The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and the North Central College Voices of Praise gospel choir has a voice.
Choir members will celebrate the late civil rights leader's dream using their voices, hands and feet during an energizing Gospel Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at the school's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville.
"It's a contagious attitude," said Amanda Mehok of Lisle, who is co-president of the gospel choir.
The student-led event includes North Central's Voices of Praise gospel choir, Wheaton College Gospel Choir, Lisle-based DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church Voices of Praise Gospel Choir, and the 80-member Dexter Walker and Zion Movement Chorale.
This year's event serves as the culmination of Martin Luther King Jr. week at the college.
"The choirs are going to be singing some of the classic gospel standards that Dr. King would have sung, introducing them to the student audience born long after the Civil Rights movement would have ended," North Central Chaplain Lynn Pries said.
Those who know gospel know there's a passion in the performance.
"Last year was my first year experiencing gospel, and I really got into the energy and the joy," Mehok said. "You really feel like you're a part of something way bigger than yourself."
Seeing gospel music performed is a very different form of worship for many white people, Pries said.
"Attending this event is exploring cultural experiences different from the one they grew up in," Pries said. "To experience this form of Christian music is important for all Christians."
Choir members encourage audience members to participate.
"It helps to keep the energy up," Mehok said. "Usually the audience is singing and clapping along. It's a very, very good atmosphere."
Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. For details, call (630) 637-SHOW or visit finearts.northcentralcollege.edu.
For a second taste of gospel, the Harlem Gospel choir performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in North Central's Wentz Concert Hall at 171 E. Chicago Ave.
If you go
What: Gospel Extravaganza
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23
Where: North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville
Cost: $15 adults, $8 students and seniors
Info: (630) 637-SHOW or finearts.northcentralcollege.edu