The University of Hartford's gospel choir, now in its second decade of existence, is a place where students and community members can sing together in an environment of mutual respect and support.
"We meet weekly," said Shantal Russell, a senior voice major at the Hartt School and also the choir's president and director. (Before that, she was the vice president.) "We do bible study for 30 minutes, then get down to business."
The Gospel Choir has an executive board that handles the big decisions. They're booked constantly for gigs at area churches, Russell said, and they do two big concerts a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. The 40-50 person group often has big-name gospel stars who join along. The main thing, though, is community.
"We have a positive attitude about ministering," Russell said. "It's a safe haven where our students can breathe a little bit. You know how everything just hits you at once at college. We try to have a good impact on each other." —Michael Hamad