*The praises will ring and the house will rock when North Central College presents its 23rd annual Gospel Extravaganza Jan. 22.

The event concludes the college’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week and features a variety of energetic and enthusiastic gospel performers.

In addition to North Central’s Voices of Praise gospel choir, performers include the 50-member Wheaton College Gospel Choir, Lisle-based DuPage African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Gospel Choir and the 80-member Dexter Walker and Zion Movement Chorale of Chicago.

Dexter Walker and Zion Movement Chorale was the first-place winner in Chicago’s 2005 All-City Gospel Challenge Choir Competition, was named the Chicago Music Awards “Best Gospel Entertainer” in 2008 and honored as Hope Today Magazine’s “People To Know” in 2008.

Brianna Simmons, a junior from Orland Park majoring in music performance, is president of the student-run Voices of Praise Gospel Choir at NCC and has been planning the Extravaganza since the beginning of the school year.

“This whole event is planned and set up by the students running it,” she said. “We contacted the choirs, did all of the contracts, and got the performance hall ready. We put this together ourselves, this is our product.”

Read the full story here.