Celebration Gospel Choir of Chico fills Harlen Adams Theatre with energy and spirit


Three ladies take turns singing their parts of the song

The sound of vocalists and instrumental music resonated as the Celebration Gospel Choir of Chico filled the Harlen Adams Theatre for their “Living the Gospel” performance on Feb. 15. The Choir hosts a concert on the Chico State campus each year for Black History Month, celebrating their faith and sacred African-American music.

The choir is a collection of people from different backgrounds, races and faiths, however, they are brought together by a shared love of gospel music. Their diverse backgrounds were represented in the filled theatre; both by the members of the audience and the energy brought forth by their music.

The event was led and guided by Chico State’s Rev. Robert Morton, whose music-filled sermons and crowd interactivity kept the event moving smoothly. Whether Morton introduced other performers or was performing himself, his enthusiasm kept the audience following along. Morton leads the Celebration Gospel Choir as their director.

Dr. Lesa Johnson also took the stage, playing the piano and singing a very moving rendition of “Keep your hands on the Pillow.” A song about having faith and pushing on through hindrance and discouragement. Her fantastically powerful voice commanded the audience as they listened eagerly to her song.

The entire choir performed after the intermission, spreading their gospel with passionate renditions of “Let Him in today” and “Jesus, oh What a wonderful Child.” The show ended with a moving performance of “Down by the riverside.” Even those less spiritual or religious in the audience were effected by their performance, myself included.

The free event went from 3:30-5 p.m. with a 10-minute intermission. The Gospel Choir meets at Bethel AME Church on 821 Linden St. at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Mitchell Kret can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.