World Famous Choir Celebrates King's Birthday

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

January 15, 2007

“Twenty-one years ago today, Mr. Allen Bailey was inspired to start a gospel choir that would travel world wide, just spreading the good news of gospel,” Marchelle Hellems, a member of the Harlem Gospel Choir.

Mr. Bailey got the idea while attending a celebration in the honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. back in 1986 and on Monday night he and his choir were in Charlottesville to celebrate the same thing.

“What better place to be, than the south with all the southern hospitality and the food! It’s wonderful to be here and of course on Dr. King's birthday this is truly an honor,” said Olivia Hunter, another choir member.

“All that Dr. King did for the African American people and this culture was phenomenal,” said Hunter.

This summer, the choir had the opportunity to perform live in the Netherlands with world renowned violinist, André Ruie.

They believe working with him was the type of moment that Martin Luther King could only dream about.

“André Ruie's goal was to make beautiful music bring two genres together. But, as I stood there on that stage, I realized not only did he bring two genres together, he brought two cultures together, two people. And that was part of Dr. King's dream. So it's just an inspiration to be part of that. Part of that history and part of making someones dream come true. That’s a blessing,” said Hunter.

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