FAMU gospel choir to appear in Disney Christmas day concert

During their performance at the Disney Christmas concert, FAMU Gospel Choir will sing “Joy to the World.” 
Photo courtesy FAMU

By Andrew Skerritt 

FAMU Office of Communications

 Members of the FAMU gospel choir will serenade America on Christmas morning in true Disney fashion.   

The choir performed three songs in the Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration, which will air on ABC from 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 25. 

The Choir will sing “Joy to the World.” Later, they will accompany Keedron Bryant of “I just want to live” fame in a performance of “Someday at Christmas.”   

For a third performance, the choir will accompany Tori Kelly, a lead singer with Kirk Franklin, performing “Let it snow.” The two-hour event will also feature performances of artists such as hosts Tituss Burgess and Julianne Hough, as well as Becky G, Jon Batiste, Maddie & Tae and Trevor Jackson.   

The choir usually includes about 50 members. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 16 members made the three-day trip to Orlando.  

Choir Director Darien Bolden said the opportunity to sing at Disney was like a godsend. 

“This pandemic has been a gloomy time for the FAMU Gospel Choir. We have not been able to sing together since the early portion of March this year,” said Bolden, a senior music student from Jacksonville. “To have the opportunity to mold and shape gifts that will be shared with the entire country on Christmas morning is an exciting yet humbling feeling to know that you have the opportunity to put FAMU’s name on the map once again.”   

Advisers Valeria Singleton and John Harris accompanied the group to Orlando earlier this month. 

“We don’t know why we were afforded this awesome opportunity for our students, especially during this pandemic,” said Harris, an academic adviser in the School of Allied Health Sciences. He said Disney staff took steps to safeguard the health of the group. 

“They used every safety precaution they could possibly use. We had a COVID compliance officer who was with us from Tallahassee all the way to Orlando,” Harris said, adding that the trip was worthwhile.  

“They made the holiday great for our students even before the holidays got here,” he said. “Students were able to make the holiday season great for other people. We were excited they chose our university and our university gospel choir to be part of it.” 

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