August 2011  
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Be Uplifted: New CD by Essence of Joy Alumni Singers

Article related photo.For six-plus years, the mix of sacred and secular music by Essence of Joy Alumni Singers has been uplifting audiences to realms of pure enjoyment. Now you can listen to this vibrant choir on your iPod or at home by purchasing the group’s first, just-released CD.

“This CD has been a labor of love for us,” said Tom Bonsaint, vice president of advertising, marketing and public relations for Essence of Joy Alumni Singers Alumni Interest Group (EOJAS). “It's taken us some time to afford its production, and we're thrilled to share it with our friends, family and fans.”

Directed by Professor Anthony Leach, EOJAS comprises 195 Penn State alumni who all sang in the student Essence of Joy choir when on campus. The nearly 200 members represent 24 states, two territories, and four countries. The group has performed all over the world, including France, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Belgium, as well as a number of states in the United States. Typically 25–40 singers perform at each concert.

Article related photo. One of the group’s favorite songs to sing is “Born to Die,” from the Born to Die Christmas Cantata, composed by Glenn E. Burleigh. The choir has performed both the full cantata and selections from it. It includes elements of traditional African-American music along a more modern Gospel feel. “The energy of the song lifts the spirit of the choir and the audiences,” said Bonsaint.

The CD is available at the EOJAS website for $15 in digital download or $20 for a hard CD. Want to hear some preview snippets? The website features 20-plus seconds of each of the 15 songs on the CD, including “Born to Die.”

EOJAS has two upcoming performances in Pennsylvania in October—one in State College and one in Harrisburg. Check out the website for more information.

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