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Livingstone College Gospel Choir to sing backup for Grammy-winning artists

Livingstone College

SALISBURY — Livingstone College Gospel Choir members are going to have to cut their Easter holiday short — but you won’t hear them complaining about it.

They are rehearsing every day next week to prepare for a very big performance. An opportunity of a lifetime. The highlight of their college singing career.

Livingstone College Gospel Choir will be the only choir accompanying each gospel recording artists in the Festival of Praise “Texture of a Man” Concert Tour on Friday, April 6, at 7 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Performing are Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune, Erica Campbell and Pastor Charles Jenkins.

The Livingstone Gospel Choir will sing backup for each performer and have had to learn 35 songs in just a little over two weeks.

“It’s been very exciting to the students because they know who these artists are,” said Pastor Christopher Gray, professor of the gospel choir at Livingstone College and campus pastor. “It’s an opportunity that a lot of people really don’t get. These are Grammy Award-winning artists.”

So how did Livingstone College get this opportunity?

Gray said a representative from Fred Hammond’s office contacted him about the Festival of Praise Tour and wanted to know if he could pull a choir together. Gray is familiar with a lot of gospel recording executives in the industry.

“I’ve got a choir for you and it’s a college choir,” Gray told the rep. And the rest is musical history.

Since that initial contact, which was mid-March, the choir has been busy practicing three times a week, going back and forth with the music execs on arrangements and modifications to songs, Gray said.

“The choir will be backing up all of the artists,” he said. Gray is calling rehearsal every day next week leading up to the April 6 event, though school is closed Monday due to the Easter holiday.

“God brings about things that He allows us to be a part of,” Gray said. “Sometimes he just throws things in your lap. This is one of those things. It wasn’t like we had to find this, it came to us. It’s really a blessing.”

The Livingstone College Gospel Choir will also be performing at other stops on the tour as well April 7-8.

For more information about the Festival of Praise, tour dates and how to get tickets, visit www.festivalofpraisetour.com. For more information on Livingstone College, visit www.livingstone.edu.

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