Musical makes ‘huge’ difference

Published 4:04 pm Sunday, November 7, 2010

It is one of Mount Calvary Baptist Church’s biggest events: the W.L. Daniel Scholarship Musical.

This year, the musical will bring together Niles area choirs along with a special musical guest Saturday at 6 p.m.

“Last year we had anywhere from between 300 and 400 people,” said Mount Calvary’s Beverly Woodson.

The musical is held to benefit the church’s scholarship program, which awards $1,000 to a graduating high school student and member of the church.

Students “have to be actively involved with a ministry at the church” as well as maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher and be involved in other community service activities, Woodson said.

Woodson said the church is expecting to award a scholarship to two students this year. Two received scholarships last year and three the year before.

Pastor Bryant Bacon said last year the church has been awarding the scholarships for at least as long as he’s been with the church — six or seven years.

This year the special guest and visiting choir will be Pastor Larry Callahan and Selected of God of Detroit.

“They are dynamic,” Woodson said. “They are awesome.”

According to the Callahan and the group’s official MySpace page, they have also participated in the New Orleans Jazz Festival, were named the Best Small Choir in the Detroit Region at the How Sweet the Sound Competition in 2008 and won first place in the Detroit Gospel Showcase and Awards Choir Competition that same year.

“The surrounding choirs of the Niles community have amassed together for this occasion,” Woodson said.

Delaina Croom, a Niles High School graduate of the class of 2009 and sophomore at Southwestern Michigan College is a past recipient of the scholarship and said the musical is “huge.”

Croom said she has at least one more year of study at SMC before moving forward in the nursing program, her goal being to become a registered nurse.

In 2009, she said she “was going to church and helping my mom out with the choir.”

The scholarship, she added, “is very helpful. And it shows that they are supporting us.”

Organizers have been planning the event since last year’s ended, Woodson said.

“It is open to the public, the community, South Bend, Benton harbor, the Michiana area — all are welcome,” she said.