Unity in the Community looks to celebrate the sounds of gospel music

Bee Goodman- Managing Editor

Tech Choirs host annual Unity in the Community Concert and celebrate gospel music. 


Each year, Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Craig Zamer, choses a special cause to bring the community together for the annual Unity in the Community concert in the spring. This year, he is aiming to celebrate different faiths.


Zamer directs the Tech Chorale, Concert Choir and Cookeville Mastersingers. This Sunday, March 3 he directors the choirs, as well as special guests Cordova High School, to bring the community together. The concert features praise songs like Tshela Moya arranged by Michael Barrett which comes from the Sesotho culture in South Africa.


“Our entire concert centers around the origins and history of Gospel music and will feature several familiar Gospel melodies like, Precious Lord, Without You, Hosanna, Hosanna, and I’ll Fly Away,” states Zamer.


In light of uniting the choirs, other groups such as a student barbershop group and a new student-led gospel choir will also be performing. The concert will feature over 250 singers and instrumentalists. Singer Mara Wilks performed as a part of the tech choirs for some time and is currently performing with Mastersingers. Wilks says it’s great to see the groups come together to celebrate and support a cause.


“It’s a great opportunity to meet and share music with people across communities in Tennessee, we’ve all worked hard with the limited amount of rehearsal time and we’re excited to share the results of our dedication,” Wilks addresses.


In addition to celebrating the history of gospel music, the Cookeville Mastersingers have also been collecting goods to donate to the Cookeville United Methodist Food Bank. If you plan to attend the Sunday concert they encourage you to also participate by bringing a non-perishable item for the drive. 


Zamer also notes how excited he is to have Cordova High School back in Cookeville, “We were fortunate to have them perform with us back early 2020 and we are over the moon that they have agreed to come again this year.”


Another piece the group will feature is Gospel Mass by the late composer Robert Ray. Ray first premiered the piece in 1979 when a group of Catholic leaders expressed a want to feature African and Black American music to Mass. The premiere was adorned by the audience but Ray noted that he never thought it would be performed again until a friend had asked to use it for a high school choir. 

Tickets are available for the concert on the Cookeville Mastersingers website, www.mastersingersinc.com. They will also be available on the day of the concert. This particular event is known to pack the house, you’ll want to arrive early to get seats and be quick to purchase any tickets.