White FHU Logo
White FHU Logo

Henderson, Tennessee – (Jan. 11, 2024) – It began with the pure and simple love of music. A group of young women, traveling together in a van, singing along with the radio and having a great time, were inspired by an idea. Emma Barker, now a senior at Freed-Hardeman University, wondered, “How fun would it be to have a group of girls who could get together and sing a cappella or all different types of music?” She soon learned that her friend Sarah Wilsford, class of 2022, had been thinking something similar.


Before long, this idea had blossomed into a singing group called G# (G Sharp). First conceived by FHU students who were simply interested in adding something new to the music department, the group now boasts a recorded album, a Christmas EP and a recent expansion into Middle Tennessee. 


Back in 2020, both Barker and Wilsford realized that they were eager for more singing ensemble opportunities, especially for female voices, and they were not alone. The initial search for members was fairly simple. Discussions that started between friends in Wallace-Gano Dining Hall began a word-of-mouth campaign to find interested singers. Eventually, the buzz evolved into targeted recruitment, Facebook ads and a challenging audition process. 

Along with some new members, G# sings the national anthem on Thanksgiving Day at BoroDosh, a charity race in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The name G# was chosen both because of its musical sound and as a nod to it being a “girl group” (at least in the beginning). Wilsford took on the role of the group’s director and began to organize their song list and unique arrangements of pieces. 


They started to perform in venues both on and off campus – the Draughon Recital Hall, Besso’s coffee house and even the Transform Ladies Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. At the same time, they also took on the challenging task of recording an album.

The group celebrates performing one of their first outdoor concerts during an event at Besso's, Christmas 2021.

As a music major herself, Wilsford had taken a course in digital music production, and she called on these skills to help organize and produce their first album. Using a small recording studio in Draughon Music Center (and an admittedly “trial and error” process), they eventually created “In My Heart,” a debut album with eight tracks of various musical genres – some Christian and some pop – that they released across several music streaming services. Their second recording, an EP entitled “G# Christmas,” was also recently released and contains five tracks of Christmas-themed songs. 

For her part, Wilsford believes that she has learned a great deal about herself and the job of music producer/director through this process. “I definitely learned to rely on other people,” she said. “At first I tried to compartmentalize everything and do it all myself, but I learned to delegate more and rely on the fact that I had a whole crew of people who could help.”

Barker, meanwhile, says she is “super proud of being able to bring a group of girls together who weren’t really friends beforehand. Being able to bring everyone together, having a common purpose and doing something that we all enjoyed, was really nice.” 

G# performs to take the stage at the Transform Ladies Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, fall of 2022

Since many members have recently graduated, G# is currently moving into its next phase as a group. Now based primarily out of the Nashville area, and working closely with the North Boulevard Church of Christ, Wilsford has recruited new members, including some male singers. On Thanksgiving Day, the group was even invited to sing the national anthem at Borodash, a charity race in Murfreesboro.

The sound may be new, but their purpose remains the same. “Our singing helps us display our feelings towards God and share those with other people,” Wilsford said. “We would love for someone to hear our music and be touched by a certain lyric that brings them closer to God; that is our ultimate goal.” 

In addition to Barker and Wilsford, other G# members through the years have included Kaela Baker, Sarah Bowen, Marisa Cotrill, Abby Gaines, Madison Grant, Abigail McCain, Peyton Watson McQuade, Victoria Baldwin Maguffee, Mary Beth Moore, Emily Seibel, Jeanne Seibel, Hannah Sherwin, Gabrielle Smith, Shayli Studer, Lydia Todd, Lili Watson, Annelise Williamson Yukich, Jessica Fonville, Emily Cadle, James Barker, Dustin Cunningham, David Rogers, Houston Sproles and Elizabeth Watts.

G# performs at the West Campus of North Boulevard Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for their annual Christmas party in 2023.

“It’s gratifying to see students take the information we share in the classroom and develop their skills,” said FHU Music Program Coordinator Dr. Alan Kinningham. “It beautifully fits Freed-Hardeman’s mission to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service.”

One can visit the group’s website at gsharpacappella.org for links to stream their albums on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Amazon Music. The site also contains information about upcoming performances, auditions and links to their Shopify store. The group can be found on Facebook and Instagram @gsharpacappella or reached through email at gsharpacappella@gmail.com.

The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.