Music is something people have in common regardless of age and race. The joyful noise of the Community Gospel Choir is more than 70 voices strong. They offer free concerts across the St. Louis area to bring people together.

The choir has a big sound with an even bigger goal, trying to change hearts and minds, one gospel handclap at a time. Suzanne Palmer is the choir's director.

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"The Community Gospel Choir is the organization that in all its sincerity is trying to bridge the gap between the races," said Palmer.

Tome Ptacek is the group's president.

"Unfortunately the most segregated part of our week is Sunday morning," said Ptacek. "We have black churches and we have white churches and that's just wrong, it's not the way this community should be."

Cecelia Stearman formed the Community Gospel Choir in 2007 and was its first director.

"We wanted something different we knew we needed to make a statement," said Stearman.

The choir performs half a dozen concerts a year and is always looking for new members. There is no audition required.

The choir got its start in Kirkwood because a local church volunteered its space for rehearsals, but choir leaders want the community to know they want members from all parts of the region.

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