After claiming top honors at a regional competition Sunday, a group of Statesboro singers can look forward to showcasing their talents in a city as grand as their voices.
The men and women of United Voices for Christ, a Statesboro-based gospel choir, impressed a panel of judges during a performance in Macon enough to be awarded invitations to a string of future concerts, including a show at New York City’s renowned Apollo Theater.
The group, having been named the top choir in its region, will be guaranteed a spot among three other choirs from around the state for a first ever Georgia in New York Gospel Concert in August, according concert promoter Dr. Harry Ross.
“Prior to Sunday’s Christmas concert (held in Macon’s Cox-Capitol Theater), I had never seen nor heard of United Voices of Christ,” Ross said. “They were highly recommended to us and we put them in amidst the other tremendous choirs to perform.”
“When I saw the results I was dumbfounded,” he said. “Because I knew that Union Baptist out of Macon was super-dynamite and that Robert E. Chapman & Company out of Milledgeville was dynamite. But, United Voices got on that stage and they tore up the house. They were disciplined and they showed-out on that stage from the start.”
By virtue of being named the concert’s best, United Voices earned invitations to upcoming performances in Atlanta, Durham, Columbia, Washington D.C, Nashville and the Apollo in New York.
“We were very surprised. That was our first time ever singing in Macon and we didn’t know what to expect when we got there,” said Reverend Brock Taylor, pastor at United Fellowship Worship Center and leader of the choir. “We were excited and anxious all at the same time.”
“We are super excited about the opportunity (to perform in New York),” he said. “We are going to have to really rehearse and also start looking into what people like to hear up there.”
According to Taylor, the gifted collection of singers has been performing together for about 12 years.
The choir of approximately 30 people has entertained at various functions throughout the community and at churches around the state, he said.
While most members are part of Taylor’s United Fellowship Worship Center, the group comprises of people who attend at least two other churches in the area.
“It is like a community,” Taylor said. “The choir has literally allowed for families to be mended. Singing is like a medicine for those of us who perform and those who listen.”
“We practice every Monday and we’re always singing,” he said. “We have about three or four engagements each month. We just love doing what we do.”
The years of work are evident, said Ross.
“What Rev. Taylor has done in assembling that group and getting them to perform the way they have is awesome and amazing,” he said. “They are good. They are really good.”
“I am looking forward to showcasing them in every city they visit,” said Ross. “I am excited for people to see them.”
Jeff Harrison can be reached at 912-489-9454