Voices of Unity Celebrates Five Years in Ministry

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Published November 28, 2018
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The Montclarion
Choir members walk through the aisle at the start of the concert. Jeremy Wall | The Montclarion

Music was heard all throughout the Student Center Ballrooms. On Sunday, Nov. 18, Voices of Unity brought their singing voices there to perform. The fall concert helped the organization celebrate their five years of ministry.

“It feels very amazing to have an existence with this type of organization,” Director Elijah Griffiths said. “Praise the Lord.”

Founded in 2013 by Griffiths, the chorale was originally a part of the Black Student Association. In 2015, that changed when they officially became a part of the Student Government Association. Griffiths was honored along with the rest of the choir.

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Voices of Unity Director Elijah Griffiths warms up the crowd with a speech before the concert. Jeremy Wall | The Montclarion

In the past five years, the organization has won a McDonald’s Gospelfest Adult Choir Award and sang on morning news programs, such as “CBS This Morning.”

The organization consists of 30 students and six musicians. The students, ranging from underclassmen to seniors, sing, dance and hold events on campus all throughout the semester.

“We do it for the glory of God,” said junior family and child studies major Charitie Kelley. “It’s a passion and gift.”

Like most gospel choirs, their music deals quite a bit with spirituality.

“We give glory to the Lord,” said organization President Zhane Thompson.

The music also helps members establish connections between God and Jesus.

“God is the joy and strength of my life,” the choir sang during one of their songs.

Many solos were performed during the concert. Mica McNear, Ameer Gonzalez and Terralyn Hays all had moments in the spotlight.

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Mica McNear performs a solo at the concert. Jeremy Wall | The Montclarion

Senior psychology major Gonzalez, who also had a solo, said she loved taking part in the concert.

“It was a rush,” said sophomore psychology major Veronica Julien. “I was completely covered by God.”

In addition to directing, Griffiths hopped in and sang with the chorale as well. Joining him was alumnus Marques McCoy.

“It’s always a pleasure to be able to sing with Montclair State,” McCoy said.

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Members of the chorale perform in the Student Center Ballrooms. Jeremy Wall | The Montclarion

Gospel wasn’t the only type of music Voices of Unity sang. Other genres of songs that lightened up the room were jazz, pop and Christian. Among them were Tony Bennett’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” and James Hall’s “King Of Glory.”

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