‘It’s time to give back’: Gospel artist Hezekiah Walker establishes Center for Gospel Music at VUU
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A hitmaker in the world of gospel is blessing the students of Virginia Union University. Multi-Grammy Award-winning Gospel artist Hezekiah Walker has established a Center for Gospel Music at VUU.
“I was thinking to myself, it’s time to give back,” said Hezekiah Walker.
The academic center is the first of its kind in the United States.
“I said Virginia Union would be the best place to do this because I feel like it is really the hub of African American people and HBCUs,” said Walker.
Walker is a second-year student at VUU’s Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology. He said oftentimes colleges don’t teach things that gospel artists should know, like the history or the business side of the industry.
“A lot of people go out in the industry and don’t understand the ins and out,” said Walker. “They’re going to learn how to be a songwriter, they’ll learn music, and they’ll learn how to collaborate.”
Along with that, Walker says they plan to open doors for musicians who can’t read music.
“We have some talented musicians in the church and they play by ear, but now it’s time for us to learn, for us to read,” said Walker.
Walker says the past two years have helped shape his ministry and his goal is to give back to the school that has poured so much into him.
“There’s been a number of people who have reached out saying I have been waiting for a Black university to send my child to so they can learn about our sound, our style of gospel music,” said Walker.
The center is set to launch on June 18.
“Gospel music is an important part of our culture and VUU is honored to partner with Walker to create a central hub for the study, writing, and preservation of gospel music. Walker has poured his spiritual gift and innovative ideas into the development of courses and events planned for the Center,” said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO of Virginia Union University. “VUU is growing to meet the changing career interests of our students by creating academic programs where the workforce demand is high or where students can explore opportunities in STEM, history, or the arts.”
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