CSUN Gospel Choir records debut album

Saharra White

The CSUN Gospel Choir held its first annual gospel-recording concert May 4. More than 400 people came out to the three-hour concert, which began at 7:30 p.m. The choir decided to record the concert after choir member Charles Jones came up with the idea.

“I believe that the Lord put it in his heart to put this together. He composed most of the songs,” said Jia Smith, senior biology major and choir member.

The concert started out with a prayer, which was followed by a song of praise and worship by the Hope’s House Impact Team. The concert also included performances by the Living Praise Dancers, as well as members from the Cal State L.A. Gospel Choir.

“As one of the several ministries on campus, we believe our main job is to touch people and win lives over to Christ,” said Briaune Knighton, a junior journalism major and choir member.

Knighton, who has been part of the choir for the last two years, said her favorite song of the gospel concert was “I Read.”

Recording Friday nights concert meant the choir ” could not only reach out to those people that were present, but also reach those that weren’t there through the CD, and possibly help someone who needed to hear the messages that went out through our songs,” Knighton said.

Hip-hop soul artist JaMal made all the audience members get up out of their seats when he got up on the stage. JaMal performed songs from his CD “JaMal Soul Therapy.” “Wit It,” one of JaMal’s hip-hop songs, had audience members holding their fist in the air.

James Darby IV, freshman biology major, said being part of the choir was a “great experience so far.” Darby didn’t have a particular favorite song performed during the concert. He said, “there are a couple I really like, but I kind of feel all of them.”

“Not many schools have gospel choirs,” Smith said. “It’s a blessing for me to be around other people my age who are worshiping and praising the Lord.”

Smith described her experience with the gospel choir simply by saying “I love it.”

“It feels really good to know that we came such a long way,” said Kamili Mitchell, a senior business management major and choir leader. “We accomplished something so big that is going to go down in history.”

The students have been practicing for months for the concert, sometimes rehearsing two times a week. The debut CD is expected to be available next semester for purchase.

The CSUN Gospel Choir routinely performs at different campus events. Last month the choir participated in the eighth annual African American Music Festival, which was hosted by CSUN’s African American Music Association.

At the end of this month, the choir will be participating in the Black Graduation ceremony on May 27. Students still have time to get a sneak preview of what to expect from the choir’s debut CD before it goes on sale in the Fall.

The gospel choir’s debut CD “Promise,” was recorded live at the Living Praise Christian Center in Chatsworth.