Columns & Commentary

Songs from the Soul

The crowd during the Ball State University Voices of Triumph Gospel Choir performance applauds as a young guest singer leaves the Pruis Hall stage on April 27 in Muncie, Ind. Both the performers and the crowd echoed the energetic optimism vibrating throughout the room.

The crowd during the Ball State University Voices of Triumph Gospel Choir performance echoed the energetic optimism vibrating throughout the room.

The audience stood, clapped, cried out and sang. This was no ordinary vocal concert at Ball State—it was the Voice of Triumph Gossip Choir.

On Sunday, April 27, Voice of Triumph had their final concert of the semester. The concert included dance, poetry, prayer and many gospel songs that had the whole audience singing along.

For junior Cameron Christian, joining Voice of Triumph was a way to get close to a group and to get closer to God.

“I started going to Voice of Triumph gospel choir rehearsals back in the fall of 2011 when I was a freshman,” Christian said.  “So I’ve been in the choir for about three years. I decided to go because I’ve always been in the choir. …I felt the need to continue the legacy of going and being in the choir, even away from home and being in school. I feel that closeness to God when I am in the choir.”

Niyyinnah Jefferson said that Voice of Triumph isn’t just an organization to her; it’s something more.

“I came here to feel like part of a family,” Jefferson said. “When I went in there, I wanted to feel I belonged. I wanted to feel loved and I also wanted to be closer to God and know that the people that are there are worshiping God with me. Of course, being away from home, I needed something to do outside of church, so I came here and found a church home.”

Voice of Triumph practices once a week and has anywhere from one to seven performances per semester, depending on who wants them to perform. Christian said the goal of the group is to lift up the name of Jesus through their lives, worship and praise.

“I hope that people will take away a peace of mind knowing that there is a source higher than ourselves that loves them and has the best plan for them,” Christian said. “Going into this finals week, they don’t need to worry about anything. There is a being higher than themselves, higher then ourselves, that will take care of them.”

Jefferson said he hopes the concert makes more people interested in Voice of Triumph.

“Hopefully we will reach out and more will attend Voice of Triumph rehearsals,” Jefferson said. “We want people to join us and expand [Voice of Triumph].”

After being in the group, Jefferson said she has learned more about who she is, and how she can worship.

An alumnus of the Ball State University Voices of Triumph Gospel Choir guest-directs a number during the.

An alumnus of the Ball State University Voices of Triumph Gospel Choir guest-directs a number.

“[I’ve learned] not to be afraid to be yourself,” Jefferson said “[And] not to be afraid to worship the Lord because sometimes I can be very shy and wonder if anyone is judging me, but everyone is there to worship the Lord, so I’ve learned not to worry about what others think, as long as it is just me and God and that connection.”

As Voice of Triumph sang their gospel songs Sunday evening, the audience rose to their feet, raised their hands in the air and sang just as loudly as those on stage.

 

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