Heavenly voices filled the air at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Orlando, as 16 members of the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir from Notre Dame came to share their music on March 12.
The group of students is touring Florida, travelling from Jacksonville to Orlando and finally to Miami, before they head to Atlanta. The choir, which was formed originally in 1977, chose to spend their Spring Break sharing their gospel songs. The Notre Dame Club of Greater Orlando coordinated the group’s performance at St. Andrew’s school and later at the church.
Will Smith, a choir member from Columbus, Ohio, said he felt something was missing from his dorm life when he arrived at Notre Dame. When he heard the Voices of Faith Choir, he said it took his breath away. Smith, who grew up Catholic, said he didn’t get much exposure to gospel music and had never sung in a choir before he joined three years ago.
“We don’t always hit the right note, but we always have the right heart. When you praise and worship with the right heart, you get the message across,” he said. “Being here has really taught me how to get out of myself and how one small act, such as singing, can catalyze someone’s heart.”
Elisa Crozet, an exchange student from a small village in France, said God planted a seed in her to go abroad, get an education and discover new people. She followed God’s call and arrived in the United States in August of 2017 at Notre Dame, where she found the choir and could combine her love of singing and her faith.
“I know God unites people for a reason. They taught me to accept diversity and to see it as a beauty,” she said. “My lesson here to you, is to accept God’s challenge and to let him guide you throughout your life. But most importantly, never forget that God is with you through it all.”
The gospel music, accompanied by piano, drum and tambourine had everyone clapping and singing by the last song. Choir President Geralyn Smith said the purpose is to build the faith community on campus and to share God’s message wherever they go.
“We want people to participate,” she said. “We want people to be able to hear God and speak with God, and then we’ve done our job.”
By Christine Commerce, Florida Catholic correspondent – March 14, 2018