Department of Music
The UR Gospel Choir was established under the aegis of Campus Ministries in September 1976, in an attempt to offer a musical outlet for the school's African-American students. From 1977–1979, the choir was sponsored by the Student Activities Committee. The UR Gospel Choir became an ensemble under the Music Department in 1979.
In February 1977, the Choir was the featured guest artist at Cornell University's first Annual Festival of Gospel. In April 1977, the UR Gospel Choir presented Langston Hughes's, "Tambourines To Glory", under the Dramatic and Musical Direction of Rev. Alvin Parris III.
On February 24–25, 1978, the choir in cooperation with the Association of Black Drama and the Arts (ABDA) performed the highly successful Broadway Musical, "Purlie!" in the Interfaith Chapel. Over these 27 years, the choir has presented concerts in Providence University (Rhode Island), SUNY Binghamton, Brockport State, and in many local churches and colleges in the greater-Rochester Community.
In the years 1981–1983, the choir performed frequently in the Rochester City Schools as a part of the Young Audiences Program of Arts for Greater Rochester. The choir has also presented on-campus concerts with such featured greats as Fred Hammond and Commissioned, the Donnie McClurken Singers, Chronicles, and many others.
The choir began in 1977 with 8 students, with the organizational assistance of alumni such as C. Leonard Jones, Rose Holmes, Diane Harris, Sheila Brown, and others. Since that time, the choir has maintained a consistent membership of 30–45 students.