Mixed congregation choir workshop yields inspired music

Songs included up-tempo and traditional gospel

By Corey Pride
cpride@losbanosenterprise.com
March 16, 2012 

The First Baptist Church on D Street brought different congregations together Saturday night to celebrate the one thing they all have in common -- loving the Lord.

The church hosted an Inspirational Choir Workshop Musical.

The workshop was conducted by Pastor Gwen Amey of New Faith Tabernacle in Merced.

"I love music and I love encouraging people to know the Word and why they're singing," Amey said. "(But) to me even if we didn't have a musical it would be OK. Workshops are where people come and learn and take what they learned back to their local churches."

Many said they learned things they had not thought about before.

"We had a very, very good time," said Betty Muldrew, a member of First Baptist. "Pastor Amey knows her Bible very well, which keeps (the material) from getting dry."

Amey said what she taught last week was that choir musicians are ministers for Christ who also have the responsibility of being role models.

Choir members said they learned that gospel music is based on scripture, stating that "if it's not in the Bible you don't sing it."

Amey spent three days prior to the performance teaching songs mixed in with scripture to choir members from her church, Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Dos Palos, New Canaan Baptist Church and First Baptist.

The music itself mostly consisted of up-tempo modern gospel mixed with classic tunes from decades past.

The impromptu choir did not have the handful of solo performances that it has in the past, instead choosing seven selections the entire group participated in.

Amey said she wants the workshop to leave a lasting impression.

"I hope they will be the very best they can be in the choir, group, whatever they're in," Amey said. "They have to do it according to what God's word says, because if you don't do it according to the word of God then you're doing it for self and you want the glory."

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