MTSU's Walker Library salutes gospel music history with diverse exhibit

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Christian rapper nobigdyl performed Sept. 26 on the Student Union commons as part of the James E. Walker Library's semester-long appreciation of gospel music. (Photos submitted)

In MTSU's James E. Walker Library, it's possible to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" without creating a disturbance.

The Gospel Music Association, the MTSU Center for Popular Music, the MTSU School of Music and the library are presenting an exhibit of gospel music artifacts on the library's first floor through the end of the fall 2017 semester.

"I am very pleased with the collaborative effort ... in bringing this wonderful exhibit to MTSU," said Cedric Dent, music professor and member of the GMA Foundation Board of Directors. Dent was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014 as a member of the vocal group Take 6.


Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductees Mahalia Jackson, Bill Gaither, Andrae Crouch and Rich Mullins are featured prominently on artistic tapestries. Glass cases house items ranging from an LP of hymns sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford to a copy of the Gospel Metal fan magazine.

"Our portion of the exhibit showcases the diversity of our collection in terms of the types of items you can find ... from photographs to various sound recording formats to posters and programs all relating to one facet or another of gospel music," said Olivia Beaudry, assistant archivist with the Center for Popular Music.


Christian rapper "nobigdyl" kicked off the gospel celebration with a Sept. 26 performance on the Student Union commons. The artist, who grew up in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, as Dylan Phillips, graduated from MTSU in 2013.

Future scheduled performances include concerts by the MTSU Women's Chorus under the direction of voice instructor Angela Tipps at noon Tuesday, Oct. 10, and the Trinity Jazz Ensemble with Cedric Dent under the direction of School of Music Director Michael Parkinson at noon Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Both concerts will take place in the Walker Library atrium and are free and open to the public. Grover Baker, visual and performing arts librarian, was instrumental in scheduling the performances.

For more information, contact Clay Trainum at 615-898-5376 or

Read more from:
Gospel Music Association, gospel music history exhibit, Middle Tennessee State University, MTSU Center for Popular Music, MTSU School of Music, Murfreesboro news, NewsRadio WGNS
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