Sat12202014

Community

United Methodist Church’s gospel festival celebrates Black History Month


Photo By: Apala Egan/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Apala Egan/Special To The Town Crier

Dr. Dee Vance-Lee Robinson and Ja Ronn Thompson will perform as part of the Feb. 23 Make a Joyful Noise Gospel Fest at Los Altos United Methodist Church.

Los Altos United Methodist Church has scheduled its annual Make a Joyful Noise Gospel Fest 7-10 p.m. Feb. 23 at the church, 655 Magdalena Ave.

The gospel festival is slated at the end of February in celebration of Black History Month.

Dr. Dee Vance-Lee Robinson will direct the vocal and instrumental music for the event.

Robinson teaches music to the Peninsula Community Gospel Choir, which she said boasts a dedicated group of students. Recently retired, she taught Gospel Music and other subjects at Foothill College for more than two decades.

She now devotes her time to the choir, formerly known as the Foothill Gospel Choir.

Skilled musicians, or “clinicians,” rehearse the nearly 100 singers for five weeks before the festival, as they have done for the past 24 years.

The lead clinician for this year’s concert is Ja Ronn Thompson. Festival participants include many from the community who share a love of spiritual music.

Choir members come from Los Altos and neighboring towns. Robinson said the profound uplifting message in the music attracts the large number.

“People from all walks of life and a variety of cultures are in the choir,” she said. “They come because they love the music.”

Dirk Damonte, minister of music and worship arts at the church, agreed.

“They have been practicing here with us for over two decades,” he said of the Peninsula Community Gospel Choir, adding that the gospel genre of church music, where there is a melding of the spiritual and jazz influences, arose from the African-American experience.

Tickets are available in advance and at the door.

For advance tickets and more information, call Robinson at (408) 644-9995 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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