Voices & Vinyl: Baylor University Libraries Will Celebrate Collection of Black Gospel Music with Concert

Dec. 1, 2015
voices of vinyl

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WACO, Texas (Dec. 1, 2015) – Baylor University’s Electronic Library will partner with Baylor’s Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir to present “Voices & Vinyl: Selections from the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project” at noon Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Moody Memorial Library Albritton Foyer.

“Voices & Vinyl is a concert performed by the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir in support of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project,” said Eric Ames, curator of digital collections in Baylor Libraries and lecturer in the department of museum studies in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “Heavenly Voices will be singing songs inspired by the project, remixed for modern times by their own members, and selections will also include some Christmas songs to complement the activities of Christmas on 5th Street later that night.”

The Black Gospel Music Restoration Project is an effort by Baylor’s Electronic Library that aims to identify, acquire, preserve, record and catalog the most at-risk music from the black gospel music tradition. The collection primarily contains 78s, 45s, LPs and the various tape formats issued in the United States and abroad between the 1940s and 1980s. The ultimate goal of the project is to have a copy of every song released by every black gospel artist or group during that time.

The project, now in its 10th year, is nationally known as a unique collection of materials related to gospel music and will be included in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture when it opens in 2016. The project is spearheaded by Robert Darden, a professor in the department of journalism, public relations and new media in the College of Arts & Sciences and author of “People Get Ready!: A New History of Black Gospel Music” and “Nothing But Love in God’s Water: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Volume I.”

“The purpose of Voices & Vinyl is twofold: to promote the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project to Baylor’s student body and to showcase the impact of traditional black gospel music on modern performers,” Ames said. “We hope the event will expose Baylor students to the unique resource of the project.”

The Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir was established in 1988. Members travel around Texas singing and doing community service. Its goal is to minister through music, experience personal spiritual growth and effectively touch the lives of others.

“We are excited about this concert because it’s an opportunity for the campus community – especially students – to learn more about a nationally prominent project of the University Libraries that is open to the world,” Ames said. “The concert will feature songs that have had an impact on the areas of civil rights, black culture, popular music and spirituality for the better part of a century, all updated by current students to reflect the ongoing evolution of gospel music. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to see one of the Baylor community’s truly talented groups take the stage in a unique setting for a free, uplifting and praising performance like no other.”

This concert is free and open to the public.

Moody Memorial Library is located at 1312 S. Third St.

For more information about the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, click here.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The Baylor University Libraries support excellence in teaching and learning, enhance research and discovery, and foster scholarship and success. Through its Central Libraries and special collections – Armstrong Browning Library, W.R. Poage Legislative Library and The Texas Collection – the Libraries serve as academic life centers that provide scholarly resources and technological innovation for the Baylor community and beyond.

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