‘Gospel Explosion’ brings various choirs

Megan Engle

As students were walking up the Hill toward Garrett Ballroom Sunday evening, beautiful melodies and lyrics could be heard floating out the open windows.

Music was being made during the “Gospel Explosion.”

Choirs from all across the state came to blend their voices in perfect harmony, including the Jubilation Community Mass Choir, the University of Louisville’s Black Diamond Gospel Choir, HYPE Ministries, MGMC, Liturgical Dance: Semone Alleyne and The Bakers.

Amazing Tones of Joy, which was celebrating its 32nd anniversary, started getting the audience on its feet, swaying left and right to the beat of the music. Some members of the audience even sang along with the choir while raising their hands toward the sky.

Pastor Ed Hays of Nashville, who has a daughter in Amazing Tones of Joy, attended the concert.

“The energy level is high. I love it amongst young people,” Hays said. “It shows that there are other alternatives.”

Every choir sang deep from the soul, and the emotion sent from the voices of all choir members filled the room. Some audience members could be seen dancing in their seats and in the aisles, while others simply sat peacefully in their seats meditating to the music.

“This is awesome, they praise God so what else can you say!” said Fort Wayne, Ind., sophomore Trisha Nailor.

Nailor said the performance from U of L’s Black Diamond Gospel Choir was truly inspiring.

Memphis, Tenn., freshman Cameron Yancy, a member of Amazing Tones of Joy, said he saw the Tones perform during MASTER Plan. The performance hooked him, he said.

“I love to sing,” Yancy said. “I love the Lord, and they represent both in the right way.”

As the concert continued, the energy never subsided. “Amens!” bounced off the walls, and “Hallelujahs!” were shouted.

“It’s a very positive message,” Bourbon County junior Steven Livingood said. “I haven’t found a church I like down here, but I like Gospel music, so I came to this.”

HYPE Ministries sent a male trio, and the Jubilation Community Mass Choir, in black and white costumes with members ranging from grade schoolers to elders, filled the entire stage.

The audience became a part of the show when a member of Amazing Tones of Joy shouted back and forth with them, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”

Louisville junior Sharnicka McMurry, a member of Amazing Tones of Joy, said that the event was a blessing.

“It is off the chain,” she said. “The choirs have been doing their thang, and the Lord really is in this place today.”

Reach Megan Engle at [email protected]