Doane College To Host Gospel Festival

On Thursday Feb. 22, Doane College will welcome musical group "Elements of Worship" to campus for a gospel and African American spiritual music festival.

"Elements of Worship" includes students and alumni of Tennessee State University.

The festival will feature workshops and concerts in Doane's Communications Building, beginning with a 1 p.m. opening session and culminating with a 7 p.m. concert in Heckman Auditorium. The evening concert includes "Elements of Worship" and choirs from Doane College, Allon Chapel in Lincoln and area high schools.

Workshops from 2-5 p.m. will teach the history of spiritual and gospel music, vocal and instrumental techniques and the rhythm and feeling of music. All are open to the public. "[We're] trying to trace the roots of slave music all the way to contemporary gospel music," said the Rev. Karla J. Cooper, Doane chaplain and coordinator of service programs. "It will be included in one of the workshops as well as in the opening to set a historical framework for the day."

They will be taught by a variety of experts in the field, including a former music professor and instructor in the Kansas City, Kansas school district, members of "Elements of Worship", and representatives from Lincoln musicians.

Cooper said that the timing of the festival is fitting, as the college observes Black History Month in February.

"Gospel music is so integral to the African American culture," Cooper said. "It fits right in with the month as we celebrate the musical contributions of African Americans." 

The event is sponsored by Doane's Office of the Chaplain, Student Leadership and Department of Education, along with the Nebraska Department of Education.

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