BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Gospel Festival
will be held on Monday, Jan. 21 at Illinois Wesleyan University. The event, which
is free and open to the public, will run from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium
of Presser Hall (1210 Park St., Bloomington).
The celebration is in honor of the birth of civil rights activist Martin Luther King,
Jr., and 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), Illinois
Wesleyan Chapel Gospel Choir and the Rev. Spencer Gibson and the Integrity Singers
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.
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, or to make arrangements for persons
with disabilities requiring any auxiliary aids, services, or special arrangements,
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.