Gospel choir sets ‘Souls on Fire’

November 4, 2010

by Naomi Allison, Staff Reporter

More than 50 students gathered to worship, pray and sing popular spiritual songs as Tech’s “Souls on Fire” Gospel Choir collaborated with other choirs from Monroe, Grambling and Shreveport to present its Annual Fall Musical.

The event consisted of diverse musical guests such as the Entourage Performing Arts Music Group, Minister Seane Kelley and Victory, Instruments of HIS Praise, Ministry of Dance and recording group Pastor Dwayne Taylor & the Taylor Crew and lasted 6:30-10 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Student Center, Second Floor.

Melanie Walker, director of the “Souls on Fire” Gospel Choir, said the event was a success because each of the choirs that performed put a lot of energy and enthusiasm into its performances.

“It’s inspiring because most of the performers are college students,” she said. “They could be spending their time doing other things, but they chose not to do. Instead, they’re doing something positive.” 

Walker, who is also a member of international music fraternity for women, Sigma Alpha Iota, said she invited the Church of Champions, because their unique sound and all female members appealed to her.

“I wanted to have this group participate because they have a pure passion about their worship and invest so much time into what they do,” she said. “They could have taken their gift (singing) and used it elsewhere, but they decided to use it here, which is a blessing.”

Lateisha Edwards, president of the “Souls on Fire” Gospel Choir and a junior electrical engineering major, said the event exceeded her expectations.

“I felt the presence of the Lord in the place, and could tell that people were enjoying it just from the way they were clapping, jumping up and down and the looks on their faces,” she said. 

Edwards said her favorite part of the night was watching Shamara Johnson from the Ministry of Dance perform a spiritual dance to Earnest Pugh’s “Rain on Us,” an emotional ballad that encouraged people to lean on God’s shoulder for support in the midst of chaos.

“I loved watching her dance because I can relate to the lyrics,” she said. “It was amazing to watch her take those words, capture the emotion of the song and transform it into a dance.”

Walker said her experience as a choir member allowed her to see directing from a different perspective and make her choir stronger.

“When I was a member of a choir, I got to learn about different music styles, people’s motives and their taste in music,” she said. “However when I became a director, I was able to take everything I learned and make it my own. From there, all I had to do was find people who had a strong drive and were willing to learn.”

Walker said she hoped the choir would continue to expand and grow before “Save the Date,” an event where the gospel choir will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

“I feel God has called me to teach this diverse group of students who love God and enjoy singing,” she said. “I hope that our music will continue to challenge people to bring about changes in their lives.”

E-mail comments to nsa008@latech.edu.