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Ohio State rings in gospel ensemble concert

The Ohio State School of Music is rounding out its quarterly lineup of concerts with a softer side of music.

This isn’t a high energy, blow-your-ear-drums-out rock concert. Instead, students are invited to take time out of their busy school schedules and enjoy the singing of the Gospel and Spiritual Ensemble.

The concert is on March 2 at 8 p.m. and will be held at Hughes Hall Auditorium.

“I can tell you what I’ve learned in the past,” said Jan Edwards, area head of music education at the OSU School of Music. “I can’t tell you what happens next week … but I’ve been told by students that they enjoy not only going to the performance but actually participating in the ensemble because it’s different.”

These performances draw approximately a few hundred people per show depending on the quarter.

The ensemble does not require participants to audition. Students, faculty and others perform in the Gospel and Spiritual Ensemble.

According to the School of Music Web site “The School of Music is home to over 550 music majors, plus hundreds of students who are pursuing a music minor, taking course work or participating in the ensembles.”

The Gospel and Spiritual Ensemble is one of six choral ensembles in the school. Some of the others include men’s and women’s Glee Clubs and Chorale. The ensembles are large or small depending on practice hours, and this one is classified as small.

“This ensemble meets fewer times per week and per quarter, so that’s how it got labeled small,” Edwards said. “It has enrolled as many as 110 in the past.”

There are currently 28 members enrolled.

Generally one show per quarter is performed but sometimes the director will accept an engagement away from campus. Each show lasts about an hour and a half with an intermission.

“[People] just enjoy it because … it’s a unique phenomenon for them. It’s exciting,” Edwards said. “Some say its uplifting. It just depends on the person.”

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