Many have proclaimed music to be a “universal language.” It certainly is at Grambling State University.
On this previous Thursday, April 14, an Inaugural Musical Spectrum was held among several other inaugural events in honor of President Horace A. Judson. This momentous occasion was presented in the T.H. Harris Auditorium by the Department of Music. The Spectrum began with the GSU Wind Ensemble, directed by Charles Lacy and Malcolm Spencer, featuring the talented pianist Ransom McCoy.
Next, the Symphony Orchestra performed and included a solo with Jessica Judson, the president’s daughter.
“This was my mother’s idea, but I was happy to perform with the orchestra for my father,” explained Jessica.
“She was truly magnificent,” stated director Ye Tao. Sounds of jazz were indeed not overlooked. The Jazz Ensemble graced the audience with two original pieces, Blue Lodge and Elegant People, both arranged by director, Leroy Hawthorne Jr.
“They sound great,” said audience member Ulysses Johnson II, who had come to see his son perform. Like angels singing from the heaven, the talented GSU Choir sang from the balcony of the auditorium.
“I really thought they were angels,” suggested a woman from the audience.
“This was one of our best performances,” said Omar Armbrister. Based on the audience’s feedback, the GSU Show Band, directed by Dr. Larry J. Pannell, was probably the pinnacle of the evening. Starting with Chad Harry’s rendition of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, this band had the audience singing and dancing along with them. What is more, the crowd was left speechless when Tillunda Lawson sang Brenda Russell’s Get Here.
The Spectrum ended with exhibitions of rhythm and dance provided by the Orchesis Dance Company and Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity. When asked how he felt, the president replied, “Great! We plan to make this an annual event.” His wife, Mrs. Gail Shorter-Judson was quite pleased. “This university has so much talent. I wish more students would have been in attendance.”
“This is the type of activity every college student should experience,” insisted historian Thelma Smith-Williams. In short, the Inaugural Musical Spectrum was deemed highly successful and will be a continual collaborative effort with the Department of Music.