Gospel Choir Collection
The Gospel Choir Collection includes documents about the Elon University Gospel Choir ranging from the dates of 1980 to present day. Documents include materials such as correspondence, receipts or financial records, advertising flyers, programs, and membership listings. The collection is organized chronologically by academic semester (ex. Fall 1991, Spring 1992) and then by type of material (ex. correspondence, booklet) in order to facilitate study of specific academic years, as opposed to calendar years.
- 1980 - ongoing
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
Biographical / Historical
The Elon University Gospel Choir was founded in 1977 by a group of African-American students searching to establish a fellowship in which to praise God through song - specifically Gospel Music as Elon College already possessed a musical choir for hymnals and the like. For many of its earlier years, the Choir would perform locally, either on campus or in nearby churches and parishes that members attended or knew of, communicating through writing as to the organization of these events. As the Choir grew, so did its budget from the Student Government Association. With a larger budget, this provided the Choir with increased opportunities to travel further abroad to spread their message of faith and song. They booked venues and churches across the state of North Carolina, expanding into Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area, and eventually into the rest of the South. The Choir event traveled to places such as Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Liberia. In its origins the Choir was predominantly, if not exclusively, composed of African-American students. During the 1989-1990 academic school year, a Caucasian student became a member of the Gospel Choir. The enduring character of Gospel music as a historically Black American genre is demonstrated by the kinds of venues that the Choir would perform at, such as Martin Luther King Day commemorative services at Elon. Direct references to the organization being "Afro centric" in its advertising and the focus on a national play about famous black Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, cement this understanding of the Choir. The demographics change arrived of course during a period of modernization, not only for the college but for the world, the archival collection reflecting the shift from type-written letters to computer-printed ones, and later on to printouts of emails. Nevertheless, the Choir continued carrying its traditional elements: the performance of the annual Fall and Spring concerts, the annual "Gospel Extravaganza" featuring other choirs from nearby universities and colleges, its charitable contributions to individuals and organizations alike. The Choir changed its name to the Elon University Gospel Choir (the University adopting this status in 2001), but its fundamental purpose remained the same, and still does. That is, it is committed to praising God through faith and song.
1.2 Linear Feet (3 archival boxes)
Language of Materials
The collection is arranged chronologically by academic semester and then alphabetically by type of material.
The collection is located in the Carol Grotnes Belk Library Archives and Special Collections at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift. Materials given to Archives by 2013-2014 Gospel Choir members.
Processed by Aurelien Nicot, March, 2014
- African American college students--Societies, etc. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Choirs (Music) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Elon College--Choral organizations.
- Elon College--History.
- Elon College--Societies, etc.
- Elon College--Student performances.
- Elon University--Choral organizations.
- Elon University--History.
- Elon University--Societies, etc.
- Gospel music. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Encoded by Katie Nash, April, 2014
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script