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UTEP’s Annual Gospel Explosion set for Saturday Evening

An eclectic group of performers will celebrate black culture and African-American history during the annual UTEP Gospel Explosion. The free event uses artistic expressions of song, dance and poetry to unite society and raise awareness of the rich historical layers that led to the creation of gospel music, which has influenced music for generations.

The scheduled performers include the El Paso Community Choir and the Destiny Family Christian Center Choir. Michael Vinson Williams, Ph.D., director of UTEP’s African-American Studies Program and professor of history, will be the emcee.

“Gospel music has been and remains an important part of the African-American religious tradition and the struggle for civil and human rights,” Williams said. “On Feb. 11, through voice and artistic representations, those attending will get an opportunity to see, hear and feel the power that gospel music has to inspire and the means by which art and cultural expression speak truth to power.”

The program will include a tribute to the late Maceo C. Dailey, Ph.D., a beloved faculty member, community advocate and founder of the University’s African-American Studies Program. The renowned scholar and philanthropist encouraged the creation of a gospel choir on campus to affirm the historical contributions of the African-American community.

This activity, which is organized by UTEP students, faculty and staff, is scheduled during Black History Month, which recognizes and celebrates the achievements of African-Americans in U.S. history.

The celebration is co-sponsored by UTEP’s African-American Studies Program and it’s Student Engagement and Leadership Center, with the assistance of the University Police Department, Black Student Union and the University Career Center.

6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 | Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall

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