January 4, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The twenty-second annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Gospel Festival will be held on Monday, Jan. 16 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Free and open to the public, the event will run from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall (1210 Park St., Bloomington).
The celebration in honor of the birth of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., will include performances by The United Gospel Singers of Bloomington/Normal Mass Choir, The Hour of Deliverance Youth Choir, Boys and Girls Club Choir, the Rev. Frank and Mrs. Bettye McSwain, Elder Homer Calhoun, Gayles Memorial Mass Choir and Praise Dancers (Aurora, Ill.), The Fantastic Jones Family (Springfield, Ill.), Illinois Wesleyan Chapel Gospel Choir and the Rev. Spencer Gibson and the Integrity Singers (Peoria, Ill.).
Also performing will be Mount Pisgah Sunbeam Choir, Union Missionary Baptist Church Junior Gospel Quartet, Union Missionary Baptist Church Adult Choir, Illinois State Interdenominational Youth Choir, Loving Missionary Baptist Church, Jam Production Choir, Mt. Pisgah Praise Dancers and Mt. Pisgah Adult Choir.
Bloomington Mayor Steve Stockton and Illinois Wesleyan President Richard F. Wilson will provide welcoming remarks to the festival. Former Bloomington Mayor Jesse Smart and others will offer remembrances of the first festival.
The Gospel Festival was founded in 1991 by the late Corine Sims, as a joint effort with Illinois Wesleyan and the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington/Normal. King spoke twice at the University, once in 1961 before his famous "March on Washington" speech, and again in 1966, after he became the youngest man to win a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts of non-violence protest in the Civil Rights Movement.
For additional information about the festival, contact Carl Teichman, director of government and community relations at (309) 556-3429 or President of the United Community Gospel Singers of Bloomington/Normal, the Rev. James Sims at (309) 828-4602.
Contact: Kristin Fields, ’12, (309) 556-3181, email@example.com