Last night, I sat in a pew between actress Denise Burse (Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”) and award-winning playwright and actor Daniel Beaty at the Central Presbyterian Church in New York, where we witnessed Broadway Inspirational Voices, a popular gospel choir made up of Broadway singers, raise the roof during Wondrous Grace, their “summer celebration of song.”
Marva Hicks, Virginia A. Woodruff, Lisa Lynne Mathis, Bradley Dean, Avis D. Graves, Clarke Thorell, Marcus Paul James, Eliseo Roman, Angela Robinson, John Eric Parker and Bertilla Baker Thompson were among the singers whose divine solo talents were on display in this glorious and inspiring evening of gospel music.
Tony Award winners Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun) and Adriane Lenox (Doubt) appeared in the concert, along with Montego Glover from Memphis, and cast members from Broadway shows including The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, Baby It’s You, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Sister Act.
Below is the lineup of songs sung during the concert.
“Song of Praise:
“Excellent Lord” Solo: Virgina A. Woodruff
“You Are An Heir”
“I Have Had Singing”
“He Will Answer” Solo: Lisa Lynne Mathis
“I Call You Faithful” Soloists: Marva Hicks, Bradley Dean
“His Blood Still Works” Solo: Avis D. Graves
“Faithful To Believe” Soloists: Clarke Thorell, Marcus Paul James
“Sung Unto The Lord” Solo: Eliseo Roman
Djeme solo: Clancy
“Ain’ta That Good News”
“I Give You Praise” Solo: Ken Robinson
“Grace” Soloists: Angela Robinson, Lisa Lynne Mathis, John Eric Parker
“I Surrender All” Piano Solo: Joseph Joubert
“He’ll Make It All Right” Solo: Bertilla Baker Thompson
“Your Latter Will Be Greater”
Sopranos: Section Leader-Montego Glover, Terry Burrell, Laura Dean, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Celisse Henderson, Kimberly JaJuan, Gerti Lee James, Chelsea Krombach, Tasha Michelle, Paula Newsome, Angela Robinson, Christina Acosta Robinson, Tanesha Gary-Stickney, Nicole Sutherland, Anne Fraser Thomas, Danielle K. Thomas, Robin S. Walker, Schele Williams-Kleinberger, Virginia A. Woodruff
Altos: Section Leader-Danielle Chambers, Bertilla Baker Thompson, Angela DeCicco, Eileen Kaden Dean, Aja Graves, Avid D. Graves, Danielle Lee Greaves, Angela Grovey, Marva Hicks, Zonya Johnson, Crystal Joy, Angela Lockett, Lisa Lynne Mathis, Terri O’Neil, Phylicia Rashad, Rema Webb
Tenor/Bass: Section Leader-Chris Zelno, Alvin Crawford, Wilson Cruz, Bradley Dean, Wade Elkins, Robert H. Fowler, Marcus Paul James, Miles Johnson, Monroe Kent III, Adriane Lenox, Travis Morin, Kevyn Morrow, Jesse Nager, John Eric Parker, Ken Robinson, Eliseo Roman, Michael James Scott, C.E. Smith, Clarke Thorell
Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) is a 501 © not-for-profit organization. With Founder and Director, Tony-nominated actor Michael McElroy (Rent, Big River), the mission of Broadway Inspirational Voices is to raise awareness, provide spiritual support, and to help raise funds for people in need. Founded by McElroy in 1994 as the Broadway Gospel Choir, the group was reincarnated as the Broadway Inspirational Voices in 1999. The multi-ethnic choir of singers, actors and dancers are comprised of some of the top performers on Broadway, in national tours, and regional theatre. BIV uses the power of music in rousing live concerts, benefits, and a dynamic outreach program for children and teens to inspire creativity and promote a message of tolerance, understanding, and respect for cultural diversity through the arts.
Other Articles by Lia Chang
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Photos: Rick Shiomi Checks out Performing Arts Playwrights Series in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection of Library of Congress; Attends “Asian American Plays for a New Generation” Book Signing in NY
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug!
HHC Art Collection’s “New York City: In FOCUS, Vol.2” Photo Exhibition Opening Reception 6/23, Exhibit dates-6/23-7/14
Marva Hicks and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra light up the Southern Theatre with a “A Night at the Apollo”
Photos: Willie Reale, Frances McDormand, Lewis Black, Bela Fleck, Renee Goldsberry, Duncan Sheik, Lisa Benavides, Abigail Washburn, Tim Blake Nelson at The 52nd Street Project Benefit
House of Payne’s Denise Burse on the 2011 NAACP Image Awards & Season 7; “Shout Out” Episode airs April 20
Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys, Sidney Poitier to be honored at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Edison Ballroom
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet, Tracee Chimo opening night of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon
Photos: Playwright David Henry Hwang in rehearsal at the Goodman Theatre for World Premiere of Chinglish
Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Popera “Bakwas Bumbug” at The Wild Project in NY, June 22-26
Playwright Camille Darby
Project1Voice’s Multiple Staged Readings of Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind features André De Shields, Peter Coyote, Roger Robinson, Leslie Uggams, LaChanze, John Mahoney, Bill Irwin, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Irma P. Hall on June 20
Photos:Alexander McQueen:Savage Beauty Extends at Met through 8/7, Met Mondays w/ McQueen begin 6/6
Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show
Artwork by Asia Flores on display in Mercy High School Annual Art & Soul Art Exhibition in SF
Photos of AEA’s Asian Heritage Celebration, featuring the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop
Photos: Samrat Chakrabarti, Soham Mehta and Shiva Shankar Bajpai at the New York Indian Film Festival
Photo & Video Feature: Black Nativity Now
Living Colour NYC Concert Photos
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.
Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.