The choir fuses traditional gospel, urban gospel, contemporary Christian music, European harmonies, Caribbean and Afrocentric rhythms and overtones. PSGC provide opportunities for Plattsburgh State students, alumni, faculty, staff, and persons from the local community to sing music from the gospel music traditions. Over 75% of the members are current Plattsburgh State students. The choir has experienced tremendous growth in the past 25 years. In the Spring of 2000 there were 18 members. With added auditions to control the numbers, we currently have 60-70 members.
The Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir (PSGC) was organized in 1991 by students and has constantly emphasized the breadth and depth of gospel music in order to expose both SUNY Plattsburgh and the North Country to this unique American genre. PSGC’s 1st performance in 1991 was for SUNY Plattsburgh’s Kent State/Jackson State memorial ceremony. Even to this day some 25 years later, the choir still presents musical selections in honor of those college student’s who lost their life's while protesting against Social Injustice. The choir’s founder, Zadine Richardson, and a few pioneering students through prayer, hard work and sheer determination, started the choir with a passion to maintain the gospel-songs which gave everyone of them the strength and positive direction they desired while in college. Michelle Noble-Coursey and Zadine worked tirelessly until the gospel choir became a fully recognized Student Association club. Janet Saunders, SUNY Plattsburgh’s became the choir’s first advisor.
In the mid 90's and early 2000's, SUNY Plattsburgh's EOP Director, Marlene Fields became director/advisor of the choir and during the time of both Bishop, Franklin Blanks, Jr and Raymond Golden were the primary musicians. The choir experienced tremendous spiritual growth and recognition during this time. Since 2001, Dexter Criss has served as the choir's pianist, choir director and now artistic director. From 2002 to 2012, Sally Urban served as the choir's advisor. Andrea Ogle has served as the choir director since 2005. Jeff Wheel has served as band leader since 2010 and Rosinda Anthony has served as choir advisor since 2016. In 2002, the choir added a Step Team, Praise Dance Team and a Praise Team component to the choir. The Gospel Choir now bears academic credit as INT225. The choir released their debut CD in the Spring of 2003. Since then they have released six other CDs and two DVDs. Several original pieces have been written by Dexter Criss and other students as well.
The choir actively performs on campus, in the community, and throughout the region averaging 25 appearances each year. The choir sings at a variety of settings including colleges, campus events, K-12 schools, churches, memorial services, weddings, and other community events. In 2014, the choir participated in its first Gospel Choir Competition held at the University of Binghamton; among numerous other competing college choirs around New York State, our choir placed second. In the past years, the choir has performed in Burlington, Albany, New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Little Rock/Stuttgart, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo and St. Maarten/St. Martin.
The choir’s band members are exceptional musicians from the greater Plattsburgh and Burlington area. The choir has collaborated with trumpeter Ray Vega, gospel guru Darius Brooks, clinicians such as Dr. Raymond Wise, Dr. Anthony Leach, and Ron Rucker of Japan among many others. The choir has appeared on several TV shows including the WORD Network and Mountain Lake PBS.