Voices of Soul showcases new director


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It’s certainly a different version of the ABCs — each letter soulfully drawn out to an R&B melody by an expressive and poignant choir.

This is the warm-up for UI’s gospel choir, Voices of Soul.

The group’s fall concert will take place on Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. in the IMU second-floor ballroom, and it will be the first concert under new director Cymaron Dawson. UI graduate student and president of the group LaShawn Bacon had only good things to say about the group’s new director.

“[Dawson] is a great musical artist, and he brings a really great energy to the group,” she said. “He brings in musicians just to help the choir, just to better our sound and our quality … And he’s really challenged us to excel musically.”

Gospel music has always been a part of Bacon’s life. Her father was a church deacon and persuaded her to start singing at age 9. When she attended Albany State University in southwest Georgia, the gospel choir there became her church. Now, she is happy to be a leader of Voices of Soul.

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“It’s fascinating to be involved in an organization that has graduate and undergraduate students,” she said. “You get a chance to work with a variety of students as well as people from the community and from many different areas. I appreciate that aspect of just working with a diverse group of students and people.”

Bacon said its wide assortment of members separates Voices of Soul from other on-campus organizations.

“Gospel choir is for people from all walks of life,” she said. “Anyone who has the passion to sing and a love for music is welcomed.”

Voices of Soul will celebrate its 40th anniversary next spring. Bacon said the ensemble has been staying busy with performances including an upcoming holiday concert on Dec. 5.

Sunday’s show will also include performances from PBJ and Christ Chosen, Sam Mack and Friends, Karisma Spruell, Dance Ministry, and the Living Waters Kingdom Church Praise Team.

Anthony Pulliam, an undergraduate student and the vice president of Voices of Soul, has been singing for 10 years and been a part of the ensemble for three years. He agreed with Bacon that he views Voices of Soul as more than a choir, it is a community.

“It’s a place to escape and to express myself,” he said. “It gives students an opportunity to express themselves with relation to God. I think that’s what separates Voices of Soul from the regular choir.”

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