Ross School - Senior Projects 2011


Student: Kayla Jerido

Mentor: Adam Judd

Domain(s): Performing Arts – 100%




Title: “Gospel Roots”



 “Gospel Roots” explores the history of America Gospel roots from old Negro spiritual to present day American Gospel. It includes a paper and a fundraiser, where the choir, Showers of Blessings from Kings Chapel, will perform gospel songs to demonstrate the development of American gospel. I will be fundraising to support the annual tent revival my church runs, which is a unique cultural event within the Southampton community.



























            For my senior project I first started off at the end of my junior year working with my mentor to pick a summer reading book, which was called “We'll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering African American Gospel Composers” by Bernice Johnson Reagon. Writing my preliminary proposal and formal proposal helped me a Iot to know what I wanted to do. Then I started to read and research the many different composers for my paper. I also talked to my outside consultant Antoine Charlton who gave me the name of the composer Thomas A. Dorsey to start with, which helped a lot to get started. Reading about him first helped me because he mentioned a lot of gospel singers he learned from and also mentored.

After a great deal of reading, I started writing my paper, I started really early because I knew I had a lot to do and I knew it was going to talk a long time to figure out how I was going to put all the information I gathered together into a well thought-out paper. Therefore, during my research and reading I wrote an outline that helped me stay organized, it helped me to stay focused on one part of my paper at a time and not wander all over. After writing a majority of my paper over the summer, I had a lot more time to plan for my event and time to do my college applications and school work.

However, I also had to do my blog entries and to write a rubric for my senior project. After that I started to put a lot of attention into planning my event. I talked to my two outside consultants, Antoine Charlton and Laquinta Wilson, about the event. I first started with writing fundraising letters asking local businesses for money and handing out my flyers for my event. Then Antoine Charlton and Laquinta began talking about what songs they were going to chose, which took a while because they first wanted to read my paper, but I was not completely finished. So they just read my outline and had a pretty good understanding of what I was trying to do because of how well my outline was written. From the outline they picked the songs for my event. Laquinta, told me to write narratives for each of the songs that we where doing, which took a long time because I had never written a narrative.

The first time I attempted to write them they were completely wrong, so I had to do them all over. When I did them the second time, they where good and I can honestly say that the narratives took a really long time and were one of the biggest challenges for me, but I got through it. I also had to go to a systems meeting to choose the date for my event, which in the end ended up changing because of an issue involving my Antoine Charlton the pianist. Having to change the date made it a lot more difficult because I had to then go back and change the date on my flyers and re-hand them out. It was a lot of work, but in the end everything worked out great. My event was a success. I raised $1,740 and everyone enjoyed the food. The goal I wanted to achieve, I feel definitely was achieved. The goal was to lift people up in way that they never have been before, and also to share how touching and moving gospel can be even if you do not believe in God. My senior project is something that I will never forget. I am so happy with the many great responses I got. I also hope in the future to do it once more before I leave and one idea I had was doing it this month for black history month.


Works Consulted

"Aretha Franklin Biography." 2011. Web. 3 Jan 2011. <>.

Darden, Robert. People Get Ready: A New History of Black Gospel Music. New York: Continuum, 2008. Print.

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and Nellie Y. McKay. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1997. Print.

Harris, Michael W. The Rise of Gospel Blues: The Music of Thomas Andrew Dorsey in the Urban Church. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Print.

Jackson, Jerma A. Singing in My Soul: Black Gospel Music in a Secular Age. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004. Print.

“Let My People Go – Paul Robeson.” Youtube. 19 Nov. 2008. Web. 2010. <>.

Lincoln, C. Eric and Lawrence H. Mamiya. The Black Church in the African American Experience. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990. Print.

“Mahalia Jackson.” 3 Jan. 2011. Web. Nov. 2010. <>.

Morrow, John. “Thomas A. Dorsey Biography.” 2010. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. <>.

Moulton, Carroll. Thomas A. Dorsey Father of Gospel. 2010. Photograph. Georgia.

Precious Lord: Recordings of the Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey. Sony, 1973. CD.

Reagon, Bernice Johnson, ed. We’ll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering African American Gospel Composers. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. Print.

Say Amen, Somebody. Dir. George T. Nierenberg. DVD. Karen Nierenberg. 1982. Film.

Staig, Laurence. “Obituary: Thomas Dorsey.” Independent Newspaper. 26 Jan. 1993. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. <>.

“Thomas A Dorsey: Precious Lord.” Youtube. 9 July 2008. Web. 2010. <>.

Walker, Albertina & Associates. “Biography.” 3 Jan. 2011. Web. Nov. 2010. <>.

Walker, Albertina & Associates. “Albertina Walker The Queen of Gospel.” 2010. Web. Nov. 2010. <>.

White, Frank. Recoded interview. Nov. 2010.


Outside Consultant

Outside Consultants


Laquinta Wilson

Home: 631-647-4158

Cell: 1-516- 232-5281

Work – 631-436-6389

Profession – Teacher/Information Technology (I.T) System


Laquinta helped me organize and get the food together for my event. She also designed my flyer and tickets for me and put together my program for my event. She also put packets together with the words of all the songs we where singing and made Cd’s with all the songs we did on them.


Antoine Charlton

Profession: School Bus Driver (Also Plays the Organ in my church)

Cell: 1-646-245-0777


            Antoine helped by choosing the songs for my event that best fit with what I was writing about in my paper. He also rehearsed with my choir for my event.


Dr. Carroll Moulton

Profession: Writer/Editor in Educational publishing

Home: 1-631-283-1361

Cell: 1-631-655-3696


            Dr. Carroll Moulton helped me edit and write my paper over the summer and beginning of the year.