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United Voices brings praises and HOWLelujahs

By Adeeja Anderson
On September 13, 2012

Rapture practice! Thank you Jesus! Get fired up for the Lord! These are some of the common exclamations you might hear while attending a gospel choir concert, and the gospel-singing group United Voices knows how to get the room rocking and get feet stomping.
This organization started as the Black Student Association Choir in 1969. Overtime, the name was changed to the current name, the United Voices. The group has been performing as the United Voices for 40 years. The fellowship has been recognized locally, socially and even politically.

The president, Michelle Byrd, a senior music education major of Pine Bluff, said I really love United Voices because its made of many people. You learn yourself from different people. Its free and fun. Newcomer Jameika Hearn, a junior psychology major of Byhalia, Miss., said Everyone is really nice. They are welcoming and broke the ice. They make you feel so not like the new person.

The point of the ministry is to create an opportunity of diversity and spreading the word about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Of course, singing and socializing play major parts. The big picture is speaking through song so that it can be a blessing to someone else. There has, and still is, a big vision to be seen from this choir.

The ministry isnt just about performing but also practicing what is preached. Its about living up to the name United Voices, doesnt matter about the race.

Just working with them helps me be a better musician. The atmosphere is good, you are not alone, we walk together, said musical director Aaron Fisher, a senior music composition major of Memphis, Tenn.

Past events consist of spring concerts in which the group performed with big gospel artists such as Myron Butler, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Vincent Tharpe & Kenosis. One of their biggest accomplishments was the United and Worship spring concert, which involved people not only listening to the songs, but also participating.

Upcoming events include the Praise in the Park event in 2013. This get together will be filled with not only worship, but food, games and more. Also, save the date for a concert later this year involving other campus organizations such as the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and Still Water, the BCMs worship band.

A two year member, Victor Cobbs, a junior criminology major of Marianna, plays the bass guitar in the ministry group. Its a positive place. It encourages me to at least try to live my life right. This is where I get my practice in, Cobbs said.

Rehearsals are every Tuesday from 6:30 - 8:15 p.m. The practices are held in the commons area of NorthPark Quads.

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