With February coming to a close, the gospel choir at Seattle Pacific University sends off the nation’s annual celebration of black history with a bang. Head over there tonight, February 28, to join the 84-voice SPU Gospel Choir for a free evening of music, prayer and inspirational readings at the First Free Methodist Church, adjacent to the SPU campus. The event begins at 9 p.m.
Acclaimed SPU professor of music Stephen Newby leads the choir, not only for Black History Month but throughout the year, performing spirituals, traditional gospel and modern “praise and worship.” Choir members are fully immersed in the history and culture of African American sacred music, due to required studies in MUS 4301, a credited class in the SPU curriculum. Newby, a gospel and jazz vocalist, pianist and composer, explains his devotion to the choir:
“I love to teach music at SPU because I get to equip and nurture the next generation of creators, innovators, inventors and artists. Teaching is an extraordinary gift from God.”
Newby also holds the distinct honor of leading fans in the national anthem at nearly every Seattle Sounders FC home game at Century Link Field. A recording of the choir also plays in the background during his rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.