GTCC FORMS FIRST GOSPEL CHOIR
The choir will feature both students and members of the community
By Jana Carver
Guilford Technical Community College has created the college’s first community gospel choir, consisting of students and members of the Guilford County community.
The vision for starting a choir began almost a year ago with Dr. Quentin Johnson, GTCC’s vice president of Student Support Services. Now that vision has become a reality, which Johnson hopes will bring more awareness to the greater community about all that GTCC offers as well as open doors to potential students who want to pursue an education.
“It’s not just a gospel choir,” Johnson said. “It’s a community, … with the focus on bringing current students and members of the community together to hopefully, through this experience, spread the word about GTCC and all the good things that are going on from Basic Skills, to GED, to our transfer programs.”
Right now, the choir is in its infancy, but Johnson said he can see it becoming a world-class choir and has big plans for its success. For example, donations raised by the choir will go toward a scholarship fund that will assist students in continuing their education. In addition, Johnson would like the choir to make a recording, with the proceeds going toward funding scholarships as well.
“Our mission is to provide educational opportunities for Guilford County and the community. … There’s no better connection between the college and the community than to bring people together for a common purpose: to support our students,” Johnson said.
Michael Hughes, chief disciplinary officer at GTCC, shares Johnson’s vision and has helped spearhead this project with the hope that the choir will inspire people.
“Music is a powerful force in terms of uniting people, in terms of motivating people, in terms of inspiring people,” Hughes said. “ … If we can use that and it move people toward education, then that would be great; that’d be an achievement.”
Hughes, who has a master’s in ministry from Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, Pa., believes that combining the diverse student body at GTCC with the Guilford County community makes the choir unique.
“We don’t know of another community college in the country that’s doing what we’re doing here, so this is going to be special,” Hughes said.
The choir will perform at GTCC ceremonies, such as commencement, and may even visit local churches and participate in community events to make more connections throughout Guilford County.
“The vision of being a world-class choir gives the opportunity for people to be a part of something significant, and for people to find an opportunity to use their gifts, for people to be able to join a group to make an impact that they would never have been able to make on their own,” he said.
Craig Campbell, who has been the minister of music at Redeeming Love Word Ministries in High Point for almost a decade, will serve as the choir’s director. He said he’s excited to be involved and believes that the choir will bring hope to everyone who participates.
“I’m looking forward to the experience of getting people together, getting the voices together, … really enjoying the music and fellowship,” he said. “We’re bringing something different for the community. … We want all types of cultures and ethnicities — not just one. That’s going to be the difference.”
Campbell hopes to eventually incorporate other forms of worship into the choir, such as miming, dance, spoken word, and even Broadway works.
He said he foresees the choir growing into a variety of art disciplines “coming together and doing different things around gospel.”
The choir currently meets 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Mondays in room 041 in Medlin Campus Center on GTCC’s Jamestown Campus, 601 E. Main Street. For more information, contact Michael Hughes at 336-334-4822, ext. 50572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— August 31, 2016