Memories of my time at Loyola are joyous and the experiences made a profound impact on my life. None greater or more important than meeting some of my best friends in life: Corie Roberts (Benton) ’95, Mona King (Austin), Raffaela Wilson ’94, and LaConteau Brinkley (Cooper), who along with myself, founded Loyola’s Genesis Gospel Choir in the fall of 1990!
Corie, from Shreveport, LA, was the first person I met of “the crew.” We actually met the summer of 1990 while attending an Orientation weekend with our parents. We hit it off instantly and so did our parents!
Mona was also from Shreveport and attended school with Corie. I hung on to every word she said! We had lots of fun together!
Raffaela or “Ralf” as she’s affectionately known from Alexandria, LA, was and still is our resident “fly girl.” She had flying privileges that afforded her to travel all over the country and even though she was from a small town, she had big aspirations.
LaConteau from Atlanta, GA, was our “elder” and resident chef! She would whip up one of her grandmother’s recipes in a heartbeat and for that, we appreciated and loved being taken care of and fed good food made from the heart.
Corie, Mona, and LaConteau majored in music, Ralf was an English major, and I was the lone accounting major. We formed a bond that could not be broken. We studied together, laughed together, cried together, danced together, explored together, prayed and sang together.
We spent time together every single day and learned a lot about each other and ourselves in the process. On one occasion while studying, Ralf and I found ourselves in the music room on the bottom floor of Buddig Hall listening to Corie and Mona play their violas while LaConteau sang. God was definitely in our midst as Spirit brought us all to singing gospel hymns. It was at that moment that the Genesis Gospel Choir was birthed.
We never conceived at the time that what started as a group of friends giving thanks and praise for our blessings (especially being able to attend a prestigious university like Loyola), would blossom into the Genesis Gospel Choir, which we named ourselves. We started recruiting other classmates and students and before we knew it, we were holding regular choir practice using the piano outside of the cafeteria in the Danna Center.
By 1994, Genesis was well established on campus and was singing throughout the city sometimes combining our talents with Tulane’s Gospel Choir.
While reading a Loyola Alumnae magazine article a couple of years ago, it mentioned that Genesis performed at a school event! I had no idea that 20 years later (now 22) Genesis was still flourishing! I felt such a sense of pride of the legacy that my friends and I left behind at Loyola!
We are wishing Loyola New Orleans a Happy Centennial and may you touch many generations to come!