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Gospel Choir Concert at Calvin
November 1, 2005

This weekend gospel choirs from several Michigan colleges and universities will raise their combined voices at a free praise and worship concert at Calvin College.

The Calvin Gospel Choir was formed in the 1980s as a student organization. Since 1996 it has been under the direction of Calvin music professor Dr. Charsie Sawyer.

The concert - featuring choirs from Calvin, Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Hope College, Ferris State University, Western Michigan University and the University of Detroit-Mercy - will take place at 6 pm on Saturday, November 5 in the Fine Arts Center at Calvin (doors will open at 5 pm).

"My idea is to bring as many colleges as possible together to worship in one place," says Jermale Eddie, project coordinator for Calvin's multicultural student development office, which is sponsoring the event along with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, the college's Student Activities Office and the Lake Michigan Credit Union. "This is something that's happened in other Michigan colleges. But this is the first time it's coming to Calvin in a long time."

Eddie, himself a former tenor in the GVSU choir, coordinated the multi-choir concert last year at his home church, New Hope Baptist, working with his friend Wesley Morgan (also a former GVSU tenor), and the two joined forces to plan this year's event as well.

"Last year was standing room only," says Eddie.

Though each choir is scheduled to perform two to four numbers each, Eddie says the concerts sometimes can get a little free-form with regard to time.

He jokes: "There's never a time when these things end."

Eddie is hoping the upcoming concert will build Calvin's relationship with the community both within and beyond Grand Rapids.

"This is getting publicized in the Kalamazoo and the St. Jo-Benton Harbor area," he says. "I'm hoping that everybody will show up, across all racial barriers, because this is just part of kingdom building. I love unity and I love partnering with other colleges. And I'm excited to bring the community to Calvin."

He hopes too that the event builds another kind of relationship.

"It's not a concert to me," he says. "It's praise. It's worship and adoration."

~written by media relations staff writer Myrna Anderson