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Black Gospel Ensemble receives praise

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When you attend a performance by MSU’s Black Gospel Ensemble (BGE), you’ll listen to uplifting melodies and lyrics sung with a passion that reflects its spiritual nature.

When the Black Gospel Ensemble first formed 44 years ago, it was as an African-American Bible study group and later evolved to incorporate black gospel and negro spirituals along with contemporary worship and praise music.

The student-run organization was given its first director in 2006 when Dr. Roosevelt Escalante, assistant director of choral activities, joined the group. Now, BGE has become one of the most visible groups on campus, an active music ministry that averages 20 performances a year. They sing at various campus and community functions and tour yearly to perform at churches and musical events in both the South and the Midwest.

BGE has received recognition for its musical efforts and positive influence. The Kentucky General Assembly recently recognized the group for its commitment to service and performance. In May, BGE was named a featured choir by College Gospel Choirs, a top news source for college and university gospel choirs around the world.

Escalante said one of the great things about BGE is that it is one of the most diverse groups on campus, with African-American, Latino, Caucasian and international students. They can come from the inner city or the Appalachian Mountains, but they find a common ground at BGE that forges unbreakable bonds among their fellow singers.

Another point of pride for the BGE is how it has affected its members academically. Escalante said the group has a nearly 100 percent success rate for graduation. Part of the reason is that BGE gives students an outlet to not only express themselves creatively and musically, it also provides a release for the stresses their college and personal lives can bring.

MSU’s Black Gospel Ensemble upholds a tradition of excellence and a commitment to service to the University and the community as it tries to reach people one note at a time.


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