Getting their praise on
If you’re looking for energetic, soulful and uplifting music to get you through finals week, mark your calendar for the upcoming UWEC Gospel Choir performance.
The show, titled “Get Yo’ Praise On,” will feature contemporary gospel music and a full band performance.
Junior Darian Parker, president of Gospel Choir, said the show is not your typical “sit in a pew and sing hymns” church service, and people who have never attended a gospel choir show are in for a surprise.
“This is, like, the old lady in the front row’s blue hair’s going to be flying back; we’re really loud,” he said. “It’s very contemporary, upbeat gospel music.”
Parker said he is excited for two specific pieces of music during the show, although one of them doesn’t have many lyrics. He said it’s more about the meaning and feeling audience members get when listening to the song.
“This semester we’re doing one spiritual song called ‘There’s a Balm in Gilead,’ and it’s the first of its kind that we’ve done since I’ve joined,” Parker said. “(‘Going to Another Level’) is so bumpin’ … with the full band there, it’s just the definition of ‘Get Yo’ Praise On.’”
Dale Taylor, the choir’s faculty adviser, said the contemporary and energetic take on spiritual music makes this show a must-see event. Music by gospel artists such as Kirk Franklin, Kurt Carr, and Israel Houghton will be heard throughout the concert.
“(Attendees) will hear music they won’t hear anywhere else in Eau Claire, I can promise you that,” he said.
A common theme throughout the Gospel Choir organization is the members’ dedication to the music, and the heart and soul they put in to performing it, Parker said.
Parker said members don’t audition; they just have to express interest in joining the choir.
Its mission is “to show God’s love through worship, community service and through accepting everyone, creating a family-like environment where people feel welcome no matter where they are in their faith walk,” according to the choir’s website.
This year’s show will be senior Emily Klink’s last performance as director of Gospel Choir.
A member of the choir since her freshman year, Klink said she wants people to come to the concert full of energy and ready to participate.
“I want people to just have fun and let loose because that’s when we have our best moments in Gospel Choir.” she said, “when people just feel free to dance and clap and just really put their heart in what we’re singing.”