Tag Archives: chicago mass choir

Travis Greene, Tamela Mann Big Winners at 32nd Stellar Awards

By Bob Marovich Combined, gospel artists Travis Greene and Tamela Mann took home nearly half of the honors at the 32nd Stellar Awards, held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend.  Erica Campbell and Anthony Brown served as hosts. Greene garnered six awards, including Song of the Year (“Made a Way”) and Male Vocalist of the Year. Annie Stoll’s design for Greene’s The Hill (RCA Inspiration) secured a Stellar for Recorded Music Packaging of the Year. Mann, whose live rendition of her single, “God Provides,” was among the highlights of the Saturday evening awards program, received six honors, ...

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JGM Music Hour: Episode 108

          Click on the image above to begin the streaming Music Hour. Playlist: I’ll never stop praising the Lord – Northern Delaware Chapter of the GMWA Recording Choir God meant it for good – Denise Josiah Keep on praising – Jewell & Converted Right there for me – Crowns of Joy I give you praise – Chicago Mass Choir Press on – GEI Live (feat. Bishop J. Drew Sheard) God got my back – TaMyyaJ Where you are – Christopher Williams Have your way – Puchi Colon Faith can – Debbie Cochran Revive me – Ron ...

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Northern Delaware Chapter GMWA Recording Choir: God Be Glorified

Northern Delaware Chapter GMWA Recording Choir God Be Glorified (self-produced; release date: May 14, 2016) www.ndcgmwa.com By Bob Marovich Gospel choirs trained under the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) umbrella possess a certain style that non-GMWA choirs do not necessarily have. It’s spit-polish combined with passion, thunderous voices that can sing at a whisper, lively leads, and contemporary arrangements anchored in tradition. If GMWA was handing out seals of approval to choirs that met these standards, the Northern Delaware Chapter’s Recording Choir would get one. On the choir’s debut effort, God Be Glorified, it demonstrates a consistent command of hymns, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 19, 2016

“I Give You Praise, Lord” Chicago Mass Choir From the New Haven Records CD I Give You Praise (2016) www.chicagomasschoir.com On their latest single, “I Give You Praise, Lord,” the celebrated Chicago Mass Choir delivers P&W with P&D (power and drama). The song begins with the sopranos singing delicately, like a praise team, and opens like a flower when the key changes.  From there, the song builds to a sonorous strength. All the while, longtime Chicago Mass songwriter and producer Percy Gray lifts each line for the choir’s response and assent.  The semi-a cappella segment at the end rounds up any ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 11, 2016

“Make a Way” Shanta Gray From her CD The Blood (2014) www.shantagraymusic.com On her new single, “Make a Way,” Alisa “Shanta” Gray doesn’t stray one iota from her roots as a member of the tradition-keeping Chicago Mass Choir, New Direction (founded by her husband, Jeral V. Gray), and other Chicago-based gospel choral ensembles. In fact, the single has a distinctly Cosmopolitan Warriors vibe with the frenetic pace, handclapping choir, churchy vocals, charging musicians, crowd-grabbing vamp, and Gray’s shouting vocals topping it all. “Make a Way” couldn’t be more Chicago if it wore a Bears cap and called every bridge a ...

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Dr. Feranda Williamson: Chicago Mass Choir is “Unapologetically Gospel.”

By Bob Marovich Its fifteenth album, Live XV, is still impacting gospel radio, but the Chicago Mass Choir is preparing for the future by re-signing with its former label home, New Haven Records. “We were with New Haven before,” Chicago Mass Choir President and CEO Dr. Feranda Williamson told the Journal of Gospel Music. “We had a hiatus after our last project, Live XV, four years ago, and we decided to continue our partnership.” The first order of business for the renewed partnership was to release a new Chicago Mass Choir single, “Thank You, Thank You Jesus,” to radio. “A ...

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“Thank You, Thank You Jesus” – Chicago Mass Choir

“Thank You, Thank You Jesus” Chicago Mass Choir From the forthcoming New Haven Records CD We Give You Praise (single digital release date: September 11, 2015) www.chicagomasschoir.com The consistently top-notch Chicago Mass Choir provides a stinger of a mid-tempo praise song on “Thank You, Thank You Jesus.” Riffing lyrically on the “How I Got Over” message, the choir, led by the effervescent Evangelist Lemmie Battles, lofts praises to God for all he’s done.  A cancer survivor, Battles has a lot to be thankful for, so when she squalls during the song’s apex, you know it’s heartfelt. “Thank You, Thank You ...

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“Duchess of Gospel” LaVarnga Hubbard Has Better Coming

By Bob Marovich Gospel music has had its share of fathers and mothers, kings and queens, princes, crown princes, princesses, godfathers, thunderbolts, wonder boys, and boy wonders, but as far as I know, only one duchess: Lady LaVarnga Hubbard. When Hubbard opens her mouth to sing, she channels the best of gospel’s traditional church-raised no-nonsense female shouters. Born in Chicago, LaVarnga (pron. luh-VARN-juh) Hubbard was nine years old when she began singing for Christian Doctrine Baptist Church, under the pastorate of Rev. Herman Billingsley. She joined Chicago Mass Choir when it was still called James C. Chambers and the Ecclesiastes ...

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Dr. Feranda Williamson Educates TBGB on the Chicago Mass Choir

By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog. Dr. Feranda Williamson is Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at Capella University. But she has an even higher calling. She is also President and CEO of the award-winning Chicago Mass Choir. Dr. Williamson (photo, right) spent time with TBGB recently to discuss the choir’s near quarter-century of service to gospel music. The late James C. Chambers organized the Chicago Mass Choir in 1988. Williamson, a charter member of the choir, grew up with Chambers. She said the genesis of the Chicago Mass Choir was when in 1971 Chambers organized the ...

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