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Gospel Choir to hold Christmas Concert Friday

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Gospel Choir to hold Christmas Concert Friday

Marquette's Gospel Choir rehearses for their Christmas Concert which will be held at Weasler Auditorium Friday.

Marquette's Gospel Choir rehearses for their Christmas Concert which will be held at Weasler Auditorium Friday.

Photo by Ricky Labrada

Marquette's Gospel Choir rehearses for their Christmas Concert which will be held at Weasler Auditorium Friday.

Photo by Ricky Labrada

Photo by Ricky Labrada

Marquette's Gospel Choir rehearses for their Christmas Concert which will be held at Weasler Auditorium Friday.

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‘Tis the season to be jolly, and on Marquette’s campus that means holiday music concerts. This Friday, the Marquette Gospel Choir will be hosting its Christmas concert “Harmony for the Holidays.”

Gwen Berglind, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and president of Gospel Choir, said the choir has six songs prepared with an intermission after the first three. Additionally, snacks will be provided at the concert.

The lineup of songs will feature gospel versions of popular holiday tunes, including “Mary Did You Know,” “Oh Holy Night,” “Silent Night” and “Hark the Herald,” among others.

The free concert will take place in Weasler Auditorium at 7:00 PM. Donations will be accepted for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

During the intermission, off-campus Milwaukee singer Phebe Hines will sing her original song “Jesus.” Gospel Choir E-board members will be singing backup.

Berglind joined Gospel Choir during her sophomore year because said she wanted an outlet for singing on campus.

“I liked the kind of singing that came with (Gospel Choir),” Berglind said. “It’s a whole different beast. … There’s a lot more singing out, more soloists being featured.”

Gospel Choir director Anwar Stuart leads practice every Sunday. During practice, the choir does not use any sheet music. Instead, they learn their songs by ear.

“He finds our note for our section, and we pick up on it after a few times,” Berglind said.

Singing in harmony without sheet music requires trust. Tyler Vicknair, a graduate student in the Graduate School of Management and membership chair of the choir, said the choir members pride themselves on their companionship, particularly during rehearsals.

“We believe in unity, a sense of togetherness. … There’s a sense of camaraderie,” Vicknair said. “We give each other hugs at the end of practice. … We are there for friendship.”

Vicknair said while performing with the group, he feels as if they are performing with a purpose.

“The crowd gets into it, we’re singing, they’re singing … the crowd’s reaction is good,” Vicknair said. “When people really get into it, it makes it more meaningful.”

Berglind echoed a similar idea: that Gospel Choir concerts tend to be engaging and crowd-oriented.

“We try to get crowds involved (by) standing, dancing and clapping,” Berglind said.

Gabriel Thomson, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and the club’s vice president, said he enjoys seeing the effect the choir’s singing has on the audience.

“I’m always excited for the crowd’s reactions. … I love coming out and having people say we sounded so good,” Thomson said.

Thomson said he joined his sophomore year as an opportunity to put aside school and relieve stress through singing.

This concert will be different than past performances. While past concerts included other groups from Marquette, this year’s holiday concert will only feature Gospel Choir and its guest singer. During the spring, the group also tries to perform at various local churches.

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