UAB’s Henry Panion III will direct “A Gospel Symphony Celebration” with Donald Lawrence on Nov. 12

Panion will lead gospel artist Donald Lawrence, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Vox Fortura and the combined Miles College and UAB Gospel choirs in this concert, which will be recorded for nationwide broadcast by PBS.

DONALDA concert featuring award-winning gospel artist Donald Lawrence with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and conductor Henry Panion III, Ph.D., will be recorded live from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A Gospel Symphony Celebration” is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 12, in the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. The concert will also feature special guests “Britain’s Got Talent” runner-up Vox Fortura and the combined Miles College and UAB Gospel choirs.

Tickets are $38, $54 and $68. Miles College and UAB employees may purchase tickets for $24, and tickets are $10 for students. For tickets, call 205-975-2787, visit the ASC Box Office or go to

The performance will be recorded live for feature presentation nationwide as a concert documentary on PBS. Following the EMMY and Telly award-winning film “Dreams of Hope,” Panion is slated to produce a series of shows under the title of “A Symphony Celebration,” with the first — on the life of the Blind Boys of Alabama — scheduled for release in February 2024.

Considered one of the most important composers of contemporary gospel music, Lawrence has racked up industry awards and nominations, including multiple Grammy, Dove and Stellar awards. He has written and produced for the likes of En Vogue, Stephanie Mills, Kirk Franklin, the Clark Sisters, Mary J. Blige and others, and is perhaps most noted for his founding of the famous Tri-City Singers. Lawrence’s songs are performed by virtually every gospel choir in America today, says Panion, who is a University Professor of Music in the UAB College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Music.

The two connected when Lawrence asked Panion to arrange and orchestrate some of his music for a performance with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. That collaboration has led to successful performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and this performance with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Lauded by the judges for their superb voices, Vox Fortura captivated all of Europe with their fresh classical and soulful sound, according to the group’s bio. Reaching the semifinals in Season 10 of “Britain’s Got Talent,” the group has been compared to Three More Tenors, Il Divo and Three Mo’ Tenors for their stage presence, charisma and masterful ability to traverse effortlessly between classical, pop, R&B and gospel genres.