This spring Orcas Island Community Church invites singers in the islands to join us for a gospel choir workshop and performance led by returning composer and conductor Dr. Stephen Newby.
“In my faith tradition, we say, ‘Come and sing unto the Lord, and sing until the power of the Lord comes down,’” said Newby. “And that’s pretty much what the power of black music does. It illumines the story of God; it brings a light to it. The bottom line is, the joy of the Lord is there, and God is in the midst. Being in community is beautiful; this music transcends all political affiliations; it brings reconciliation where racial tension is there; it is a signpost of hope, love and peace.”
Our Orcas Island Community Gospel Choir will be performing Gospel Mass, composed by pianist and conductor Dr. Robert Ray. Composed in 1978, Gospel Mass is Ray’s interpretation of 2000 years of liturgical tradition into the more contemporary music of the African-American Church.
Seattle Pacific University’s Gospel Choir, also directed by Newby, will be presenting this work in Seattle on Feb. 27. The community is invited to watch this concert live-streamed to the community church that evening, beginning at 7:15 p.m. The event is free of charge, and those who are interested in singing with Newby are especially encouraged to attend and experience the music.
Dr. Newby will lead rehearsals for the Orcas Island Community Gospel Choir at the church on March 24 from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and again on April 14 from 9 to 11 a.m., this time joined by members of SPU’s Gospel Choir and the choir from Antioch Church. Performances will be held at the community church at 7 p.m. on April 14 and 15. Tickets can be reserved online at Eventbrite for Saturday or Sunday.
To register to sing with the choir, visit orcaschurch.org/gospel-choir. There is a suggested donation of $40 per singer to cover the costs of the workshop and performances.