Ahmad Madlock opener for Kingdom Choir



Tickets are still available for the Kingdom Choir show. Students can use their two free tickets or show their student ID at the box office.

ERIN MCRAE, Staff Writer

On Feb. 28, The Kingdom Choir will visit UNI for a special performance at the Gallagher Bluedorn. The group became popular after performing at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018, but have been performing worldwide for over 20 years. The group has been featured on multiple news outlets, including the Today Show and Good Morning America. Before the group performs, UNI freshman Ahmad Madlock will sing a special pre-show in the lobby from 6-6:30 p.m. 

Madlock is studying elementary education and has been passionate about music for his entire life. A graduate of Cedar Falls High School, Madlock is a three-time Iowa All-State singer and a two-time Iowa All-State speech performer. Madlock was also the recipient of the Iowa High School Music Association (IHSMA) outstanding solo performance and the National Choral Award while in high school. 

“It is an amazing feeling to be the precursor to such a renowned group. I am grateful for those who have helped me to develop, in order to get me to this point,” Madlock said. “I got a text from Jennifer Onuigbo one afternoon detailing everything and it was something I could not dare pass up.”

Jennifer Onuigbo is the Community Relations Manager for the Gallagher Bluedorn and is excited to bring in Madlock as a local performer. “Ahmad has been on our radar for a while as a local performer, and we had the opportunity to see his talent on display at Gallagher Bluedorn’s North End block party last summer. We love lifting up local talent,” Onuigbo said. “Given that Ahmad is immensely gifted, well known in the community and a UNI student, he seemed like the perfect performer for this pre-show event.”

This concert will take place during Black History Month, but according to Onuigbo, the Gallgher Bluedorn is committed to presenting diverse performances year round, not just in February. “We didn’t even consider that it was Black History Month when we booked them; it was simply how our schedules aligned. It’s our goal to book incredible performers like Kingdom Choir whenever we have the opportunity. We are proud to feature a diverse array of performances throughout every season,” Onuigbo said.

In addition to attending UNI as full-time student, Madlock also recently appeared as Donkey in “Shrek the Musical” at the Waterloo Community Playhouse, and is a host at the UNI radio station, 94.5 KULT-LP. 

Madlock has spent time perfecting his set list and is excited to share it with this audience. “I will be doing a 30-minute set full of my favorite gospel music. I have some parts in place that will enhance the audience’s experience,” Madlock said. “To me, it’s important to make the audience feel like part of the performance.”

For Madlock, keeping the music at the heart of his purpose is the most important part in performing. “The cliche is always that music is the most universal of languages. But that’s absolutely correct. Music has the ability to connect people, allow them to feel something, and that’s when both performers and performances are at their best,” Madlock said.

No tickets are required to see Ahmad perform. Tickets to Kingdom Choir at 7 p.m. are still available and start at $25. Students may use their two free tickets per semester on this event by showing their student ID at the box office.