In a city council meeting on Nov. 7, Philip Suess, the mayor of Wheaton, declared Nov. 19, 2022 to be “Gospel Choir Day” in the town. The date marks the 35th anniversary of Wheaton College’s Gospel Choir, which celebrated with a reunion concert on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Edman Chapel.
Tanya Egler, the choir’s director, and eight members of Gospel Choir attended the council meeting to accept the honor. Egler said she was pleased with the community’s support of the choir.
“I was grateful that so many people could be there,” said Egler. “It was good that the students and I felt very supported by our administration.”
During the meeting, Suess signed the proclamation, which “hereby proclaims Nov. 19, 2022 as Wheaton College Gospel Choir Day,” according to the document. It was also signed by Andrea Rosedale, the city clerk.
Gospel Choir, which features 30 undergraduate singers, is best known for performing Black gospel songs in chapels. The choir, both historically and presently, is one of the most diverse student organizations on Wheaton’s campus. The group is one of seven student organizations affiliated with the Office of Multicultural Development (OMD), who hosted the celebratory concert.
Junior communication major Ty Jones said she hopes that the group will continue to be a place where differences are accepted and encouraged.
“Gospel choir has always been a family,” Jones said. “When I see Gospel Choir, I see a vision of heaven and how it will be, and it brings joy to my heart.”
Suess was unable to attend the Nov. 19 concert due to scheduling conflicts. However, City Councilwoman Lynn Robbins and Chaplain Angulus Wilson were in attendance, as well as other Wheaton faculty and administrative staff.
The concert was named “RETURN” in honor of the many alumni from diverse backgrounds who came back to their alma mater to perform that night. The ensemble was formed in 1986 by Fred Dade ’90, Adonya (Seldon) Little ’90, Sheila (Davis) McTillman ’91, and Vanessa Wilson ’90.
Sophomore English major Evy Park expressed excitement about the proclamation and the anniversary concert.
“Nothing binds us closer than worshipping together,” said English major Evy Park. “It’s powerful to see everyone experience joy together.”