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African American Gospel Music Festival Set for Nov. 6

 African American Gospel Music Festival Set for Nov. 6

10/24/2011 

Six choirs, including the SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir and Cortland A Cappella, will raise their voices in celebration at the 26th SUNY Cortland African-American Gospel Music Festival on Sunday, Nov. 6, at the College.

The festival begins at 4 p.m. in Old Main Brown Auditorium. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for general admission. Proceeds support the Gospel Choir Scholarship and Programming Funds and the 2013 European Tour. SUNY Cortland’s Gospel Choir and Cortland A Cappella are a part of the College’s Africana Studies Department.

SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum will extend the welcome on behalf of the College.

Le Moyne College, directed by Burnell Reid, joins the lineup of guest choirs this year. Returning choirs are: Binghamton University Gospel Choir, directed by Denise Livermore, Shanice Hodge and Jessica Davis; SUNY Oswego Gospel Choir, with Robert Short as director; and Syracuse University’s Black Celestial Choral Ensemble, directed by Byron F. Canada.

Each choir will present two songs, one gospel and one a cappella. A mass choir, featuring all the choirs together, will serve as the finale. 

SUNY Cortland’s Gospel Choir will open the event with the following selections: “My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord,” by Orlando Draper; “Battlefield,” by Norman Hutchings; “Now Are We,” by Kayla Parker; and “Glorious,” by Marth Munizzi. Jason Carriero is the soloist for Battlefield. Mass choir selections will be “Faithful,” and “Oh Happy Day.”

Robert Brown, a SUNY Cortland adjunct instructor in Africana Studies, will direct Cortland’s Gospel Choir. Brown also teaches music at Blodgett Elementary School in Syracuse, N.Y., and serves as music director of the New Life Community Church in Syracuse. Choir musicians are Andy Rudy, keyboard, Benjamin Terry, percussion, and Reginald Siegler, bass guitar, all of Syracuse, and on alto saxophone, Jamie Yaman of Cortland.

Cortland’s Gospel Choir is supported by the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, the Alumni Affairs Office, the Cortland College Foundation, the Division of Student Affairs, the Offices of the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the student activity fee.

For more information, contact Distinguished Service Professor Samuel L. Kelley by email or at (607) 753-4104, or Distinguished Teaching Professor Seth Asumah by email or at (607) 753-2064.