Gospel choir sings at church event
Brittney Gardner, a psychology and criminal justice senior, performs with the MSU Gospel Choir’s miming team, Exuberant Praise, on Friday at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3383 Lake Lansing Road. The choir’s performance was part of “Worship 2010”, an event coordinated by St. Paul Lutheran Church and Worship International Church.
Swaying back and forth and clapping their hands in time, members of the MSU Gospel Choir moved to the music they sang Friday evening.
The choir was among several groups that performed at Worship 2010 at St. Paul Lutheran Church and Worship International Church, 3383 Lake Lansing Road.
The event was meant to inspire faith in attendees through music and prayers. Two saxophonists, a pianist and a drummer accompanied the choir.
“I think music reaches to our hearts, to our souls,” said Barb Paff, an East Lansing resident and church member who attended the event.
“It reaches people … across cultural lines. It brings us together.”
Gospel songs have roots in spirituals, said Sarae Barker, president of the choir and an education senior. She said as opposed to songs about relationships or fighting, gospel songs are focused on religion.
“The difference between gospel and other genres such as R&B and country western is that (gospel) focuses on the message of Jesus Christ and the good news of salvation,” Barker said. “The core of each gospel song is focused on that particular message and nothing else.”
Music is a way to express religious emotion and minister, said the Rev. Jacque McDaniel, a pastor with the church who helped organize the event.
“(Music) is only a vehicle,” he said. “Any way you can get the message across that you love Jesus and that you are a servant to the Lord — I think you’ve done something that’s good.”
During its performance, the choir worked to inspire listeners and educate them about the message of Christianity, Barker said.
“In anything that we do, we want people to feel uplifted,” she said. “We want them to come into the knowledge of Christ. He’s our helper, he’s loving, he’s eternal and loyal.”
McDaniel said the choir’s commitment helped them influence attendees.
“They didn’t just sing, they ministered and prayed for people in the congregation’s lives to be changed, to be different than when they came in,” McDaniel said. “They did exactly what they have been ordained to do and that is to change the lives of people towards God.”
The event was the choir’s first performance at the church. Paff said she was “especially looking forward” to their music.
“The music is great and it’s different from the kind of thing you normally hear,” she said. “There’s a little more — a lot more — action, although (it depends on the group).”
McDaniel said the choir’s music did more than entertain attendees.
“I think that people did not know how to react, they didn’t have a preprogram to the way they should react,” he said.
“(But they left) having a sense of being thoroughly ministered to, not entertained. … They witnessed true and pure ministry through song — through preaching of word through music.”