Students will perform at Gospel Celebration Concert

The 27th annual event hosts student singers and special guests.

Sarina Grossi, Editor-in-Chief

Music is an inherently human trait, with generations upon generations of people passing on the art. The division of vocal and choral activities in the Los Medanos College Music Department is keeping the instinctual tradition of music alive with the upcoming virtual 27th Annual Gospel Celebration Concert on Saturday, May 7 at 7 p.m.

The celebration will spotlight the LMC Virtual Gospel Choir, directed by LMC professor Silvester Henderson. Local guests also include the University of California, Berkeley’s Young Inspiration Gospel Choir, LMC Gospel Caravans, LMC Nu School, Jeffery Scott Sr. and Randi Brooks as well as LMC Chamber Chorale.

The theme for this year’s concert is “Gospel and Grime Music: Creative Unifiers that Support Students of Color,” honoring the old genre of gospel and the newer genre of grime, the U.K.’s response to American hip-hop. The concert will feature Dr. Monique Charles, a grime music researcher and scholar as well as a cultural sociologist at the University of West London, as a motivational speaker.

“Dr. Monique Charles is a World Acclaim Research Scholar. She has shown how many of the music elements found in Black Gospel Music are also found in London’s Version of America’s Hip Hop—Grime Music,” said Henderson.

Another special guest is James Monroe Iglehart, a Tony award-winning actor on Broadway known for his performance as the Genie in “Aladdin.” Henderson expresses excitement to perform with “musical legends” like Iglehart.

Though the concert is virtual, Henderson said that “online concerts that feel and look like you are sitting in an actual concert hall.” Richard Hayes, an LMC alumni and vocalist, is excited to work in the virtual space.

“I look forward to the faces of the people as they watch the concert. When we have performed live, there is the connection of people and music in real-time,” said Hayes. “Now I can simulate that while on Zoom.”

Music is the foundation of life. It is the voice of society!”

— Silvester Henderson

While the campus still adjusts to in-person events, performing arts programs like the music department are working to spread the joy of music during uncertain times.

“All aspects of life are demonstrated through the arts,” said Henderson. “Music is the foundation of Life. It is the Voice of Society!”

Hayes agrees with Henderson, adding that students should enroll in LMC music classes to experience the rewarding prospects of performing arts.

“I think everybody should attend not only the concert but also our music classes at LMC,” said Hayes. “It means so much to us to have you there. Music is our gift to you and your presence is a gift to us.”

The doors to the Zoom room where the concert takes place open at 6:15 p.m. and admission to the event is free. To access the concert, click here and use the password “music” to enter. If you have any questions regarding the concert, contact Henderson through his email [email protected] or by phone at (925) 565-6107 or (925) 400-7383.