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Gospel choir rejoices in the spirit

Junior soprano Teresa Beardsley, sophomore soprano Rochelle Rose and sophomore tenor Paolo Kespradit are all part of La Verne’s Gospel Choir, which held an informal performance in the Chapel Tuesday. James Calhoun, assistant professor of music, offered the concert to promote the choir and bring gospel music to the University community. / photo by Brittney Slater-Shew

Junior soprano Teresa Beardsley, sophomore soprano Rochelle Rose and sophomore tenor Paolo Kespradit are all part of La Verne’s Gospel Choir, which held an informal performance in the Chapel Tuesday. James Calhoun, assistant professor of music, offered the concert to promote the choir and bring gospel music to the University community. / photo by Brittney Slater-Shew

Ingrid Rodriguez
Staff Writer

A small audience gathered to hear the University of La Verne Gospel Choir sing songs of worship in the University chapel Tuesday.

The gospel choir was made of three altos, three sopranos and one tenor.

“They’re small but they’re mighty,” Assistant Professor of Music and Choir Director James Calhoun said.

Sophomore communications major Rochelle Rose began the concert with a prayer.

Calhoun then said that the performance would be informal and the gospel choir members were going to give a sense of what they worked on this past semester.

“They’re fantastic,” Calhoun said. “They have accomplished a lot in one semester.”

“Total Praise,” was the first song that was performed, which echoed in the chapel.

This song was filled with a lot of emotion that was shown through the passion seen on the performers’ faces. Calhoun sang along at the end of the song to serve as the bass.

“I want (the choir) to grow,” Melissa Molinaro, alto and sophomore liberal studies major, said. “If it could be bigger, that’d be better.”

Paolo Kespradit, tenor and sophomore music major, sang a solo in the next song that was called “Use Me Lord.”

The song started quiet and sweet but became louder when the women entered with a beautiful melody.

Kespradit was the only man in the choir and had a strong voice that projected strongly throughout the room.

“(Being the only man in the choir) is hard but at the same time it challenges me as a performer,” Kespradit said.

Throughout the performances the choir would do part-singing, which means each vocal group sings different words and notes at the same time.

The next song performed was “My Love, My Life, My All.” This song began calm and remained soft and slow throughout the performance.

“If (the song) didn’t have the word ‘Lord’ in it, it would sound like a song for a man and woman,” Calhoun said.

“Shout Glory” was the next song. Calhoun told everyone to get ready with their claps and the audience certainly was by creating rhythm throughout the upbeat song.

Rose had some short solos and made sure to sing them with plenty of emotion.

“It’s one thing to sing the notes, but you need a sense of what you’re singing,” Calhoun said.

The last song the gospel choir performed was “Revelation 19.” The song was calm and slower than the rest.

“This is a really good year,” Teresa Beardsley, soprano and junior theater major, said. “Even though this is smaller, the people are more focused.”

Ingrid Rodriguez can be reached at ingrid.rodriguez@laverne.edu.

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