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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Rutland's Grace Church To Host Gospel Concert

Grace Church
On Sunday, April 12, Grace Congregational Church in Rutland will be hosting "An Evening of Gospel Music," with performances by the Rutland Area Chorus, Castleton College Collegiate Chorale and the Montpelier Community Gospel Choir.

Rutland’s Grace Congregational Church will play host to three Vermont choirs and more than a dozen musicians Sunday for an evening of gospel music.

At a recent rehearsal, everyone was moving, especially Grace Church's Music Director Rip Jackson, who swayed behind an electric keyboard while he directed the singers in front of him with a swish of his head.

On Sunday, there will be 160 voices joining together, with a bevy of musicians backing them up. Jackson said their music will shake the rafters with good vibrations. After all, he says the word gospel means good news.

“It’s a genre that deserves more attention,” said Jackson. “It comes out of the African American tradition. I actually grew up in Atlanta and I used to go to Ebenezer Baptist Church with my high school performing arts group, and we got to hear gospel music in the church where Martin Luther King preaches. So I’ve been moved by gospel music my whole life."

The music director said that recently he's been waiting to do more of it, so he finally decided to put on an entire concert.

Rip Jackson’s Rutland Area Chorus will be joined by the Castleton College Collegiate Chorale, directed by Sherrill Blodget, and The Montpelier Community Gospel Choir, directed by John Harrison.

"I actually grew up in Atlanta and I used to go to Ebenezer Baptist Church with my high school performing arts group, and we got to hear gospel music in the church where Martin Luther King preached. So I've been moved by gospel music my whole life." - Rip Jackson, music director at Grace Church

The performance will be held Sunday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Rutland’s Grace Congregational Church. Learn more information by calling 802-775-4301 or visiting the church's website.

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