Members of the UAB Gospel Choir will travel to London for a short performance tour, May 8-15, 2011.
Singers, a small band and director Kevin Turner, D.D., will make up the group of 28. Theyâ€™ll perform at a London church with the group Abraham Praise on Wednesday, May 11, tour the cityâ€™s cathedrals by bus, then perform in Birmingham, England May 13, before a final performance at a church May 15 prior to their return trip home.
The group has prepared a mixed repertoire of traditional and contemporary music, including spirituals and original music from the choirâ€™s recordings â€śMirrorsâ€ť and â€śGo Dominate.â€ť
The London trip has been a year in the making, and choir members are excited and ready, according to the director. The college gospel choir already has a fan base in London, Switzerland and The Netherlands, Turner says, and two groups of gospel choir members have previously traveled to Amsterdam to present material at gospel music conferences.
â€śAfter touring the U.S.A. for six years, we began a conversation about traveling overseas,â€ť Turner says. â€śAmerican gospel music is a pretty big deal in the U.K. American gospel recording artists that include Grammy Award winners Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker and the late Rev. Timothy Wright all recorded very successful live CDs in London. Thereâ€™s also an incredible connection of musical literature of London music with traditional gospel music and hymns as well. This history and all of our conversations culminated with the decision of our first overseas trip to London a done deal.â€ť
Turner and the choir raised much of the money for the trip through fundraising activities, concerts and CD/DVD sales, and he also thanked supporters of higher education and gospel music.
â€śItâ€™s through their generosity that we are able to offer these opportunities to our well-deserving students.â€ť
The UAB Gospel Choir is a performance class for credit in the UAB Department of Music.