College Notes:

VOP to perform ‘Jesus Is Alive All Over the World’
The Maryville College Voices of Praise (VOP) Gospel Choir will perform the worship concert "Jesus is Alive All Over the World" at 6 p.m., Dec. 2, in the theatre of the Wilson Chapel/Theatre Complex.

The performance is free and open to the public and will be recorded for CD and DVD, copies of which should be available for purchase before end of the year.

According to Larry Ervin, VOP director and director of multicultural affairs at MC, students of multiple countries and ethnicities are represented in the choir’s "worship family," and the music selected reflects the cultural variety.

"‘Jesus Is Alive All Over the World’ is so fitting as a theme for the Maryville College Voices of Praise Gospel Choir," he said. "At the beginning of our very existence, every nation and every tongue was encouraged to sing this new song of praise and worship. This year, as in many years past, several countries and ethnicities are represented in our worship
family. Our music reflects this in the different flavors of black gospel music rendered."

The concert will feature a blend of eclectic gospel styles from traditional, big band and urban gospel.

Selections from the program include "Alive" by Israel Houghton, "Satisfied" by New Direction, "May Not Have This Chance Anymore" by Ricky Dillard, "Ain’t That Good News" by Vashawn Mitchell and "Jesus Promised" and "Pray We’ll All Be Ready," both by Chicago Mass.

To promote their Dec. 2 worship concert and recording, choir members have planned a mini-tour and will perform at Blount County area churches in the coming weeks.

The itinerary is as follows:
Sunday, Nov. 19

  • 10:30 a.m. - St. John Methodist Church on East Broadway in Maryville
  • 11:15 a.m. - St. Paul AME Zion Church on West Broadway in Maryville
  • 12 noon - Bethel Baptist Church on Hall Road in Maryville

Sunday, Nov. 26

  • 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. - Fairview United Methodist Church on Old Niles Ferry Road in Maryville
  • 11:15 a.m. - Rest Haven Baptist Church on East Watt Road in Maryville
  • 12 p.m. - Clouds of Faith Baptist Church on West Howe Street in Maryville

Wed., Nov. 29

  • 7 p.m. - Sevier Heights Baptist Church on Alcoa Highway in Alcoa
    "Jesus Is Alive All Over the World" recordings will be available for sale after Christmas. Cost is $12 for CDs and $15 for DVDs. According to Ervin, this will be VOP’s sixth recording and is representative of current students in the choir.

Voices of Praise is made up of approximately 50 students and alumni of the College and area musicians. Ervin organized the first Voices of Praise choir in 1991 and has served as its director ever since. This academic year, the choir is celebrating 15 years of worship and performance; a reunion concert is being planned for February.

For more information on the Dec. 2 concert or how to purchase a recording, contact Larry Ervin at 865-981-8222 or

College celebrates American Indian heritage month
To celebrate American Indian Heritage Month, Chongo Hiltibran, a member of the Shawnee United Remnant Band, will speak at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 13, in Maryville College’s Fine Arts Center Music Hall.

The event, co-sponsored by the college’s Indigenous Club and the Multicultural Affairs office and funded by the Student Government Association, is free and open to the public.

Hiltibran has been an active member of the Ohio Shawnee United Remnant Band for more than 20 years. He currently holds the position of Deer Clan leader, storyteller and fire keeper and is a member of the tribal business, Zane Shawnee Caverns and Southwind Park.

Active in guiding the youth with his stories and lessons of Shawnee tradition, he also helps in many youth outreach programs. A cavern guide at Southwind Park, he has put in countless hours into the restoration of the caverns and park. He also assisted in such projects as recreating a pre-1830’s Pioneer Village and Shawnee Village.

Hiltibran’s Nov. 13 program is entitled "Two worlds surviving the 21st century." The focus will be on how Native Americans can keep their traditions and values prominent and available in the world of technology.

"In the 21st century, the traditions and values of the ancestors are as valuable and relevant as in any point of our 12,000-year history," said Meghan DeLacerna, a Maryville College junior and council leader for the Indigenous Club. "Stories are, in reality, life lessons that have stood the test of time. In the age of computers, television, mass marketing and the Internet, this information [about our ancestors] can be shared in an enjoyable and thought-provoking way."

Also planned for Native American Month is a Sweat Lodge Ceremony, scheduled for noon, Nov. 18 at the SeCCI Chota Band Grounds. From Nov. 30 until Dec. 30, the SeCCI and Indigenous Club will jointly present a "code talkers" exhibit at the Blount County Public Library.

For more information on the Nov. 13 event, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 865-981-8222.

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