MIT Gospel Choir reunion, 2016

MIT Gospel Choir reunion, 2016
Photo: Febian Shah

MIT Gospel Choir members reunited at MIT in 2016, a 1974 photo displayed in the background. Members shown in foreground include: Samuel Nixon, Jr. '80 (far left); Emerson Yearwood '80 (3rd from left); Karl Reid ‘84, SM ‘85 (4th from left); Rosita Parker '75, SM '76 (center); Elaine Harris '78 (4th from right); and Cordelia Price '78, SM '82 (3rd from right).

Background image by Calvin Campbell/MIT News Office, courtesy MIT Museum, depicts MIT Gospel Choir performing on Killian, November 1974. Directing at right is Lee Allen '77, SM '94. Front row from left to right: Elaine Harris '78; Cordelia Price 78, SM '82; Yolanda "Jinx" Hinton '77; Wanda Mason '77; Mae White '75; Inez Hope '73, SM '75; and Celia Berry '78. Second row: Carolyn DisnewDorleena SammonsAnn JohnsonGloria BassLeigh Watlington '77; and Diana Waters '78. Third row: Charles Taylor '77; Austin Harton '79, SM '79, PhD '88; William "Bill" Gilchrist '77, MA/MAR/SM '82; Ricardo Hall (choir president and co-director); Jimmie Russell '77; and Gary Wilkes '74, SM/ '76. Not shown: Angela Chaney '76/'77.

Black students at the Institute have traditionally relied on faith and music for spiritual sustenance through the academic and social pressures of life at the Institute. The MIT Gospel Choir came together informally in 1971, when 10 undergraduates who “simply enjoyed singing to each other,” according to then choir president and co-director Ricardo Hall.

The choir members began singing traditional gospel, spirituals and hymns in local churches and at Christian fellowship services at the MIT Chapel. Their repertoire includes: The Way O Lord; Joy Joy; I've Come A Long Ways; Jesus Lover of My Soul?; God So Loved the World; All You Need and Soon Ah Will Be Done."

Today, the “GosCho” continues to be a diverse group, in age, ethnicity, and background, the members typically MIT undergraduate or graduate students. They host an on-campus concert at the end of each semester, with some additional performances at local churches or at MIT-sponsored events.

Timeline: 2010s
Life: MIT Gospel Choir
Career: Arts & HumanitiesCommunity
Object: Image
Collection: Faith, Music, Rising Voices 1995-Present, Students