJ Strict, George Stewart, Eloise Ford Gaffney and the late Albert Grant will be honored with Gospel Anthology Awards.
Since its inception in 1995, the UAB Gospel Choir has brought American gospel music from the choir stand to the classroom at UAB, and developed a powerhouse strategy of turning out talent and presenting sold-out concerts. This highly decorated and award-winning ensemble has over the years succeeded with nationally distributed CD recordings and a performance to 5 million viewers on NBC’s “Today” show; has charted No. 1 songs on amazon.com and XM Satellite radio; and has proudly waved the UAB flag for 20 years locally, nationally and with self-funded international tours. The UAB Gospel Choir is open to all students regardless of their major. One credit hour is earned for participating. Registration is required to participate.