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In A Fitting Ending to Black History Month, the UCF Gospel & Cultural Choir Lifts Every Voice and Sings


The UCF Gospel Choir recorded "Lift Every Voice and Sing" often called the Black National Anthem for Black History Month.

WMFE spoke with Choir President Hector Garcia and Secretary and member Lourdgenie "LouLou" Lamothe about the special importance of the song this year.


Read the full interview below.

Danielle: Tell me a little bit about why it was so important to record, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" this year in particular.

Hector: This past year has been such a troubling year for the Black and colored communities. You know, especially with the George Floyd murder and all the Black Lives Matter protests, I think, you know, we did all that last summer and coming to full circle now into the new year. I feel like it's super important to still maintain those, those strong relationships and those movements that we had earlier last year.

Danielle: How did you think about interpreting this song for UCF? When I think about the song, I think about Beyoncé and Coachella, so those are some big shoes to fill. How did you think about how you wanted to sing it as a choir?

Hector: I knew that I wanted the message to be a gospel message. I wanted them to understand that this is a gospel choir performing. And so I wanted that gospel choir feel, and that feeling that you get when you listen to a gospel choir, I wanted the audience to feel that when they heard the song.

Danielle: And Hector we're gonna listen to a little bit of a clip of the song. What do you mean though, by you know, gospel influences, what should we be listening to, to hear in particular, when we when we listen to this recording?

Hector: You know, a lot of people have heard this song as a soloist, like you mentioned Beyoncé and Alicia Keys sing at the Super Bowl halftime of the Super Bowl. A lot of people have heard it as solos, they haven't really heard it as a full choir. I want them to hear all our voices running together as one.

Danielle: Lourdgenie what lyrics specifically struck you when you were thinking about singing this song? Was there, was there any kind of words or phrasing in this song that really kind of stuck with you when you thought about when you when you sang the piece?

Lourdgenie: I'd say similar to what Hector said, is lift every voice, it's not specific to just one group, it's calling for us to come together to lift our voices not just for singing, but to more so speak against things that are not right, speak against injustices and ultimately vouch for the truth.

Danielle: What sort of response Lourdgenie have you had from the community on this recording or even from, you know, some of your fellow choir members about what it felt like to record this song this particular year?

Lourdgenie: They need that support, they need that comfort that the song or the recording brings. And so for many people that I've spoken to, or that have seen the video is it served as comfort or just reassurance that they are doing the right thing that they're advocating for the right thing.
Listen to the full conversation, by clicking on the clip at the top of the page.



Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.