WSU Gospel Fest to ‘Rise up’

OGDEN, Utah — Eight Utah choirs will gather to celebrate and share the joy of music during Weber State University’s 17th Annual Gospel Music Festival in the Val A. Browning Center Austad Auditorium, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

The festival’s theme, “Rise Up,” encourages unity and strength in the community. The public is invited to attend this free event focused on music rooted in the spiritual messages and oral histories shared during the time of slavery.

“The theme this year is a message that lifts you up when you are down, gives you hope in uncertainty and provides confidence and courage when in doubt,” said Teresa Martinez, diversity and inclusive programs coordinator for Access & Diversity. “This year, the festival focuses on finding the strength to unite and rise up through song, spirituality and togetherness.”

Performances include groups from both campus and community. The Reverend Monica Hall from Trinity Presbyterian Church will emcee the event. “The spirit of community reveals itself when people gather together and participate in the music of hope.” Hall said.  “This is what we will do this year at Gospel Fest - sing together in hope and experience the invitation to rise up and rejoice.”

“Gospel music is deeply rooted in culture and history,” Martinez said. “It has a richness that tells stories of overcoming adversity, finding hope and uniting people together as one.”

In addition to music, the festival will serve as a book drive to benefit K-12 schools in Utah. Admission to the festival is free, but those who attend are encouraged to bring one or more gently used books to donate.

WSU’s gospel festival began as a one-time community event nearly 17 years ago. Now, the festival has evolved into an annual campus and community tradition to celebrate the new year and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Austad Auditorium will open at 7 p.m. with performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the Center for Diversity & Unity, visit

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Teresa Martinez, diversity and inclusive programs coordinator for Access & Diversity
801-626-6957 •


Rachel Badali, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7295 •