Greetings! My name is Coniyah McKinney and I am a member of the 2019 BGSU Homecoming Court. I am a fourth-year senior studying Communications and Theatre Education and serving as the Director of Voices at BGSU. The Voices at BGSU has been one of the premiere organizations of music, community, engagement and servant-leadership at Bowling Green State University for the past five years. Our mission is to spread the culture and history of Negro spiritual music in a joyful manner through hard work, discipline and collaboration. We strive to create an inclusive and memorable experience for members through our diverse community outreach. Voices has performed across Northwest Ohio and the Detroit, Michigan area. We have even gone on annual tours of Detroit, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Chicago. This tour experience is more than a point in time for members to get a “break” from home and school. This is an experience for members to collaboratively work together and understand why we sing and serve the way we do.
Tour is crucial for Voices because this is where our family bonding happens. How can we work in a joyful manner through collaboration if one does not connect with the other? Tour has given new and returning members the opportunity to explore the challenges and beauties of creating art that is meant to serve various communities. Also, tour is mainly in place to enforce exposure. If our mission is to spread the culture and history of negro spiritual music, we must try our best to spread this message as far out as possible. Going to various cities gives Voices the opportunity to spread our music and mission as well as serving on behalf of Bowling Green State University. One aspect of tour that tends to be the most memorable is caroling to patients in the hospital. Depending on the hospital, Voices is given the permission to perform in more crucial segments of the facility. Voices was even given the chance to perform for cancer patients in Chicago. Though this might seem small, being servant leaders in all capacities is essential to the process. Giving the message of song to patients who are experiencing their last days adds a more personal connection to the service and work that we do as members of Voices at BGSU. Other aspects of service during tour include participating in activities such as preparing lunches for people experiencing homelessness, assisting with cleaning up homeless shelters and giving warm performances at nursing homes. This year we would like to give Voices the experience of touring Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This large city is not only filled with rich African-American history and heritage, but it is a city that can expand our mission in larger scopes.
With all that in mind, I hope that you would consider donating to Voices at BGSU Concert Choir. We think immensely of all of our members and strive to serve them in a way that will encourage them to belong, stand out and go far! With these events, we hope to expand and grow each and every individual member in a way that enhances their experience in the organization and at Bowling Green State University.