Kent State Gospel Choir Presents Free Concert on May 4

By Foluke Omosun

The Kent State University Gospel Choir will present its spring concert themed “Bless Me” on Wednesday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Cartwright Hall, 650 Hilltop Drive, in Kent. Doors open at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

The concert honors victims of the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State and victims of the May 14, 1970, shootings at Jackson State University, and their families and friends.

“This concert is a reminder that God’s promises are true and that he has never and will never leave us,” says Linda Walker, Ph.D., professor of music education at Kent State and founding director of the Kent State Gospel Choir. “We also dedicate this concert to help promote positive, non-violent social change on this campus and in this country, for Americans of all races and ethnicities. We hope you all will attend the Kent State Gospel Choir spring concert to commemorate the events at Kent State and Jackson State.”

Walker says that Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center is one of her favorite places to visit on the Kent Campus.

“The May 4 Visitors Center is a reminder that history repeats itself if we don’t learn from it or confront it,” says Walker, who is an alumna of Jackson State. “Each visit is a lesson for me to do all that I can to make sure that the tragic events of the past are not only remembered but also shared with current students.”

The first song that will be performed at the concert is titled God of Promise, written by Richard Smallwood in 2011.

“I asked Lauren Sturdivant, a powerful lead vocalist, vocal music teacher at Streetsboro High School and Kent State alumna, to create a line about May 4th in the song,” Walker says. “Everybody will have to attend the concert to hear what she added to the lyrics.”

For more information about the concert, contact Paulina at 330-281-7639 or pmeluch@kent.edu or Walker at 330-672-2431or lwalker@kent.edu.