MC’s Voices of Praise gospel choir to perform in Ohio 

MC’s Voices of Praise gospel choir to perform in Ohio 

Feb. 19, 2020

Voices of Praise, Maryville College’s gospel choir, will sing for various audiences in Ohio March 6-8, 2020, as part of a spring tour.

In addition to visits to a local high school and a retirement community, “VOP” (as the choir is known on campus) will sing at McComb United Methodist Church (204 High St., McComb, Ohio, 45858) on Sat., March 7 at 5 p.m. The choir will sing at St. John Missionary Baptist Church (34 W. Pleasant St., Springfield, Ohio, 45506) on Sun., March 8 during worship at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The events are free and open to the public. Alumni, parents and friends of the College are invited to attend.

“Here’s MY Worship” is the name of this year’s tour, which “shows that no one can worship for another person,” said Christopher Bryson ’22, president of VOP.

“That’s why ‘MY’ is capitalized,” Bryson said. “It’s about our personal connection with God, and we are excited to share that with everyone in McComb and Springfield, Ohio.”

The 19-member choir, which will be joined by alumni on the tour, has prepared 12 songs of different styles to share with audiences.

“Our concert repertoire is a combination of Traditional, Contemporary and Praise Black Gospel Music,” said Larry Ervin ’97, VOP founder/director and director of MC’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. “‘For the Rest of My Life’ by Rev. Timothy Wright, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ by Benedict College and ‘Marvelous’ by Walter Hawkins are great examples of traditional gospel music post James Cleveland but styled in that way. ‘The Hand of the Lord’ by Ricky Dillard is the New Wave Gospel Contemporary tune that even borrows a riff from a Pointer Sisters’ 70’s hit as a ‘groove’ statement. Contemporary praise and worship, which is embodied in ‘Victory Belongs to Jesus’ by Todd Dulaney and ‘My Worship’ by Phil Thompson, shows the influence of African Americans on the Praise and Worship genre. ‘Alpha and Omega’ is a grand representation of Praise and Worship by Israel Houghton, who helped to truly popularize worship music.”

VOP, now in its 29th year, regularly performs for College functions and in local churches, in addition to short worship tours in the fall and spring.

For more information on VOP or its spring tour, contact Ervin at 865.981.8222 or

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”