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October  22, 2010

Augustana launches gospel choir; nationally recognized gospel musician to direct

Celebration, the Augustana gospel choir, will present its inaugural concert on Sunday, October  24, at 4 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall inside Denkmann Memorial Building (3520 7th Ave.). The director is Dr. Keith Hampton, a nationally recognized gospel musician and composer. The concert is free and open to the public.

            The concert is the first for the newly created choir and will present gospel and traditional spiritual works by Hampton, Ysaye M. Barnwell (of Sweet Honey and the Rock), Kurt Carr, Israel Hougton, V. Michael McKay, Verolga Nix and Rosephanye Powell.

            "The concert will be the most fun you have ever had at a choir concert," said Larry Peterson, campus ministries director of music and organ instructor. "Even if gospel music is not your music of choice, there is no way you will leave the concert unaffected by what you have just experienced."

            Hampton is the president of Dr. K.T. Productions, Inc., which provides music transcriptions of black gospel music. As a published composer, his arrangements of spirituals and gospel songs can be found at Augsburg Press, Earthsongs Publications and Hinshaw Music. Hampton's composition Praise His Holy Name is among the most popular pieces to be performed by choirs.

            Peterson will accompany the choir on piano and keyboard, along with Jeff Chin '11 on bass and Chase Matzinger '14 on drums.

            "I know that the students involved have already experienced Keith's unending energy and joy of life and his pursuit of excellence as well as deep spiritual understanding and commitment to the message of the music," added Peterson. "I would like to have the students come away with something they can hold on to for the rest of their lives that will give them joy in living and strength in tough times."

Sam Schlouch
Manager, Arts Events and Communication
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu