Gospel music lovers bountiful in number have nominated, endorsed and named their picks for the inaugural “Victory! Gospel Music Series.”
Votes for the most named choirs and crowd-pleasing favorites have been tallied. And 10 of Memphis’ best will take the stage to fill the coffers of four worthy charities.
“Victory!” – the First Annual Gospel Music Series 2019, is slated for Sunday, January 20, 3 p.m. at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood, 620 Parkrose Rd.
“Choosing the best of the best choirs and local ensembles is one of the hardest things we have had to do,” said Charles Sims Jr. of M-Town Productions, the event’s organizer.
“We are thrilled at the response. Thousands of emails and Facebook posts were received. Of course, it would be hard. The very name of Memphis is synonymous with music, especially gospel music.”
The stakes are high. Memphis’ own Kevin Davidson is offering a selected participant the opportunity to record a single, which he will produce. Davidson directs his own gospel-recording choir, “The Voices.” He will also sit on the panel of celebrity judges, emcee the afternoon’s program and highlight the affair with a performance.
The chosen choir will be featured on the “The Bobby Jones Show” out of Nashville. The show is one of the nation’s most recognized platforms for discovering and presenting great gospel music vocalists and ensembles.
“There are so many great causes to support,” said Sims. “But it seems that those organizations serving the black community are almost always in need of funding. And so we just took the FUBU (For Us By Us) approach.
“We can assist in funding these organizations. We are not helpless. We can accomplish so much when we have a united, collective purpose. It was just fitting to have it the weekend we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday.”
Earl Gray Jr., an independent consultant, headed the committee tasked with choosing the final contenders.
“We received literally hundreds of church choir nominations,” said Gray. “The research approach was pretty unscientific, actually. We simply posed a question, ‘Who has the best gospel choir in Memphis’?
“We were bombarded with responses – passionate and fervent responses. People love their church, their pastor and their choir. It was great to receive so many enthusiastic suggestions.”
The 10 choirs slated for the Victory! show are presented here in no particular order. Note that one of the choirs hails from a local high school.
They choirs represent:
- Melrose Baptist Church
- New Sardis Baptist Church
- New Salem Baptist Church-Parkway
- Memphis Christian Center
- Oak Grove Baptist Church
- Cordova High School
- Life Changes N Ministry
- Paul Baptist Church-Douglas
- Vernon Baptist Church
- The Healing Center
Tickets go on sale in the next two weeks at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church Bookstore and at additional locations, which are to be announced. M-Town is expecting a sellout crowd and the event will be interactively live-streamed.
Local businesses are also sponsoring the event with contributions, according to Sims.
“The response from local businesses has been phenomenal,” said Sims. “We expect a sellout crowd, not only because we love gospel music, but because Memphis cares.”
(For more information, go to www.mtownproductions.com.)