Gospel Choir to perform in Disney Christmas concert

Members of FAMU’s Gospel Choir will be performing from 10 a.m. to noon on Christmas Day on ABC TV. Photo courtesy famu.edu

Members of Florida A&M University’s Gospel Choir will bless the ears of the nationFriday morning during Disney’s Christmas Day Concert.

The FAMU Gospel Choir is scheduled to perform three songs in the Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration, which airs on ABC TV from 10 a.m. to noon.

The members will sing “Joy To The World.” Later, they will accompany Keedron Bryant of “I Just Want To Live” fame in a performance of “Someday at Christmas.”

For a third performance, the choir will accompany Tori Kelly, a lead singer with Kirk Franklin, singing “Let It Snow.” The two-hour event will also feature performances of artists such as hosts Tituss Burgess and Julianne Hough, as well as Becky G, Jon Batiste, Maddie & Tae and Trevor Jackson.

When the FAMU Gospel Choir was offered an opportunity the members said they weren’t aware how they were chosen to perform, but they were eager to accept the invitation.

“I have no idea how the opportunity was afforded to us. I received an email out of the blue one day from the producer of the show and she asked for the FAMU Gospel Choir to be part of the Disney special and we were wowed because we were in the middle of a pandemic —we don’t know how it happened but it magically did,” said John Harris, an adviser for the FAMU Gospel Choir.

FAMU Gospel Choir President Tiasia Jackson said the choir was excited and getting together to sing was bittersweet.

“We were very excited to come together. Most of us haven’t seen each other since March 14, which was our last engagement. So getting together was bittersweet especially for me because it would be my last time singing with them,”Jackson said.

The two-hour event will allow the choir to showcase one off FAMU’s crown jewels.

“It’s a pretty big deal. Disney is a huge company and we are blessed to be able to minister to the nation. The exposure for the choir is great. We are always welcoming new members who love the Lord,” said Chelsea Thomas, the parliamentarian for the FAMU Gospel Choir.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 16 of the 50 members of the FAMU Gospel Choir made the three-day trip to Orlando from Dec. 3 to Dec. 5. Advisers Harris and Valeria Singleton accompanied the group.

The FAMU Gospel Choir didn’t have much time to prepare for the performance but they got as much practice as they could.

“Due to COVID 19 we had to be safe about things they required for us to social distance which we should have been doing anyway and we had to COVID test often around the time we were living and when we got to Orlando. They provided us with PPE gear so that we would be safe around each other. We practiced the night before and the day of the recording so about two and half hours of rehearsal. So it wasn’t much time but we got it done thanks to our director,Darien Bolden Jr,” Jackson said.

Their overall experience in Orlando was safe but magical.

Harris said: “It was an amazing opportunity for them and they got an opportunity to go minister. While being absolutely treated like royalty. Overall, it was great, Disney made sure all safety precautions were taken. Disney made the moment very magical. Our students got Christmas before Christmas. They were able to spread the gift of joy.”