Faith, love and music

NATALIE BLOOM | STAFF REPORTER

Clowes Memorial Hall was full of life on Feb. 7 as the 26th Annual Gospel Fest took the stage.

Featuring a variety of local and professional performers, the festival exposed its audience to a range of powerful gospel hits.

Some of the pieces presented were joyful and upbeat, while others were more serious with slower tempos.

The concert featured Voices of Deliverance, Butler University’s own gospel choir, giving it the chance to perform for thousands.

Voices of Deliverance is just one example of the many groups supported by Butler’s Diversity Center, including the Black Student Union, Butler Alliance, Demia and Latinos Unidos.

“My favorite part of the concert is having the opportunity to be a witness to my faith and to minister with others,” sophomore member Tabitha Barbour described.

Barbour said the group has become great friends.

“It is always a good time when we sing together,” she said.

The concert gave Voices of Deliverance an opportunity to perform alongside professionals from around the country.

After a brief intermission, three renowned performers took to the stage.

Le’Andria Johnson, a Grammy and two-time Stellar Award winner, began, followed by Hezekiah Walker, a Grammy award-winning gospel singer, composer and choir leader.

The highlight of the evening was Fred Hammond, a gospel music producer, composer and vocalist.

Hammond has been in the professional gospel industry for more than 30 years. He said he currently enjoys aiding the careers of aspiring singers, producers and musicians.

“It was really great to have the opportunity to meet such talented artists one-on-one and be in the presence of their ministry,” Barbour explained.

“You hear them on the radio or on TV, so to actually meet them was really cool.”

The festival came at an appropriate time, with February being Black History Month.

There are many special events coming up in the next few weeks, including networking events, performances, lectures and film screenings.

A full calendar for Black History Month and all events sponsored by the Diversity Center can be found at the center’s website.

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