Gospel music comes to Marion

News Release Date: 

Raise Productions group “Family” hopes to inspire and educate with gospel concert

The Ohio State University at Marion welcomes the Raise Productions gospel ensemble “Family” to Morrill Hall Auditorium Thursday, February 11, 7:30 p.m., as part of the Five Nights on Campus cultural and performing arts series.

Family began singing together in 1990 as one of the smaller performing groups of Raise Productions, a company whose mission is to "preserve, perpetuate, and promote ongoing professionalism within the field of gospel music." Performing a repertoire of contemporary and traditional gospel music, Family is comprised of Raymond and Dawnne Wise and Frank and Bonnie Lane. While not related by blood, they are the "First Families" of Raise Productions, of which Raymond and Frank are president and vice president.

According to Dr. Raymond Wise, gospel music is an American art form that has influenced many types of music. The fact that it has been excluded from the academic community in terms of concerts and academic study has prevented the general public from recognizing its significance.

“The idea that colleges and universities are now including (gospel music) and it is now making its way into the classroom provides exposure to the art form,” explained Wise.

“Students can learn how it has influenced American music. Gospel music is educational and inspirational,” he said.

“Spirituals are the main original form from which everything comes, a mentor to many other musical styles,” added Wise.

Gospel has influenced rock, soul, R&B, and hip hop, he concluded. “Secular is baby honey, Sacred music is Jesus God.”

As gospel music evolved in the 1960’s and 1970’s, explained Wise, artists such as Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cook, and Ray Charles incorporated what they knew from the church into their music, making the sound more mainstream.

Dr. Wise has developed and implemented courses in African-American Gospel Music and Spirituals at several universities in Ohio. He presently instructs courses in Gospel Music and conducts Gospel ensembles at The Ohio State University, Denison University, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and the Columbus School for Girls. His knowledge of both the gospel and classical music genres has enabled him to serve as a consultant and clinician in academic and gospel music settings, allowing him to bridge the musical gap between the gospel and classical worlds.

Ticket prices for “Family” are $10 for general admission, $9 for seniors, and $4 for students. There is no charge for children 5 years of age or younger. Marion campus faculty and staff, which includes all Ohio State Marion and Marion Technical College personnel, are eligible for $8 discounted individual performance tickets.

Tickets are available in advance or at the door. For advance tickets or for more information contact Bronwen Babich, Ohio State Marion Office of Community Relations at 740-725-6341, or email:  babich.5@osu.edu.

Five Nights on Campus is a performing arts series designed specifically for the residents of the seven-county regional service area of Ohio State Marion and is intended to complement the other entertainment opportunities which are available in the area. The mission of Five Nights is to provide exceptional and diverse cultural and educational opportunities and to encourage the community to be a part of campus life. The series, which began in autumn 1995, is in its fifteenth year. This season offers an outstanding blend of talented national and international performers.

Five Nights on Campus is made possible by local community-minded businesses and organizations such as: Clear Channel Radio, Marion; Herald Printing; Marion Technical College; Whirlpool Corporation, Marion Division; the Warren Brown Family Foundation; and Wyandot, Inc.


Remaining Five Nights on Campus season schedule:
Russian Duo - March 11, 7:30 p.m., Morrill Hall Auditorium
Russian Duo is an international project born out of a love of traditional music and classical elegance. Oleg Kruglyakov, balalaika virtuoso, and Terry Boyarsky, masterful pianist, have teamed up for exuberant performances of soulful, passionate music. Their collaboration highlights the mysterious sounds of the balalaika underscored by the vast expressive range of the piano. Featuring vocals and Russian percussion, their extensive repertoire draws from Russian folk music, romances, dances, classical music, gypsy melodies, and Russian songs meticulously translated into English.

Branch Rickey - April 8, 7:30 p.m., Morrill Hall Auditorium
Dr. John "Chuck" Chalberg delights audiences throughout the United States with his historical impersonations of American and British characters. Come and enjoy his portrayal of Branch Rickey, a man who may no longer be a household name but who changed the face of America. Mr. Rickey will expound on any number of baseball and non-baseball topics, most importantly, his decision to sign Jackie Robinson to a Brooklyn Dodger contract. His historic meeting with Mr. Robinson is now a part of American folklore, but it is only one part of the Branch Rickey story.