Third annual Gospel Inter-Varsity Explosion free concert is this Saturday

The Tribute Communities Recital Hall will explode with the sound of gospel music this coming Saturday when York University’s Department of Music presents GIVE, the third annual Gospel Inter-Varsity Explosion.

Organized by Karen Burke, founding director of the York University Gospel Choir, the 100-voice strong choir will be joined by the University of Toronto Gospel Choir, led by Lisa Toussaint, and the McMaster University’s student-led McMaster Gospel Choir.

Left: Karen Burke

During the afternoon rehearsal, which is open to the public, the choirs will learn new gospel works and repertoire from some of the most prolific and inspiring composers in the genre, such as Kirk Franklin, Joe Pace and John P. Kee. 

In the concert, the choirs will perform individually and all together backed by a rhythm section directed by Corey Butler. As a grand finale, special guest artist Nordene Simon-Fogah will take the stage to perform tracks from her recently released debut album.

Burke is a singer, music director and composer in the field of African-American vocal music. As an authority on the history and performance practices of gospel music, she has worked with major choral ensembles and organizations including the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Youth Choir, the Toronto Choral Society and the Ontario Choral Federation, now known as Choirs Ontario. In 1988, she co-founded the Juno Award-winning Toronto Mass Choir.

This one-day concert is free. It takes place Oct. 18 from 4 to 5pm, with an open rehearsal starting at 1pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, Keele campus. For more information, call 416-736-2100 ext. 22926.