By Cole Stevens

The Gospel Choir performed their first concert of the semester in celebration of Grammy award nominee American Gospel musician Richard Smallwood in Munson Chapel on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The event included two videos of Smallwood and eight songs, each of which paid tribute to Smallwood’s legacy.

Senior music and worship major Jordan Rodrigues said he attended the concert to support a few of his friends who were performing.

“I thought it was great. It’s really cool to see people of all different races and backgrounds [performing],” Rodrigues said. “That’s one of the cool things about APU.”

Junior psychology major Jessica Brown, president of the Gospel Choir and third year choir member, said she was looking forward to the show despite pre-performance nerves.

“I wasn’t sure that we were going to be ready and then after today’s rehearsal, I felt we were going to be fine,” Brown said. “I was actually just really excited to get started and have our first concert of the year.”

Brown said she auditioned for Gospel Choir as a freshman and liked the diversity of the group. She said the choir has been working and preparing for the showcase since the beginning of the school year.

“I think because Richard Smallwood is such a [good] musician, his songs are very vocally complex and so [learning the songs] in a short amount of time made it really hard to learn and perfect and do in a respectable way of the work he did,” Brown said. “I think that was the hardest part, but I think we pulled it off pretty well.”

Senior double major in music and worship and nursing Lindsay Seok performed alongside senior psychology major Camille Smith. This is Seok’s first year in Gospel Choir, which she said she joined because she grew up listening to gospel music.

“[I wanted] to try something new and something different,” Seok said. “I was definitely nervous and a little excited.”

Seok said her favorite part of the show was Seulki Hong’s solo, a song of Psalm 8.

“That song resonated the most with me,” said Seok.

The Gospel Choir’s upcoming performances will be on Nov. 6 at Glendora Community Church from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m, and Dec. 10 at Munson Chapel 6 p.m.-8 p.m.