In academic year 1998-1999, Ashon Crawley (C ’02) saw a spiritual void at Penn and founded the New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir, a group dedicated to praising God with music and spreading the message of the Gospel throughout Penn’s campus and the surrounding communities. The choir started with 5 members and has grown tremendously since. NSP performs a variety of music, including original songs, medleys, and traditional and contemporary Gospel; in the semesterly concerts, dance, spoken word and poetry are often performed alongside the songs.
Aside from holding our biannual concerts, NSP also sings at nearby churches, soup kitchens, goes Christmas caroling on UPenn’s campus, and has performed alongside Christian McBride, world-renowned jazz bassist, for his Black History Month production The Movement Revisited at the Annenberg Center.
The choir’s alumni song is “Rock of Ages”, which declares that the Lord God is the only One on whom you can depend. This song is particularly fitting for the choir because NSP, although a student group, is not funded by the University. Although this has at times been a challenge, it gives even more reason to continue praising God for all that He has done. The New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir is truly a testament to the works of faith “the size of a mustard seed”.