After a 10 year period of inactivity, the Fresno State Gospel Choir returned in the spring semester of 2017. It was a joint decision between the College of Social Sciences, the Africana Studies program, and the Music department.

The Gospel Choir was originally started nearly 30 years ago and has created an opportunity for Fresno State students and community singers to learn and perform material from historic and contemporary gospel and spiritual music.

“The Gospel choir is designed to provide fundamental singing technique to its students and it is open to all regardless of skill level,” director Dr. Asia Smith said.

Also adding that the goal of the choir is to provide an enriched education of gospel music, and the culture that developed it, its progressive movement, and global impact through performance and class activities.

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A native of Fresno, Dr. Smith comes from a unique blend of traditional gospel and classical genres and styles. She uses this exciting blend to bring a fresh wind to the world of music. Her educational background and lifetime experience has enabled her to equip, empower, and encourage the people she comes in contact with.

As a vocal performer, Dr. Smith has traveled to Canada and Europe as a featured solo artist.  She inspires others to view life from a different perspective and offers new and innovative ways to consider musical expression.

Dr. Smith’s passion is the development of the voice. She is always working to motivate others while giving them distinctive tools and strategies to apply to any vocal situation. Dr. Smith considers it an honor to have obtained the following degrees: Associate of Theology, Bachelors in Music Performance and Biblical Studies, a Masters in Ministry, and her Doctorate in Divinity.

The number of voices in the choir last year was up to 12 with several of them being community volunteers and others enrolled students.

The choir’s main performance is during the spring semester, which is open to the public, free of charge. The concert also features local singers, guest choirs and dance performers.