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July 4, 2020

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Ohio Northern University’s Gospel Ensemble to celebrate 25 years of music

Ohio Northern University’s Gospel Ensemble will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a concert in the ONU English Chapel on Sunday, April 29, at 4 p.m.

Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw, vice president for student affairs, dean of students, and director of the ensemble since its inception, says the ensemble began in 1987 with African-American students who wanted to share their heritage through gospel music. The group’s first performance was in January 1988, at the University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day worship service. The first full concert was presented in the spring and continues to be a tradition for this all-volunteer group.

Gospel Ensemble members have included students, faculty and staff who enjoy contemporary gospel music, much of which is sung a cappella. In addition to the spring concert, members of the ensemble travel to area churches several weekends per month to share their musical message. Over the years, the ensemble has performed hundreds of concerts at more than 50 churches.

The anniversary concert will feature Bishop Terence M. Sykes and ONU alumni from the past 25 years as special guests.

Sykes, who was licensed in ministry in 1984, established a non-denominational church, Shekijah Preparation Assembly, in May 1987. In September 1997, the True Vine Churches of Deliverances Inc. consecrated him into the bishopric. Currently, he serves as the Mt. Calvary Holy Church of America state bishop of the Virginia district.

Sykes has traveled the United States and abroad doing workshops, concerts, revivals, seminars and guest appearances. He has been featured on several album projects and is the writer of two songs (“Uzziah” and “And Yet, I’m Still Saved”) recorded by nationally acclaimed producer/songwriter Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers. Most recently, Sykes recorded his first L-I-V-E Solo Project, “Real Worship,” at the Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church in Washington, D.C.

The April 29 concert is free and open to the public. To learn more, contact Thompson-Bradshaw at 419-772-2433 or email a-thompson@onu.edu