Dr. William Powell and his wife Dr. Rosephanye Powell recently directed the College of Liberal Arts music department’s annual Spring Gospel Choir Concert at The City Church on April 17. The first half of the concert was a tribute to Dr. Edwin & Bishop Walter Hawkins, two of Gospel’s most profound recording artists of all time. Dr. Edwin Hawkins recorded the biggest Gospel record of all time, “Oh Happy Day”, in 1969. Together, the brothers have won numerous awards, nominations, and other achievements throughout their career. Bishop Walter Hawkins died last year from pancreatic cancer, and the Powells decided it was only right to have a dedication. Songs included: “Worship the Lord”, “Goin’ Up Yonder”, “Be Grateful”, “Changed”, and “Thank You Lord”. The atmosphere in The City Church was absolutely amazing and it was great to see everyone be on one accord. The Gospel Choir did justice to the Hawkins tribute.
The second half of the concert was praise and worship with songs from Donald Lawrence, Estee Bullock and Nathan McNair, Daniel Moore, Sr. and Daniel E. Moore II. Songs included: “Vuma”(Traditional South African song), “Encourage Yourself”, “Souled Out”, “Rain on Us”, and the closing song was Edwin Hawkins “Oh Happy Day”. The praise dancers danced throughout the concert to different songs, and the Powells even allowed the audience to come on stage to sing and dance with the Choir. The concert was truly phenomenal.
I have been a member of the AU Gospel Choir every semester except for this one. The choir is truly a family that has stuck together, and it felt so weird not performing with my family. I was even more surprised when the Powells presented me with my very own Gospel Choir plaque that was acknowledging my hard work and dedication to the choir. This brought tears to my eyes because it showed that even though I was not in choir this semester, that I was still a part of the “family”. Five other graduating Seniors were awarded as well. The AU Gospel Choir will always remain close to my heart, and I will be there for them whenever I can.