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Celebrating diversity together

Iowa Central to host Black History Month concert

Iowa Central Community College’s Vocal Music Department will be hosting a Black History Month concert at 7 p.m. Friday in the Opera House at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village.

The concert is free and family-friendly. There will be a table where donations will be welcomed, and will benefit the Fort Museum and the Opera House, said Will Lopes, director of vocal music at Iowa Central.

“The concert will be a combination of spirituals, sacred music and gospel songs,” Lopes said. “A combination of all three of those genres, which are very connected to the African-American heritage.”

The concert will feature the Triton Singers, the Vocal Jazz ensemble and the Encore Singers, the college’s show choir.

“On top of that, we are going to have Jive for Five joining us for the concert, and other local musicians,” Lopes said.

The majority of the songs that will be performed are traditional songs that most will recognize, like “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which is a song famous for the idea of coming together, the director said.

“The whole idea of the concert is really that idea of coming together and togetherness and friendship and relationships,” Lopes said.

The ensembles will also sing a song that became known as the “Black national anthem” called “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

The choirs will be joined by another local voice for the performance of “He Never Failed Me Yet,” which will feature Rev. Eric Howard of First Baptist Church.

The purpose of the concert is to bring the Fort Dodge and Iowa Central communities together and celebrate African-American heritage.

“I think that we live in a time in history, especially on our campus, where diversity is so real net and so present and anytime we have a chance to celebrate that history and teach our students about the legacy of African-American history is great,” Lopes said. “To be able to celebrate that diversity we already have in our campus, we already have in our community, we just think it will be great for students and for our community to come together and do that.”

Lopes said he hopes to see a packed audience at the Opera House for the concert.

“We would love for the community to come out to not only show their support to our department at Iowa Central, but to celebrate diversity together,” he said.

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