Music lovers tune into the 28th Annual Gospel Celebration

Virtual concert centered around “looking back”


Jaden Fortier

Screenshot of a band playing their song.

Jaden Fortier, Staff Writer

Lovers of gospel music and students of Professor Silvester Henderson’s music class came together to listen and watch the 28th Annual Gospel Celebration Virtual Concert at 7 p.m. on May 6.

Marking the third year in a row that the concert was hosted on Zoom, a change that has stood since the COVID-19 pandemic began three years ago. The Zoom link was posted on the LMC calendar and admission was free for all to get into Henderson’s Zoom room.

Henderson is the director of vocal and choral studies, along with being the coordinator of LMC’s piano studies area, and directing every gospel celebration at LMC since he was hired full-time in 1994.

The theme for this year was “Looking Back” as the celebration looked back on decades of urban music, higher education and artistry in academics.

There was an array of performances from students and special guests, all of who recorded their renditions of gospel songs at their own homes, with those videos added to a compilation and played in a slide-show format. 

These performances were highlighted by the LMC Gospel Choir, LMC Nu School, LMC Local Celebrity Vocalists Carel Bussey, Kadesta Prothro-Harris and Richard Hayes and Artists in Residence Angelo Luster and duet duo Casey and Erica Pringle. The concert also featured footage from past LMC gospel celebrations that took place in 1997, 2014 and 2019.

Attendees in the audience would comment with words of encouragement and appreciation in the chat after each song performed.

Since this celebration was centered around looking back, a large portion of the concert featured a showing of a pre-recorded interview of Henderson as he reflected on his time at LMC pushing forward gospel music. Henderson was interviewed by Dr. Ameer Thompson, Dean of Science and Technology at Cañada College. During this video, Henderson talked about the “wonderful career” he’s had at LMC and expressed gratitude for having these gospel celebrations every year.

“The gospel celebration is used as a tool to bring the community together,” he said.

One thing Henderson is most proud of is how the celebration has gained so much traction over the years that gospel artists known around the world want to take the time to perform at these concerts.

“To reach such a level of notoriety that these famous artists want to come and perform is quite an honor,” said Henderson.

Henderson’s goal is to reach at least 30 years of the event and hopes that the 29th and 30th annual gospel celebrations can be held back on campus.

Those who missed the concert can view it on Henderson’s YouTube Channel “Professor Man.”