Sunday brought a huge crowd to the ETSU Culp Auditorium for “Black Church,” a performance from both the ETSU Gospel and the International choir.
The audience and performers alike were clearly excited to commemorate the time of Black History Month with joyous songs and a beautiful church service.
The ETSU Gospel Choir and the ETSU International Choir performed many great selections of music in between short films and readings of scripture.
Unlike an ordinary church service, Sunday’s “Black Church” event addressed the important issues of racism and social injustice on top of traditional readings and prayer. Contrary the subject matter, the music was uplifting and joyful, allowing attendees of any race and any age to come together and celebrate.
Audience members were free to enter and leave as they pleased, though many people were too riveted by the two choirs to leave. The talented choirs had the audience dancing and clapping along to the music enthusiastically. Much of the crowd even sang along to the beautiful pieces of music.
“There was a lot of good energy and movement in the room,” said audience member Farris Darwish.
The event was undoubtedly a wholesome, fun and all around entertaining service. Yet the service also made room for reflection and prayer. Spectators were clearly moved by the talented students. For many older audience members, they were simply excited to see so many young students involved.
“It provides a fun atmosphere and it gets people outside of their space and into a multicultural environment,” said Darwish.
The service most definitely intended to bring people together, and it certainly did. Aside from fun music, a documentary film artfully depicted the difficult time of Jim Crow onward. Additionally, the short film celebrated famous African American inventors and political heroes.
Though the service is over and Black History Month draws to an end, everything it stands for will still remain.
If you missed out on this event, the ETSU Gospel and International Choir will be holding a spring concert in April. For more information, check out https://www.etsu.edu/students/multcult/org/gospelchoir.php