The annual spring concert tour of Grinnell College’s Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir will feature performances in Ohio and Kentucky.

The choir will present one free public concert in Maysville, Kentucky, on Tuesday, March 21. The performance will start at 7 p.m. at Scott United Methodist Church, 118 East Fourth St.

The theme of this year’s tour is “Grateful for His Love,” which comes from “Be Grateful,” a choral work by Walter Hawkins that the choir will perform. The choir will also sing “Melodies from Heaven” by Kirk Franklin and “Revelation 19,” a traditional piece the choir has performed for many years.

Fourteen of the 30 members of the choir will be going on the tour, in addition to three musicians, Director Barry Jones, and Administrative Director and Adviser Michael D. Sims.

The choir also will give three private concerts at Ohio juvenile correctional facilities in Circleville, Highland Hills, and Massillon. These performances demonstrate the choir‘s commitment to social justice, community service, and educational opportunities. At each of the facilities, choir members will perform and spend time interacting with some of the residents.

The Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir originated at Grinnell College in 1967, when six black first-year students came together in the basement of Younker Hall to share a common and powerful experience: gospel music. The name of the choir was taken from a work titled To Be Young, Gifted, and Black by renowned African American writer Lorraine Hansberry.

The choir has evolved over the years and no longer has a bond of “cultural uniformity.” Instead, the choir includes members from different cultures, nationalities, and races, and this diversity makes the choir stronger. The one constant in the choir is the tradition of celebrating Black American Culture through gospel music.

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