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It was standing room only at the inaugural Gospel Talent Show sponsored by Olivet College and co-hosted by Lansing Church of God in Christ (COGIC) on April 21 when performers from age 4 to 19 competed for the top prize of $500. The competition was open to all students in Michigan, with one traveling from Detroit to participate. The lineup of amazing gospel arts talent sang, played instruments, mimed, danced, and more.

“I am grateful to Olivet College for its sponsorship of the event. It was a tremendous success,” said La’Rae Trice, Olivet College Gospel Choir director and organizer of the competition. “The crowd was electrified by the level of passion every talent possessed.”

Winners and judges of the Gospel Talent Show

Winners of the talent show

  • First place ($500 cash prize): Pam’s Academy of Champions in Lansing. A choir of preschool and elementary age children stole the show with their musical performance.
  • Second place ($250 cash prize): Angel Harris, a graduate of Waverly High School. Angel performed a spirit-filled mime.
  • Third place ($100 cash prize): Jared Thompson (Autey), an Everett High School graduate. Jared wowed the audience with a gospel-inspired modern dance.

The Olivet College Gospel Choir was on hand to talk to aspiring students about college life. The choir also opened the praise and worship, performing with Lansing COGIC’s Sound of Judah, and had the honor of presenting the winners with their trophies and prize money.

In addition to Olivet College, individual sponsors of the talent show included Timothy Hodge ’83, D.O, Olivet College trustee; Walker Beverly, Olivet College adjunct instructor; and, Delstene Atkinson, Olivet College assistant vice president for advancement.

Olivet College Gospel Choir

Olivet College’s Commitment to Gospel Arts

“Competitions that spotlight the Gospel message and arts are not common. There is incredible talent right here in our own community, but few opportunities outside of church for gospel artists to share their gifts and beliefs,” Trice said. “My goal in organizing the Gospel Talent Show is the same goal I have for the Olivet College Gospel Choir: to give extraordinary young men and women a platform to perform, to be seen and to be heard. I want all youth to have a chance to pursue their passion for gospel arts.”

That’s one reason why Olivet College is committed to growing its Gospel Choir – to give all youth an opportunity to pursue a passion as well as a college education. The college offers gifted gospel singers a scholarship that provides up to full-need for tuition, fees, room and board. Any student, regardless of major, is encouraged to audition for the Gospel Choir and apply for a scholarship.

“Without a doubt, Olivet College is committed to gospel arts,” said Trice. “Sponsorship of the talent show and continued efforts to grow our gospel choir are just two examples of how the college is committed to who it includes, not who it excludes.”

Do You Have a Gospel Arts Talent to Share?

The Olivet College Gospel Choir seeks to add several diverse male and female singers, as well as musicians who play the keyboard, electric or bass guitar and drums. Learn more about becoming a student by visiting campus, or contact La’Rae at ltrice@olivetcolelge.edu or 269.749.7693.

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