There Is No Turning Back
The Voices of Joy gospel choir was founded in October, 1988 in response to a desire among some students for a return to their spiritual 'roots.' Since that time, membership, which is open to all Indiana University of Pennsylvania - students, has consistently remained between forty and sixty persons. The only prerequisite for membership is a desire to sing gospel music. The choir's repertoire includes all styles of gospel music ranging from traditional to contemporary. In addition, the group performs many original pieces written by the directors and various members. Since it's inception, the choir has traveled extensively, performing at educational, religious, and community functions. Among these performances were the Indiana County Prayer Breakfast featuring then Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey, opening performances for TAKE 6 and the New Jersey Mass Choir, and the Investitures for IUP Presidents Lawrence Pettit and Tony Atwater. In 1990, the choir was recognized for outstanding service by the NAACP through it's Distinguished Leader Award, and was also awarded at Pittsburgh's Festival of College Gospel Choirs. In addition, the Voices of Joy twice received honorable mention at the National Collegiate Gospel Choir Competition in New York City. The Voices of Joy choir is under the direction of Rev. Dr. Melvin A. Jenkins, who also serves as a faculty member at IUP, and Rev. David T. Hanson, a community leader.