While the words "gospel music" may conjure up images of the south, hand clapping and churches, Vancouver’s Good Noise Gospel Choir is looking to change that. This Saturday marks the inaugural concert for the choir’s Young Artist Program, titled Rise Up Singing, where three other choir groups from Burnaby, North Surrey and Vancouver will join Good Noise onstage.
Even with such a monumental event coming up for the choir, member of the choir and UBC alumnus, Dayna-Lynn Nevay, doesn’t seem nervous. “We’re looking forward to it and we’re ready to go,” she said.
The choir, which has performed alongside stars such as Barbara Streisand and David Foster, is known to experiment with a wide range of genres, adding a unique gospel flavor.
“We learn music from all different eras in genres and we incorporate gospel into different types of stylistic music, so for example our spring concert, we brought gospel flavors to Motown music," said Nevay. "It’s exploring different types of music through gospel singing."
Good Noise has been actively promoting gospel music within communities in Vancouver for a number of years. Under the guidance of artistic director Gail Suderman, the choir aims to bring together people of all ages who share a love of gospel music. In addition to this, the choir also provides some musical education to those unfamiliar with the music in the process.
“There’s a common misperception that it’s a religious choir, but it’s not," said Nevay. "We have doctors, we have lawyers, we have all sorts of people who have just come together because they like gospel music and they love performing and spreading that community vibe."
Good Noise aims to continue their efforts at promoting gospel music across communities in Vancouver, particularly among the youth, by starting a scholarship program for high schoolers looking to continue singing after graduation.
“I think our goal now is to work much more closely with the youth and promote their talent and their love of music more and more. So we’ll see what the next couple of year bring,” said Nevay.
The Rise Up Singing concert is this Saturday at the Fraserview Church in Richmond.