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April 10, 2000

ULM ensemble takes national competition

The Interdenominational Ensemble, a University of Louisiana at Monroe choral group of 45 members which sings gospels, anthems and spirituals, recently won the Large Choir Division at the National Baptist Student Union Retreat in Atlanta. It marked the fifth consecutive year the group has won the competition.

Each group in the competition was judged on one performance in categories of tone quality, attacks and releases, phrasing, diction and ensemble, among others.

The Interdenominational Ensemble was the smallest among the Large Choir competitors.

"Our purpose is to sing and uplift the name of Jesus through our songs," Ensemble president Kema Dawson said. "We perform gospels and spirituals in the name of ULM."

Advisor and faculty director for the group Louis Nabors, Associate Professor of Music at ULM, said the competition was just one aspect of the activities in Atlanta.

"The competition is just a part of it," Nabors said. "There are seminars and discussions that the students attended that concentrate on how to live a Christian life on a college campus." Nabors has taught the Interdenominational Ensemble its competition piece for each of the last five years.

The Interdenominational Ensemble does not just sing in competition. The choir routinely performs at churches throughout north Louisiana and this past weekend traveled to Marksville to sing back-up to Paul Anka on a spiritual tune.

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