OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University presents the 13th annual Gospel Music Festival at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18, in the Val A. Browning Center Austad Auditorium.
This year’s theme is “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” from the African-American spiritual, compiled by John Wesley Work, Jr., dated back to 1865. This song has been sung and recorded by many gospel and secular performers and is considered a Christmas carol because its original lyric celebrates the birth of Jesus. In 1963 the song was adapted to refer implicitly to the civil rights struggle of the early 1960s.
The current line up of performers includes the Emcees: Nate Clayton, Stacy Bakker and Aanjel Clayton; the Negro National Anthem performed by the Calvary Baptist Church Young Adult Choir; Kids Are Music; Unity Baptist Church Choir and dancers; Pearls of Praise Youth Dance Group; The Soul Lifters Quartet and Band; soloist Kennedy Phillips.
The goal of the festival is to share the African-American sacred music experience with all people and to show its influence on contemporary music. It is designed to educate and provide cultural enrichment. The music is based on traditions coming out of the experience of slavery. The festival provides an educational background with each song and style to broaden audience understanding of the gospel musical form.
“We had such an overwhelming response with our first one, which was our contribution to the community celebration of ‘Wade in the Water,’ the Smithsonian Exhibit that was at Union Station in February 2000,” said Caril Jennings, marketing director of the WSU Department of Performing Arts. “All the choirs had such a good time and the full audience did, too. We knew this was something we had to do again and again - and we are still at it.”
The festival’s campus and community-wide committee is being coordinated by Chad Mosher, associate director, Shepherd Union Building, Adrienne Andrews, director WSU Center for Diversity & Unity, and Rita Martin, volunteer Layton, Utah.
This performance is free and open to the public. The Austad Auditorium will open at 7 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about the Gospel Festival, contact Adrienne Andrews, email@example.com or 801-626-7243; or Rita Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.