Junior Katherine Stinnett said she dreamed of becoming part of Harding’s a cappella ensemble, Good News Singers, since she was a child, but never anticipated she would make the audition. When she came to Harding, Stinnett said she was encouraged to audition, and becoming a member of the ensemble influenced her beyond her expectations.
“I love that each week there are set times where we get together to sing and work on songs, and essentially work on the ministry together,” Stinnett said. “I have been refreshed at the encouraging thoughts and reminders form our director, Chuck Hicks, and the rest of the group about who Jesus is — their actions and words speak to that.”
GNS was founded by the Bible department back in 1982. According to Chuck Hicks, GNS director and professor of music, the ensemble is a ministry for both audiences and the members within the group.
“We are dedicated to touching the hearts of our audiences with beautiful messages of hope and joy to be found in Christ Jesus (through our songs),” Hicks said. “(GNS) share together the lives of many precious souls who share their stories freely, and in the process we grow closer to them, to each other and to God.”
GNS practices about two times per week and performs 10 times per semester. Junior GNS member Ross Smith said these times are more personal than scheduled meetings.
“(GNS) is getting together two times a week with my brothers and sisters to worship, and to praise a God we all believe in and love,” Smith said. “It is going on trips to share the love we have for God with voices, learning something new every day about just how hard it is, but at the same time, just how great it is to be a follower of Christ.”
According to Hicks, the whole group arranges songs in ways they think will best express its message of the Gospel. Whether the harmonies are elaborated or simple, the group strives to make the song their own. Smith said this helps him to understand God more.
“Throughout the year, as we are learning new songs, but learning the meaning behind those words, there comes a point as a group where I believe we begin to understand how God is working through us as a group rather than as individuals,” Smith said.
Hicks said the GNS is an outlet for his love of harmony and “music with purpose,” and he said the members become a family whose relationship never ends.
“(The students) challenge me to be always aware of who I am and whose I am,” Hicks said. “In addition to focusing musically, they bring me joy in many way as we work together to represent our God, our families and out school with beauty, sensitivity, integrity and passion.”
Good News Singers will perform Homecoming on the Benson steps on Oct. 28 at 4 p.m.
This article was co-written by Savanna DiStefano and Thelma Garcia Martinez