Strong Tower lifts spirits at convocation

Strong Tower Gospel Chorale made its fall debut at Grambling State University’s Constitution Day Convocation, featuring author, civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory.Strong Tower is directed by Dr. Fredrick Pinkney, who arranges all of the group’s selections. The first song they sang was his rendition of the Negro National Anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

The crowd stood and sang along. Though the crowd seemed to really enjoy this selection, it was Pinkney’s rendition of “Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho” that brought them to their feet.

Although Strong Tower has served as the opening entertainment for many GSU concerts such as Sounds of Blackness, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Smokie Norful, this was the first time the group sang at a GSU convocation.

Pinkney said it was a great experience for the members to be able to share their gift in such a setting.

“All of the feedback has been positive and encouraging,” he said. “We look forward to doing more things for our beloved institution. There is a lot of good going on at Grambling. Strong Tower is one of those good things.”

Strong Tower was founded on January 24, 1995, on the campus of Grambling State University. Pinkney was one of the 38
charter members.

The organization was founded to provide college students with a wholesome, nourishing Christian environment and refuge; thus, its founding scripture Proverbs 18:10 – “The name of the Lord is a Strong Tower, the righteous runneth into it and is safe.”

“Many students are active in religious entities in their hometowns. Strong Tower serves as an outlet for students to continue in that practice while they are attending college,” said Pinkney.

Strong Tower’s mission statement is “through the medium of sacred music assist people to reach their fullest potential educationally, spiritually, emotionally, and economically.”

The group’s future performances include ministry activities in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Baton Rouge, Beaumont, Waco, Temple, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Memphis.

Pinkney said, “Additionally, (we) will be in concert with Keith Pringle for our fall concert this November. We will close out our fall schedule by serving as special guests with Leandria Johnson, winner of Sunday Best, who will be performing in Shreveport.”

Strong Tower is an award-winning group. They have won first place at the National BSU Choir competition in Atlanta. The competition performance can be viewed on YouTube: BSU 2010.