Kean Gospel Choir sets out to win two years in a row
By Jennifer Padilla | Published April 7, 2017
The Kean University Gospel Choir (KGC) has been selected, for the second year in a row, as a finalist in this year’s McDonald’s Gospelfest.
The McDonald’s Gospelfest will be held at Newark’s Prudential Center on Saturday, May 13.
“I am ecstatic about the McDonald’s Gospelfest,” said Rochanda Fegins, a graduate student in the English Masters program at Kean University, as well as a member of the KGC. “Th is is my first time being able to experience this with people who I now consider to be like family on campus.”
The KGC, which consists of 15-25 dedicated members, was re-established in 2011.
According to Imani Walker, a Public Relations officer for the choir, the KGC was not fully known on campus until it was selected for the McDonald’s Gospelfest last year; due to the choir restarting and being fairly new on campus.
During last year’s McDonald’s Gospelfest, the KGC won first place in the adult category against six other choirs, including Montclair State University Gospel Choir, which had won first place in 2015.
Thereafter, the KGC was featured on Fox 5 “Good Day Street Talk”, a public affairs show that focuses on social, economic and educational issues in the tri-state area.
The choir has now performed at many campus events; including “Balling for Breast Cancer” hosted by Pan African Student Union (PASU) , “Kean’s Gospel Fest” hosted by the Haitian Student Association (HSA) as well as many other events.
McDonald’s Gospelfest this year will feature grammy award-winning gospel artists such as Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton, Erica Campbell, Hezekiah Walker and others.
Throughout the years, some participants of the event, including Hezekiah Walker, known for his hit song “Every Praise” have moved on to have successful careers as gospel artists.
Th is event has been around since 1983 and was created to benefit education within the local communities, according to the McDonald’s NY tri-state area website. Millions of dollars have been awarded in scholarships by The New York Metro McDonald’s owner/operator association.
“The future goal is to continue encouraging believers in their walk in Christ,” said Walker.
Gospel music, which is deeply rooted in the rich traditions of the African-American church, is a form of spreading the ideals of Christianity in the form of music. However, there are no specific race, knowledge of gospel, or musical abilities required to be part of the KGC.
“There are no awkward tests that need to be passed, or auditions that need to be scheduled in order to join the choir,” said Fegins. “Anyone is welcome, with open arms.”