Competing on the Big Stage

The Kean Gospel Choir has once again been invited to compete at the McDonald's Gospelfest

Campus News > Competing on the Big Stage
Competing on the Big Stage
The Kean Gospel Choir is set to compete at the upcoming McDonald's Gospelfest.
Shannon Sheehan, Staff Writer

The Kean Gospel Choir is looking forward to its next big competition, the McDonald's Gospelfest. This will be the fourth year that the choir performs at this large fest which includes choirs from all over New York and New Jersey. The Gospelfest is taking place at the Prudential Center, an enormous venue located in Newark, New Jersey. The event is transpiring Saturday, May 11 where doors open at 4 p.m. and the competition starts at 5 p.m.

The theme for the 37th annual Gospelfest is honoring Aretha Franklin, her work and her life as a whole as she continues to be an inspiration to many. The fest is produced and directed by A. Curtis Farrow and will feature talents such as Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond, Shirley Caesar and Tamara Braxton. These performers will take the stage after the competition at 7 p.m.

The fest begins with a competition where soloists, choirs, praise dancers, singing groups, gospel poets, gospel comedians and gospel rappers will take the stage to present their talents to the crowd. People and groups that are seen as rising stars are asked to compete at the fest, meaning the audience can assure that there is a good show in store. Competing in the choir category, the Kean Gospel Choir has placed in the competition for the past three years consecutively.

Additionally, Jorge Rivera, one of the members, will be competing in the soloist category.

Shakira Jackson, the public relations representative, said, "He’s super talented and the choir is excited and knows he’ll do amazing!"

Currently, the Kean Gospel Choir is diligently practicing and preparing for the competition.

Jackson said, "It’s super exciting to come back for another year. We’ve had an amazing experience the past few times we’ve went, and we’re thrilled to get to see and listen to guest artists and support others participating, even in the other categories."

The mission of Gospelfest is to spread love, peace and joy through the means of music. Attendees can expect to feel uplifted from the gospel music that provides inspiration and light to many of its listeners.

The gospel choir is open to students who wish to pursue their faith in a comforting environment. Photo courtesy of the Kean Gospel Choir.

The Kean Gospel Choir is a very prominent organization on Kean's campus as they perform often and are known for their high-quality performances. This semester, they have been teaming up with a Rutgers program title "A.Life," which gives students the opportunity to attend a night of worship and discussion.

If one wants to see the talent of the Kean Gospel Choir, they will be having their annual Spring Concert this upcoming May 4 at 6 p.m. It will be held at Trinity Pentecostal Church of God in Patterson, NJ and all are welcome to attend.

The overall mission of Kean Gospel Choir is to give students a place to practice their faith through music. Although they are a choir, they welcome any students that have a passion for ministry or gospel music regardless of their musical ability.

The choir holds rehearsals Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m. in Hutchinson Hall, Room J100 and Wilkins Theatre, Room 141, respectively. If one is interested in the Kean Gospel Choir or wants to reach out to them, contact

about the author

Shannon Sheehan, Staff Writer

Shannon Sheeehan is a Junior Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. She joined The Cougar's Byte staff in Spring 2018. After her time at Kean, Shannon hopes to start her professional career in Public Relations and/or Social Media.