Gospel group aims to uplift with its hymns and anthems at Casino Theatre
Gospel is one of the most powerful and uplifting forms of artistic celebration, says Marilee Kessler of the Casino Theatre.
And, the historic Vandergrift venue offers the perfect setting for the upcoming performance of The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir.
The gospel choir will take to the stage at 4 p.m. Sunday, offering up a range of hymns, anthems and spirituals sure to inspire all who attend.
“The enthusiasm of all of the members who sing in praise of God is so remarkable, and it's gladly shared with everyone in attendance,” says Kessler, the Casino's treasurer. “This is a big show for all the right reasons, and it will excite, comfort and move the audience as no other music can.”
The multiage, multiethnic musical ensemble, led by noted educator and choir director Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones, returns to the Casino after a concert in 2010.
Brady Bottegal, member of the Casino's board of directors, describes that show two years ago as a “moving performance.”
Kessler hopes that the timing of this year's concert will allow for the attendance of not only those who enjoyed it the first time around, but those who might have missed that opportunity.
“The audience will be able to sit back and not only hear the concert, but feel the outpouring of joy and love which is given by these singers. The tradition of gospel is performed no better than this anywhere,” she says.
“No matter your religious beliefs, it is awe-inspiring to hear (voices) lifted in thanks for the gifts we are all given in this life.”
The concert, according to its director, will cover a range of gospel styles. The show, Jones says, will begin with a choral introit — a piece that is sung at the entrance of the performance — and also feature a tribute to the military and what he describes as a “mini-musical pilgrimage.”
The show isn't only uplifting for those in the audience, he says, but for those on the stage, as well.
“We always go into a performance or a concert setting with the concept of sharing with the community,” Jones says.
Founded in 2007, The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir is the first choral ensemble in the city dedicated to the gospel tradition.
Affiliated with the River City Brass, the group aims to preserve gospel music with performances of works — traditional and contemporary.
For Jones, it's not only the opportunity to inspire the audience, but the chance to support the 100-plus-year-old theater that makes him glad to return.
Proceeds of the show go to the theater, which is run by volunteers.
“I just hope that the venue will be filled for the sake of the Casino,” he says. “It's an honor to me to be able to come in and share with the people in the Vandergrift area and the people at the Casino.”
With every performance, Jones and The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir do have several other aims.
“We always want people to leave uplifted, and leave with a smile,” he says. “When they leave our concert, they will not only leave with a smile, but humming a few bars of the songs that have come through the concert.”
Julie Martin is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Freshman arrested in Burrell High School bomb threat
- Hays eagle egg watch continues
- Bomb threat clears Apollo-Ridge High School
- Police end standoff with New Kensington man
- New Kensington-Arnold School Board superintendent hangs on as board vote falls short
- OSHA fines East Deer company $70,000 in aftermath of worker’s electrocution
- Harrison rape suspect awaiting trial accused of sexual contact with 6-year-old
- Kiski Area Intermediate School band chosen to play at state conference
- Cost of Apollo-Ridge lunches to increase
- Leechburg rescinds councilman’s raise, will revisit issue April 21
- Nigerians accused of online scam surrender passports, freed from jail