Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, MI, presented Harlem Gospel Choir in January 2012.
This Performing Arts Fund—supported engagement featured a public performance and vocal workshop with college choir students. The Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) is a premier cultural facility in northern Michigan offering a dynamic array of exhibitions and programs in the visual arts, sciences, and performing arts. The center features three changing exhibit galleries and an elegant sculpture court; a unique hands-on Discovery Gallery and a renowned Inuit Art Gallery; and the acoustic delight of Milliken Auditorium. In 2000, the center was recognized by ArtServe Michigan with the Governor’s Award for Arts and Culture.
The Harlem Gospel Choir has traveled the globe for 26 years, presenting the finest singers and musicians from black churches in Harlem and the New York area. Through its performances, the choir strives to create a better understanding of the African-American culture and gospel music. While in Traverse City, the choir spent an hour and a half with 45 NMC choir members as part of a vocal workshop. The Harlem Gospel Choir performed for the students and then taught the students a gospel song in three-part harmony, touching upon gospel dynamics and nuances of the genre as they worked with the students, who were also invited to sing the song they learned with the Gospel Choir during the public performance. The NMC choir director and the choir members were thrilled with the experience and opportunity.
The evening concert was presented to a sold-out, overflow audience, who rose to their feet when the choir came to the stage and spent more than 50% of the concert on their feet clapping, swaying, and dancing to the music. It was a powerful evening of intense and emotional singing, and both the evening audience and the college choir workshop participants are asking Dennos Museum Center to bring the Harlem Gospel Choir back for a return engagement.
“The Performing Arts Fund makes it possible to bring more high quality performances and workshops that are otherwise too expensive for us to do on our own. It makes a difference in what we are able to offer on our season.” — Dennos Museum Center staff
This engagement was a Star Project that provided access to an underserved geographic location.