The choir entered the building in a parade of movement and sound and performed with unceasing energy.
“I was very proud of the students in the Gospel Choir,” said William Powell, associate professor of music and director of choral activities. “We have an outstanding group of students, and they worked extremely hard to make our concert a success. Every minute of music heard in our concert represents at least an hour of practicing.”
In honor and memory of past influential gospel artists, the choir performed numbers by Aretha Franklin, James Cleveland, the Canton Spirituals and the Barrett Sisters.
Soloists stepped into the spotlight for every song.
One of the soloists was Stephanie Jones, an Auburn graduate of 2006, who sang “Mary Don’t You Weep,” and another was Akemi Cannon, who slowed things down with “Peace Be Still.”
The second half of the concert focused on praise and worship.
Powell came to Auburn in the fall of 2001, and his areas of expertise include conducting the Gospel Choir, Men’s Choir and Concert Choir and teaching choral undergraduate and graduate studies.
Powell and many others involved with the AU Gospel Choir voiced their appreciation of letting loose and setting all troubles aside during worship.
“I think that since we live in the comfortable United States, the idea of worshipping until you sweat and faint doesn’t necessarily exist anymore,” Powell said. “In our flesh we get tired, but the Lord’s worthy of all our praises.”
Audience members clapped their hands, raised their arms and swayed their bodies with the blue and orange robes of the choir as they sang.
“Their performance was very spirit-filled, energetic and powerful,” said Hasan Green, a sophomore in music education at Jacksonville State University. “Their message was very well purveyed, and I enjoyed the songs.”
Powell was grateful to have a venue like Victory World Prayer Center for his choir to perform in.
“Victory is always very gracious to allow us to use their facility, especially since we do not have a suitable facility on our campus to put on the kind of performance that we do,” Powell said. “Another positive outcome was that our audience was not challenged by the parking issues that we face on our campus.”
The senior pastor of Victory World Prayer Center, Mark Jones, attended the concert and commented on the church’s enthusiastic ways of worship.
“Whoever thinks church has to be boring obviously hasn’t ever come here,” Jones said.