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The Amazing Tones of Joy return to WKU for spring 2024


More music fills the Hill with the return of  The Amazing Tones of Joy for the spring semester.

According to their Instagram, the Amazing Tones of Joy, also known as ATJ, was established on campus in 1971 as a singing fellowship for African-American students. The organization is a gospel choir open to anyone at WKU. 

Jala Maddox, senior elementary education major, said she joined the group because she grew up in church.

“My parents have always instilled God into me and the gospel to me, so I’ve been in gospel choir pretty much my entire life,” Maddox said.

Maddox now serves as the president of the group and has been a member for two years now.

“We are a family more than anything,” Maddox said.

As president, Maddox is in charge of finances, helping to pick songs for concerts and making flyers.

Maddox believes the group not only fulfills their musical abilities but also does something else important for campus by amplifying minority voices.

“We provide a platform for voices to be heard and celebrated,” Maddox said. “I feel like through the power of music our choir can create a sense of belonging, unity and empowerment for individuals from diverse backgrounds.”

Similarly, Shamaria “Missy” Woodard is a junior social work major who is a member of ATJ. She also joined the group due to her love of worship and has found many friends within the organization.

“When I first started ATJ, I was very shy and was new to campus,” Woodard said. “I ended up meeting a lot of great people with great vibes and it made me feel like I was at home.”

Additionally, Woodard encouraged members of the WKU community to join the group and said “we would love for you to minister with us.” 

Chia Diugu, a graduate student getting her masters in special education, serves as the secretary for the group. 

Diugu attested to the comfort participating in the group gives her.

“ATJ is a place where I feel comfortable being a Christian and worshiping God,” Diugu said.

Diugu also said that the group has both a regular advisor and a spiritual advisor. While the regular advisor helps the students with necessary organizational work, the spiritual advisor prays over them, Diugu said.

“We’re a wonderful choir with wonderful people,” Diugu said.

News Reporter Bailey Reed can be reached at [email protected].

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