Gospel Choir Performance Channels 'The Help'

Harper College will channel the Civil Rights era and its message of hope and determination with a gospel choir concert celebrating the novel "The Help." The event, featuring the renowned Wheaton College Gospel Choir, the Broadview Chapel Choir and the voices of several Harper student singers, is the College's final celebration of the Kathryn Stockett bestseller - a story focused on race relations in 1960s Mississippi and Harper's choice for this year's "One Book, One Harper" initiative.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17 in the Building J Theatre on Harper's main campus. A reception will follow.

"The primary messages of this kind of music are hope, faith, overcoming obstacles and belief in a brighter day," says Associate Professor Dr. Shanté Bishop, who helped coordinate the event. "Those were prevalent messages in the Civil Rights era, too, when this book was set and when cultural progress was made."

The vocalists will perform music from both traditional and contemporary artists. One Book, One Harper encouraged a collective reading of "The Help" and, through a series of campus activities - from a southern cooking course to a women's issues panel - encouraged creative conversations on related topics. The concert, Bishop says, offers a final interactive look at the book's themes. "You leave concerts like this feeling inspired," Bishop says. "This book celebrates what brings us together instead of what makes us different, and this music, which encourages clapping, singing and dancing, will do the same thing."

Tickets are free for students and $10 for the public. For ticket reservations or more information, visit www.harpercollege.edu/library.

Press contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159