SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The Livingstone College Gospel Choir commanded the stage at the Festival of Praise concert tour at the Greensboro Coliseum April 6.
The choir enthusiastically sang backup for national gospel recording artists Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune, Erica Campbell and Charles Jenkins.
The choir first entered the stage wearing all black and later in the concert, the choir changed into blue jeans and black shirts – how fitting since the Blue Bears' colors are black and blue.
The Livingstone College Gospel Choir was the only choir accompanying each gospel recording artists in the Festival of Praise's "Texture of a Man" Concert.
The concert weaved in skits between performances that explored situations in which men are confronted with today, particularly highlighting their relationships with women.
"Texture of a Man is about the inside of the gladiator, the warrior," said McClurkin. "It's about men who are afraid of rejection, who have failed at relationships; men who give biblical instructions but can't take that advice for themselves; it's about men who don't know how to use the word 'help.'"
After the concert, the choir was able to meet and mingle with Fred Hammond and take a photo with him backstage.
"It's all surreal," said one Livingstone student as choir members recapped their experience after the show.
Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr. attended the concert with his wife, Dr. Faleese Moore Jenkins. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these students. This is a night they will never forget," he said.
Pastor Christopher Gray, professor of the Livingstone College Gospel Choir, said this type of exposure is great for the choir, which will soon be releasing its first album.
It was Gray's connections that landed the choir the opportunity. A representative from Fred Hammond's office contacted him about the Festival of Praise Tour and wanted to know if he could pull together a choir.
"I've got a choir for you and it's a college choir," Gray told the rep. The choir learned 35 songs in two weeks to prepare for the concert.
To view videos of the choir's performances, visit www.livingstone.edu.