The Grambling State University choir lifted spirits by sounding off as they performed Feb. 19 at Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe, Louisiana.
“We welcome everyone with open arms, there is a place for them, their voice, their talent and their time,” said GSU Choir Director Cordara Harper as the show opened.
The Choir wore their signature black and gold robes to fit the elegant scenery surrounding them. The performance began with the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” followed by a brief presentation of the history of the GSU Choir, which was established in 1947.
A Small Vocal Ensemble and Choir performed a mix of songs including “Wade in the Water” and “Striving After God.”
Sophomore Taylor Robateau recited the poem “Still I Rise” written by the great Maya Angelo. The performances were well-received by those in attendance and even had employees of the Museum recording with their phones.
The legacy of Grambling State University itself and the renowned work of those who served as Musical Director before him was not lost on Harper. During Black History Month, he looked back on those giants the GSU Choir currently stands on.
“When I think about my predecessors, and the shoulders that I stand on,” Harper said. “It makes me work extremely hard to maintain the tradition, the rigor, and the standard of excellence that has always been the foundation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
Harper described the process of joining the GSU Choir as more of a “conversation” and less of an audition.
He said applicants must be a student at GSU, which will make for the best experience for the student. Vocal exercises and expectations about what the opportunity can provide can be expected during that conversation.
For those looking to donate to the GSU Choir, there is a link on the GSU Foundation Advancement site, or they can contact Harper personally via his email which can be found on the university website.