Choir to perform at ValentineWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
The Harlem Gospel Choir never goes anywhere without bringing some encouragement with them.
”Our goal is to basically give people hope and inspiration through music. There’s no preaching. It’s all through music,” said Anna Bailey, manager of the choir. ”It doesn’t matter if you have faith or if you’re religious or not. Everyone needs hope in their lives.”
Nine members from the Harlem Gospel Choir will sing at the Valentine Theatre at 8 p.m. Feb. 3. Tickets for the show are $43, $37 and $26. A keyboard player and a drummer will accompany the singers.
”People can expect to hear a mix of traditional gospel, contemporary gospel and some popular music with jazz influences,” she said from New York. ”There’s lots of movement and choreography — it’s a very joyous show.”
And the positive nature of services in African-American churches is inviting, she said.
”The message you hear in the black church is all about praise. The churches are very alive, and I think — from my point of view and I didn’t grow up in a black church — I find that very welcoming.”
Bailey said there are 60 members in the choir ranging in age from 21 to 44. She is married to Allen Bailey, who founded the choir in 1986.
During the past 20 years, the Harlem Gospel Choir has performed with U2, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Diana Ross, Harry Belafonte, Fantasia and Whoopi Goldberg. They’ve sang for Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela and Paul McCartney. The group is known for raising funds for children’s charities.
”Sometimes we’re raising money just to cover our costs; sometimes we’re raising money for children’s charities,” Bailey said. ”We plan to make a donation to Feed the Children in January or mid-February.”