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Madison Gospelaires

A Capella Gospel Group

The Madison Gospelaires were founded in 1985 by Will and Dorothy Williams. The group sings traditional, quartet-style a capella gospel hymns. The members of the group have varied over time; at its largest, there were nine members and today there are six singers (two women and four men). The Gospelaires practice weekly and perform throughout the state at churches and other events.

The members sing together for a variety of reasons. All of them enjoy the music and camaraderie. Dorothy Williams empathizes the spiritual aspect of their musical labor. She believes that the hymns are a form of ministry and she enthusiastically praises the Lord through her singing. When she is feeling blue, Dorothy sings a hymn to feel better.

The Gospelaires wear traditional African dress that originates from several different locations in Africa. Will Williams believes that the roots of gospel music do not originate in blues but come from African music tradition. Their colorful dress reflects this heritage.

The Madison Gospelaires provide a lively performance for their audiences. In addition to their harmonious voices, the singers often clap and stomp their feet to keep time. They encourage audience members to clap with them. Each song features a lead singer, who often improvises lyrics, and the remaining members provide background harmonies. The songs speak of hope, peace, and salvation.

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