Gospel Choir to ‘Send Up the Praise’ at Free Concert

Fundraising campaign seeks help with costs of the Nov. 2 event

The University of Mississippi Gospel Choir performs in Fulton Chapel. The choir is seeking contributions to help with its Nov. 2 concert through an Ignite Ole Miss campaign. The 6 p.m. concert at Tallahatchie-Oxford Missionary Baptist Association Building is free and open to everyone. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Every fall, the University of Mississippi Gospel Choir invites area community members to enjoy a night of fellowship and song performed by some of the most talented students on the Ole Miss campus.

The concert, set for 6 p.m. Nov. 2 at Tallahatchie-Oxford Missionary Baptist Association Building, is free and open to everyone.

However, while free to the public, the concert is not without costs. The students pay for the venue, print the programs, rent equipment, assist special musical guests with travel expenses and bear the burden of many other costs.

To help offset these expenses, Gospel Choir members have launched a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding site Ignite Ole Miss. The students ask prospective supporters to visit https://ignite.olemiss.edu/gospelchoir to make a gift of any size.

“The Gospel Choir’s fall concert celebrates the end of a semester of growth and showcases our talent and love of God,” said André Smith, chief of staff for the choir and a senior biology major from Tylertown. “We must live up to our Grammy nomination and use our voices, spirit and assets to thoughtfully impact our community.”

The UM Gospel Choir began in 1974. It remains the only college choir ever to be nominated for a Grammy in the gospel category, for its “Send Up the Praise” album, nearly 20 years ago.

Since then, choir members have performed regularly, representing the university at sporting events, holiday celebrations, chancellor’s residence events and public concerts across the state and the South. Students dedicate long hours of practice outside their academic responsibilities and also work to raise money to cover the choir’s operating expenses.

“The University of Mississippi Gospel Choir has been a pillar of student involvement and community for nearly 50 years,” said former choir member and adviser E.J. Edney, now UM director of inclusion and cross-cultural engagement.

“I am proof that the experiences students gain as members of the University of Mississippi Gospel Choir make a lasting impact. An investment in this choir and its work is an investment in a student experience that will keep students and community members connected to this great university.”

To find out more and contribute to the campaign, visit https://ignite.olemiss.edu/gospelchoir.