On Aug. 31, voices floated down the hallway as room 117 in Norse Commons filled with the sounds of students packed into the tiny room. Over the talking, laughter and vocal warm-ups, the soft pulse of two electric keyboards and a bass started up in the background. After a few moments of chaos, the choral director stepped forward with his arms raised. Silence settled as the rehearsal commenced.
Anointed Voices is a worship group at Northern Kentucky University that performs throughout the semester in area churches. The group consists of a gospel choir and mime, praise dancing and stepping teams.
Former president Glennesha Montgomery said the group goes back at least 10 years. As the group expands, Montgomery suspects that a larger location will be needed by next semester. Montgomery says individuals from all backgrounds are welcome. “This isn’t a race thing, it’s a spiritual thing,” Montgomery said.
Choral director Jerome Johnson kept a constant tempo with a crisp, loud snap as students slowly surrounded him. Johnson also coordinates groups at Xavier University and leads a chorus at his church in Cincinnati. Throughout the rehearsal, Johnson spoke to the choir about the different aspects of worship.
“The experience is personal. Music just sets the atmosphere — the point of worship is getting to know God in your own way,” Johnson said. A shift in the room, prompted an improvised sanctuary to a worship service.
Nicole White, a sophomore from Louisville, Ky., calls Anointed Voices her church away from home. White said that the group has taught her humility and has helped her cope with the pressures of college life.
Dominique Baker, also a sophomore from Louisville, Ky., said the group gives him a “sense of belonging to God”. Baker said the group allows him to continue his spirituality, and that his goal for Anointed Voices is to bring more people together so that souls can be saved.
Anointed Voices will hold their first worship service on Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. in BEP 200. All NKU students and faculty are welcome to join. On Sept. 25, Anointed Voices will perform at New Hope Church in Newport, Ky. In November, the group will travel to Louisville for a weekend-long conference consisting of worship and music.
Anointed Voices meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Norse Commons Room 117.