Gospel to go from 'steeple to stage' Benefit concert at WMC will feature choirs from Carroll and Baltimore

March 29, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Groups from Westminster, New Windsor and Baltimore will "take gospel from the steeple to the stage" at the Spring Gospel Extravaganza, a benefit concert for Common Ground on the Hill, at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Alumni Hall at Western Maryland College.

Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free.

The concert will feature Walt Michael & Company, the Union Street Gospel Jubileers, the Sisters in Harmony, the Strawbridge Ensemble, the Nichols Sisters and the Gospel and College choirs of Western Maryland College. A finale will feature all the performers, according to Mr. Michael, concert host and founder of Common Ground.

"You generally don't hear this kind of music outside of a church setting," he said. "This is a positive happening and we are going to be making some very good music."

The Gospel Jubileers, a 15-member group from Union Street United Methodist Church in Westminster, is directed by Eric Byrd, a music lecturer at WMC.

Also, Mr. Michael's group, a folk music ensemble that has performed in Baltimore, Washington and other areas of the country, will highlight some of its original works.

"It's a strong lineup," Mr. Michael said. "I'm not sure everyone knows the kind of talent we have right here in our own back yard."

The Strawbridge Ensemble is from Strawbridge United Methodist Church in New Windsor and the Sisters in Harmony is a four-member group from Carroll County and Baltimore.

The Nichols Sisters features three vocalists from New Windsor.

The WMC Gospel Choir is directed by Mr. Byrd. The WMC College Choir is directed by Margaret Boudreaux, who also directs the College's Madrigal Ensemble.

Common Ground on the Hill is a nonprofit arts and music center formed by Mr. Michael, a Western Maryland alumnus, in conjunction with the college to unite people through the arts.

The center sponsors concerts throughout the year and a summer institute featuring workshops on music, dance, visual arts and other topics, as well as a concert finale and a musical extravaganza in conjunction with Theatre on the Hill, a professional summer theater group in residence at the college.

Information: 857-2771 or 857-2772.

Pub Date: 3/29/96

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