“The main benefit for the students is that the
Gospel Choir provides a
place of unconditional acceptance of all students who enjoy singing
gospel music. ”
CNR Gospel Choir
The College of New Rochelle
Tell us a little about yourself, Mr. Francis
I was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Florida in 1988.
My undergraduate degree is from Florida International University, and I
lived in Florida before moving to New York in 1993.
What are your
responsibilities here at the College?
My primary responsibilities
are to lead by example and be a solid mentor for all my students; to
nurture a spiritual environment recognizing that my students come from
various worship backgrounds; develop the vocal techniques and
capabilities of all students (especially those who are new to
singing in a choir setting); to always be encouraging and bring
relevance to the group beyond just choral performances to bring
relevance to social justice issues and personal experiences, as we use
music and worship to understand better who we are as children of God in
an ever changing, always evolving world
How many students are in
Student enrollment in the choir varies each semester.
This semester we have 35 students. On the average we have 20 students.
How do you select students
for the Choir?
We advertise through Campus
Ministry and Student Activities. However, we find that most of the time
the students in the choir recruit their friends. Also we have students
coming to us after an on-campus performance and asking about joining
How do students go about
joining the Choir?
The Gospel Choir has an
online presence, and students can sign up initially that way. The
easiest way, however, to become a part of the Gospel Choir family is by
stopping by the chapel on Thursday or Sunday evenings from 7:30 - 9:30
pm, where we warmly welcome students to join us.
What do you think are the
for the students (and the College) for the Choir?
The main benefit for the
students is that the Gospel Choir provides a place of unconditional
acceptance of all students who enjoy singing gospel music. With our
rehearsal time and preparations for different events, we develop a
strong bond with each other as we reflect on God's unconditional love
for all of us. We also socialize as a group throughout the semester
with scheduled social activities like bowling and roller skating. We
create a place for relaxation and act as a listening ear for all
members who wish to share their thoughts and feelings on various
issues, and we basically have fun as we learn the songs and the
relevant dance choreography.
The main benefit for the
College is that the students have an outlet for ecumenical worship,
with a Gospel Choir program, that encompasses education values. The
choir program is relaxed, but follows a specific structure to ensure
that there are worship components, ministerial components, social
components and educational components which give added value to the
lives of the students that are a part of this warm and caring group of