Courtesy of the SLU Gospel Choir
The SLU Gospel Choir, a musical ensemble of singers worshiping God, was established in 1973 and is known for being the university’s first African-American organization on campus.
Michelle Brister, a senior music major and president of the organization, reflected on her experience in her final semester.
Brister said, “As President, my experience with the SLU Gospel Choir for the past three years has been beautiful. The SLU Gospel Choir or ‘GC’ for short, is my family. It warms my heart that there’s a place in GC where young people can freely sing praises to God. I am proud to be a part of the first Black organization on SLU’s campus.”
During the ongoing pandemic, the choir has to adapt under new circumstances.
“Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we cannot sing inside the buildings. However, we can congregate outside using the guidelines of social distancing,” Brister explained.
Tyrolynn Penn, public relations/membership coordinator and a sophomore biological sciences major, described how the meetings are throughout the semester.
Penn said, “We meet on Mondays, and we typically greet everyone coming in and try to loosen them up into feeling comfortable with an ice breaker/activity. We pray and then practice a song or two which really loosens up everyone.”
The Gospel Choir provides leadership opportunities for students to get involved. Penn explained what his role as public relations/membership coordinator entails.
“I serve as a liaison for both current members and alumni. I am also in charge of the social media platforms and marketing our organization to the school. This has shaped me into becoming a more social person and letting my voice be heard; also taking accountability for my actions on a more personal level,” Penn said.
KeRon Jackson, treasurer and a sophomore english education major, expressed his biggest lesson learned from the organization.
“From being in the choir, I have learned that a silent voice can be powerful. The silent voice is one that will eventually be called on for needed input. It has impacted me by showing me that in order to grow you have to learn. Growth without learning can be detrimental to the one who repeats the same person,” Jackson said.
If interested in joining the SLU Gospel Choir, it is suggested to submit a membership application that can be found on @slugospelchoir Instagram and Twitter @SluChoir bio.