Group from Harlem will also teach gospel-style singing to local singers

The Harlem Gospel Choir brings its joyous foot-stomping, hand-clapping, dancing-in-the-aisles brand of music to MSUM’s Hansen Theatre Feb. 17, for the third event of the Cheryl Nelson Lossett Performing Arts Series. The choir has sung for Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, and with Bono, Lyle Lovett, The Chieftains, Diana Ross and many others. In December alone, the Choir performed in several cities in Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal.

Founded in 1986, the Choir is composed of singers and musicians from Harlem’s black churches and the New York/Tri-State area. The choir sings gospel and folk music, raises funds for children’s charities, and strives to improve understanding of the African-American culture and gospel music as it relates to the Black Church.

Earlier in the day, more than 150 local singers from high school, church and MSUM choirs will work with Harlem Gospel Choir to learn a gospel number. The Choir plans to invite singers who participate in the gospel workshop to join them on stage during the evening concert to sing the song they learned.

“There’s a strong choral music tradition in Fargo-Moorhead, but it’s not a gospel tradition,” says Rebecca Sundet-Schoenwald, managing director of the Series. “I’m interested to see and hear how our local singers respond. I know they’ll have a good time, but are they too reserved for this style? It will be fun to find out!”

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are available now and can be purchased online at www.mnstate.edu/perform or by calling the MSUM Box Office at (218) 477-2271 Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. The ticket website also provides links to information about all artists performing in the Series this season.

For more information, call Rebecca Sundet-Schoenwald at (218) 477-2178 or send her an email at sundetre@mnstate.edu.