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Gospel comes to Covington

More than just the average service will be given at the Church of Covington Sunday.

A renowned gospel choir, well-known jazz soloist out of Atlanta and a local youth singing group will be featured at 3 p.m. thanks to the Arts Association of Newton County.

“The idea for this concert first sprung up about a year ago,” said Buncie Lanners, Executive Director of the Newton County Arts Association. It was during the Independence Day on the Square that the Arts Association was first able to work with both the New Skool Singers, a group of singing children from Veterans Middle School, and NC3, a gospel group formed from three local churches.

NC3, also known as the Newton County Celebration Choir, under the direction of Shari Thomas, caught the Arts Associations eye with two facts, the first being that they had recorded a CD, the second being that their performances had won them many awards. With such a good impression made, the now well renowned gospel group had to be booked for the Independence Day on the square performance. Afterwards, the arts association was more than eager to showcase them again, and so the Gospel Celebration Concert began to be formed. What really makes this group unique is not just their amazing sound, but also the fact that there are three Churches being represented in this band, those being James Paschal Baptist Church, New Beginning Full Gospel Ministries and Union Grove United Methodist Church. In 2014, they recorded their first project, Chosen For Favor. They also won the 2013 Choir of the Year Award from For the Prayze Factor People’s Choice.

But as great as NC3 was, there needed to be another group to help fill up the concert. Another group was asked to preform, a group that had also been featured at the Independence Day on the Square performance, the Nu Skool Singers. The Nu Skool Singers, under the direction of the Veterans Choral Director and an integral part of the Nu Skool Services Inc., Job Cannon, is a singing group from Veterans middle school comprised of singers from all kinds of singing back grounds, from country to gospel, and both provides musical education and performance opportunities around the county. Their first performance, Independence on the Square, was also the one that spurred their involvement in this Concert.

“About 12 to 13 kids will be preforming in this concert,” Cannon said.

And one of them, Trinity Vaughn, will be singing a solo.

Finally, to round out the entire concert, the Arts Association really outdid themselves by bringing in a well-known Jazz musician to accompany NC3, this jazz musician being the illustrious Faith Carmichael. Faith has been around the Atlanta music circuit and back, preforming at a wide range of events, and heading various boards of arts around the city, both while being a jazz musician and the leading vocalist to the Faith Carmichael 5. She is the executive director of the Atlanta arts organization NEXT, and is the principal of Mustard Seed Communications. Not only that, but she is also on the board for the National Black Arts Festival, and was named a part of the Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta Class of 2014.
Lanners said that while this meeting of such great singers is sure to make for great music, it will also make for a great community experience.

“We’ve got the Nu Skool Singers here, which helps to bring in the parents of the children preforming, and the friend of the children preforming,” Lanners said. “We have NC3, which will help to bring people in from most of the local churches, and pretty much everyone else who loves gospel music. And then we have publicity in Atlanta and with the jazz crowd by having Faith Carmichael preform. That’s what music does; it has the power to bring people together.”

The Celebrate Gospel Concert will be free, but donations to the Dave Young Vocal Scholarship, a $1000 scholarship for a graduating Newton County senior, are appreciated.