Gospel Choir hosts 10th annual Gospel Fest in Union

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Ashley Edwards, senior, participates in the University Gospel Fest as the Gospel Choir sings backup.

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For senior Ashley Edwards, singing gospel gives her a purpose.

“I need to use the voice I was given to give God’s word,” Edwards said.

Edwards, head of Publicity of Gospel Fest and Gospel Choir, was raised around the church and has been in the choir for four years.

This past weekend, Edwards participated in the 10th annual Gospel Fest with her fellow Gospel Choir members. The fest involved university gospel choirs coming together to praise and worship.

The University Gospel Choir hosted choirs from Cedarville, The Ohio State University, Wright State, Akron and Ohio University.

Friday night, each university choir sang and then Saturday was the Worship Extravaganza.

“There [were] high schools and two artists, Jonathan McReynolds and Amante Lacey coming,” said Ashley Lewis, senior and Gospel Fest coordinator.

Lewis said the students in the University gospel choir were helpful in planning the event.

“This was all planned by the students who are members of the choir,” Lewis said. “They did very well.”

Edwards helped plan the event by hanging the fliers, and described the experience of singing on the stage of Gospel Fest as a powerful one.

“As I sang the songs, all of my words were released and I gave into God,” Edwards said.

Another member of the University gospel choir is junior Lydia Gaiters. Gaiters has been involved with the choir since her freshman year. She was raised around the church as well and wanted to remain a part of it while she attended the University.

“I love being there and singing with my family to the one I love,” Gaiters said.

In the crowd was senior Azzia Thompson, who came to watch her friends perform in the Gospel Fest.

“I have been coming to the Fests for a while now,” Thompson said. “They are always nice to come to.”

As she listened to the music, Thompson felt strongly about the messages being sung.

“It brings out a lot of strong and good emotions,” Thompson said.

Zachariah Davis, member of the BG Gospel Choir, joined because of his sister. She is an alumna who graduated in 2007.

“I saw how it impacted her life and I wanted to join the choir ever since,” Davis said.

Davis is happy with his choice, saying he liked the diversity and openness of the choir.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from,” Davis said. “Everyone is accepted here.”

However, Davis was nervous about going onto the stage for Gospel Fest.

“At first it’s nerve wrecking,” Davis said. “But after I got into the spirit, the feeling is unexplainable. It’s a good feeling to know I was touching someone’s life.”