Black Diamond Choir
The Black Diamond Choir is the product of a musical performance course offered at the University of Louisville to develop performance and appreciation of sacred/gospel music, focusing on the African-American experience. Singing everything from hymns and spirituals to contemporary songs, the Black Diamond Choir has been a fixture at the university since 1969 and remains the first and only black gospel choir on campus.
The choir got its start when the university implemented a non-credit course called “Black Music Appreciation” in response to protests spurred by a lack of black studies courses and social opportunities for black students. Beatrice Brown and Joetta Harrington organized the Black Diamond Choir to encourage the introduction of black music on campus and to provide fellowship for the small number of African-American students attending U of L at the time.
The choir has now grown to some 125 voices and continues to welcome new members. Many singers join during their high school years, and it isn’t uncommon for members to stay involved even after graduating from U of L.
For most of them, the Black Diamond Choir offers an opportunity to express their faith as well as a chance to sing. Many of the members also get involved in other aspects of student life at U of L by serving as mentors, participating in student government, or becoming active in sororities and fraternities.
The Black Diamond Choir 2003 Spring Concert will be held Sunday, April 27 at 5:00 pm ET at St. Stephens Baptist Church in Louisville.