Renewed Citadel Gospel Choir performing during Black History Month
The Citadel Gospel Choir is making its return to performing in the Lowcountry by participating in three Black History Month performances. Join The Citadel Gospel Choir and Circular Congregational Church at the Jazz Vespers at 6p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12. It is a service that captures the freedom and improvisation of jazz in combination with worship. The church is located at 150 Meeting St. in Charleston. The service is free and open to all.
Later in the month, the choir will perform as part of the Friends of Daniel Library Black History Month celebration on Tues., Feb. 28 (time TBD). The renewed choir’s first public performance was on stage during the 19th Annual MLK Picture Awards at Charleston Music Hall.
Created in February 1988 by three cadets, the early Citadel Gospel Choir originally performed several times a month and most performances were done a capella. The choir has recently been revived and now has more than 15 new members.
“Our current choir president, Cadet Marcus Millhouse, has created a family environment at rehearsals which continues to encourage diversity and inclusion among cadets,” said volunteer and co-advisor to the choir, Momolu Cooper, who is a member of The Class of 2000 and was an original gospel choir member (seen center stage in photo). Cooper is part of a group of volunteers who worked together to reinvigorate the gospel choir. The group includes The Citadel Gospel Choir director and keyboardist, Rev. Rodney Barrinton (music director for Ebenezer AME Church), Nancy Lefter, the director of choral activities at the college, and Conway Saylor, Ph.D., director of service learning for The Citadel’s Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics.
The choir’s debut comes in conjunction with two pivotal milestones in the college’s history. In 1966, 50 years ago, a man named Charles D. Foster became the first African American cadet in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. In 1996, 20 years ago, Nancy Mace became one of the first female members of the Corps and the first woman to graduate in 1999.
Visit the Celebrating Citadel’s Diversity Milestones web room by clicking here.