Posts Tagged ‘gospel choir’

Fortnightly gospel choir sessions in Stoke Gifford

Posted on Sunday 21st October 2018 at 7:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing some members of Stoke Gifford gospel choir singing during a performance.

By Emma Smallwood, choir leader.

Did you enjoy the Royal Wedding gospel choir? Do you like to sing along to the radio in your car? Do you love to sing in the shower? Do you think you might like to have a go at singing in a community gospel choir?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Stoke Gifford Gospel Choir might be just the thing for you. Part of the GGCC group of Bristol choirs, the Stoke Gifford choir has been going for two years now and has had some amazing adventures together. They have sung with the world-renowned London Community Gospel Choir, been part of various Bristol singing events, had a few road trips and put on their own concerts in venues such as the Victoria Rooms. When the current members joined the choir, I doubt they would’ve thought they could do any of these things but after being taught in a really fun, easy to access way, they have learned new skills they didn’t have before, made lots of new friends and had a lot of fun along the way.

We’re always open to new members. We meet fortnightly on a Tuesday evening in the St Michael’s Centre, The Green, Stoke Gifford, usually in the hall next to Old School Rooms Coffee Shop. We start at 7.30pm and finish at 9.15pm. The choir is for anyone, we love to have a wide mixture of people, that’s what ‘community’ is all about. We sing gospel music because at its heart it is about hope and that’s never a bad thing to have! You don’t have to call yourself a Christian or have any kind of faith to be in the choir; if you’re happy to sing gospel then you’re in!

We don’t audition people and there is no membership fee – we just have a donations box at every rehearsal. Rehearsal dates for October are 9th & 23rd, then 6th & 20th November . If you would like to come and see what we get up to, then do just turn up. If you have any questions then do email Emma Smallwood at gospelgen@googlemail.com

If you fancy catching us in action, we’ll be performing in local concerts during December. On the weekend of 7th-9th, we will be singing somewhere in Bristol (still to be confirmed) and on 15th December we are performing with Bath Community Gospel Choir and Geraldine Latty at the Roper Theatre in Bath. Details for all these events will appear on the GGCC Facebook page.

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 18). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Stoke Gifford couple sing in ground-breaking gospel choir at royal wedding

Posted on Thursday 14th June 2018 at 11:35 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Vernon and Kim Samuels at Windsor Castle.

While millions of people switched on their televisions to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot on Saturday 19th May, Vernon and Kim Samuels from Stoke Gifford had the honour of being part of the gospel choir that sang at the wedding.

The Kingdom Choir, led by Kim’s sister Karen Gibson, sang a beautiful rendition of ‘Stand By Me’ during Prince Harry and Meghan’s service. Having a gospel choir sing at the wedding was, in fact, the idea of future king, Prince Charles, and the Kingdom Choir were sought out about two months prior to the big day. They then had to keep their involvement in the wedding quiet, so it was quite a shock for their friends and family when they spotted them singing in the chapel!

Speaking to us about the lead up to the wedding, Kim said:

“It was a little bit like being in a dream. It took a while to believe that it was actually happening. In fact, it wasn’t until we arrived at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on the Thursday evening before the wedding that I allowed myself to believe that we were really going to be singing at the royal wedding! In the days leading up to the wedding it was all about preparation – spiritual, mental and physical preparation​.”

As the Kingdom Choir is based in London, the majority of the members are from that area. In fact, Vernon and Kim were the only ones to sing who live outside of London. This did mean that preparing for the wedding proved quite difficult as they only had the opportunity to have two or three rehearsals. Having such a small amount of time to prepare made their performance even more impressive as they also sang a cover of Etta James’ medley of ‘Amen’ and ‘This Little Light of Mine’. These were sung right at the end of the ceremony by which time the royal couple had moved out of the chapel onto the steps.

More: Couple will always remember that they "were a part of history" »

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