By: LaToya Dove
On Sunday, November 8, the Liberated Gospel Choir held their Fall Concert, “Living in the Overflow”. This free concert was held at the Busch Campus Center. Liberated Gospel Choir, along with Dancers of Liberated Praise, holds a concert at the end of each semester. This concert had their biggest turn out yet.
About 450 people crowded into the multipurpose room in the campus center. Abimbola Adegbola, a concert attendee, said people filled the room even an hour before the concert was supposed to start.
In addition to performances by Liberated Gospel Choir and Dancers of Liberated Praise, there were guest choirs and dance ministries, such as the McCains, that performed as well. The president of Liberated Gospel Choir, Jessie Davis, said they wanted to invite outside groups to perform to increase the concert participation.
Before the show began, the performers got together and prayed. Davis describes her feelings before the show as “scared”. She says there is the pressure of wanting everyone to enjoy the show. Based on crowd reaction, many people did seem to enjoy the concert.
“The atmosphere was lively,” said Adegbola. “Once the concert started, it was just a fun and happy environment. You could tell all the performers were happy and excited about the show.” Adegbola attended the concert to support her friend, Adeima Ibanga, who is a part of Dancers of Liberated Praise.
Jeanel LeBlanc is a Rutgers alumna who also attended the concert. During her time at Rutgers she participated in Liberated Gospel Choir as well. “There were mad people at this past concert. They pack out, like standing room only,” says LeBlanc. Guests had to stand on the side aisles because all the seats were filled.
We need more male voices.
“While I was in the choir, it went through a lot of changes. The current LGC was a little more diverse,” said LeBlanc. She is happy to see the that the choir is still going strong and that the concerts are still being held in the Busch Campus Center, the same as when she was a part of the choir.
Since the concert is the group’s only event each semester, a lot of preparation goes into the show. Both Liberated Gospel Choir and Dancers of Liberated Praise meet separately, twice a week for rehearsals. They also get invited to do praise and worship at local churches and community functions. This is all leading up to the end of semester concert.
Some people however, might feel this is an exclusive concert based on it’s Christian premise. In response to that President Davis says, “We embrace diversity.” She says the concert is not church but you can “come to learn about the history of gospel music and it’s roots in the black church.”
Davis also encourages anyone that is interested in the choir or praise team to join. “We need more males voices,” she says “more male vibrato.”
Davis hopes to grow the choir as she looks forward to next semester.