Celebrate with Song
LBW Community College in Andalusia is celebrating Black History Month with song, featuring a talented group of singers from Western Illinois University (WIU).
A free public concert is set for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, 2013, at the Dixon Theater for the Performing Arts featuring The United Voices of Western Inspirational Singers under the direction of Andalusia native Dr. Alphonso Simpson Jr., professor with WIU African American Studies.
“We are thrilled this group agreed to provide a free concert in Andalusia,” said Diaon Cook, LBWCC’s director of student activities and cultural diversity.
“Spirituals play such an important role in African American history in this country, and this dynamic group of talented voices gives us a joyful way of celebrating Black History Month.”
Simpson, a graduate of Andalusia High School, is the group’s founder and director. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Alabama State University in 1995, a Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1997, then a Doctoral Degree in 2001 from the University of Wyoming.
Simpson said the name of the free concert is “…and They Sang the Gospel.” The trip by 50 of the choir’s 75-plus singers is made possible through donations by members of his childhood church, First Baptist Church Whatley Street, and community contributors. He is the son of Addie R. Simpson and Alphonso Simpson Sr. of Andalusia.
Cook said the choir has performed for many years, but this is the first time in Andalusia.
“These singers bring the rich heritage of African American spirituals to our area for anyone who enjoys gospel music.”
For more information, contact Cook at 334-881-2256.