Gospel Choir of the Year (1/2) Songs of Praise


Gospel Choir of the Year (1/2)

David Grant introduces six gospel choirs from around Britain who must impress judges Ruby Turner, Bazil Meade and Carrie Grant and an enthusiastic audience.


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Transcript


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We're in the centre of the city of Birmingham,

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and over the next two Sundays

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Songs Of Praise launches its very first gospel choir competition.

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We have six fabulous choirs and a packed house,

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who will be hearing the glorious sounds of gospel.

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Hello, I'm David Grant and I'm delighted to welcome you all

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to this magnificent town hall in the heart of Birmingham.

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These six amateur gospel choirs, who've made it through the preliminary rounds,

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will sing with all their heart and soul before next Sunday

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when one of them becomes the first ever Songs Of Praise gospel choir of the year.

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We have, from London, Faith Works.

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From Nottingham, Hope Community Gospel Choir.

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From Birmingham, the Birmingham Community Choir.

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From Preston, One Voice Community Choir.

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From Dagenham, Fountain Of Praise.

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And also from Birmingham, the Town Hall Gospel Choir.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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In this first programme,

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each of our choirs will sing a familiar hymn or song

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in their own gospel style.

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Watching and listening carefully are our celebrity judges who are...

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singing star and songwriter from right here in Birmingham,

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the amazing Ruby Turner.

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The founder of the London Community Gospel Choir,

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it's the Reverend Bazil Meade.

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And next it's celebrity vocal coach, television presenter and all-round

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amazing woman - I can say that, I'm married to her - it's Carrie Grant!

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APPLAUSE

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It's time to start singing, and the first choir

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setting the standard is the Town Hall Gospel Choir from Birmingham.

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We're a community choir and that's how I run it.

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We are a gospel community choir, a community choir that sings gospel.

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Sometimes you come from work, you're tired, had a bad day

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or whatever, and once we start singing, it really does lift you.

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We've all got jobs, we all work really hard,

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it's difficult getting everybody together and to actually know

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that we've got through, everybody is just over the moon.

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# Bless, blessed assurance...#

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It's a song that lends itself to a nice swing, gospel swing.

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We're all going through life, you know,

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but we have an assurance that Jesus is mine.

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This gospel is real and we really do find comfort in the faith.

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# Bless, blessed assurance,

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# Jes, Jesus is mine

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# Oh, oh, what a foretaste of glory

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# Of glory divine!

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# Heir, heir of salvation

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# Purchase of God

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# Born of his spirit

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# And washed, washed in his blood

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# Perfect submission

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# All is at rest

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# I in my saviour

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# Am happy and blessed

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# I am watching and waiting

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# Waiting and waiting

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# Looking above

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# Filled with his goodness

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# Oh, Lord!

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# Washed in his blood

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# This, this is my story

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# This, this is my song

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# Praise, praising my saviour

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# All the day, all the day All the day long

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# This, this is my story

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# This, this is my song

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# Oh, I'll praise him I'll praise him

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# All

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# All the day

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# Long. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Town Hall Gospel Choir.

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So, Ruby, the first song by the first choir.

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Did they set the standard for you?

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They certainly did for the audience but how did you feel about that?

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Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. What a way to start.

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Congratulations. I thought you were vibrant, you looked great!

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Marvellous presentation, excellent, super.

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Bazil, did the performance move you?

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It came straight to me as a wonderful rendition of a beautiful hymn.

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Yes, I enjoyed it very much.

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Carrie, classic song, obviously sung by a lot of people.

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Did they hit the right note for you?

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I think they had real snap, I think they gave the song breath,

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they gave it space and all of that was really good.

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I've got one tiny word of advice, which is

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if I'd had my eyes closed, I felt the conviction.

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Watching you,

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it felt like the smiles only came during the applause at the end.

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I'd love to see a little bit more joy as you're performing.

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Thank you, judges. APPLAUSE

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I don't think we could have given any more than we gave.

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They just put it out there. It was beautiful, a lot of fun.

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Time now for our second choir, who are based in London.

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It's Faith Works.

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To join the choir, one must be able to sing, that is very important!

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And they must be able to have a relationship with God Almighty.

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We all come from different backgrounds,

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some of us, we don't have a family here.

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some of us, we don't have a family here.

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We're coming from another country, and when we come as one,

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united in the love of Jesus, it's like there's a spark.

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Singing the gospel is not just performing, it's praying.

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Basically, when I'm doing it, I'm praying to the Lord.

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My favourite song is Pass Me Not.

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You have to join in, whether it be clapping your hands or dancing.

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It's about the encouragement, it's about feeling that there is hope,

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even when it seems that there's no hope, there is still hope,

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and as long as there is God, there is hope.

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# Pass me not Pass me not, o gentle saviour

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# Hear my humble... Hear my humble cry

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# While on others thou art calling, calling

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# Do not pass me by

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# So please don't pass us

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# Do not pass me by

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# Pass me not

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Pass me not, o gentle saviour

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# Hear my humble... Hear my humble cry

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# While on others thou art calling, calling

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# Do not pass me by

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# Jesus Christ!

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# Do not pass me by Ooh, saviour!

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# Saviour, saviour

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# Hear my humble cry

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# While on others thou art calling, calling

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# Do not pass me by

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# Please, I beg you Jesus, don't pass us by

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# Do not pass me by

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# Yeah!

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# Jesus Christ, I beg you, Father

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# Holy Spirit, love of God

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# Do not, do not pass me by

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# We need you Father Can't you see that we need you?

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# Yes, holy Jesus

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# Do not, do not pass me by

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# While on others thou art calling, calling

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# Do not pass me by

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# Do not pass, do not pass Do not pass us by

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# Do not pass me by

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# Yeah! Jesus! #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Faith Works, everybody!

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So, Bazil, did their faith work for you?

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That was fabulous. That was wonderful for me.

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It's a difficult song to sing without a drummer

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and they did very well. They kept time, the choreography was on point.

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Gospel music intensely being presented to an audience

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that could not resist clapping and being part of it.

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That's what gospel is about.

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And, Ruby, you've sung all over the world but you started in the church.

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How did you rate that performance?

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That choir connected with us just now

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and that's what's so very important.

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Any performance you do, it's about connecting with the listener

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and that's the job. Job well done.

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Carrie.

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I think it was a simpler arrangement than our first choir,

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but it didn't suffer for that.

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Your soloist is amazing - wow, I'm not worthy, you were great!

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It was a little raggedy in places, choreographically,

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and a little raggedy for me, vocally,

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but overall, just the joy coming off you, that's what we're looking for.

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Just when you sit there and go, yes, goosebumps, it's great!

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Ladies and gentlemen, Faith Works!

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That was so good, it was amazing.

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I was so nervous,

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I just had to pretend that Jesus was sitting there.

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Our next choir from Nottingham, with their gospel take

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on a very familiar hymn, it's Hope Community Gospel Choir.

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We are mixed choir with lots of different ages.

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The one thing we have in common is that we all love singing

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and making music together.

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The community part is very important as it's all about anyone can come and sing, there are no auditions.

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# Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming... #

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There are many, many people out there just burning to sing,

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but they don't quite know that there is a gospel choir near to them.

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But you have to try it to understand it

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and to believe what it's going to do to your life.

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# Mine eyes have seen the glory

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# Of the coming of the Lord

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# He is trampling out the vintage

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# Where the grapes of wrath are stored

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# He hath loosed the fateful lightning

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# Of his terrible swift sword

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# His truth is marching on

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# In the beauty of the lilies

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# Christ was born across the sea

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# With a glory in his bosom

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# That transfigures you and me

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# As he died to make men holy

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# Let us die to make men free

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# While God is marching on

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# Glory, glory, hallelujah!

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# Glory, glory, hallelujah!

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# Glory, glory, hallelujah!

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# His truth is marching on

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# Glory, glory, hallelujah!

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# Glory, glory, hallelujah!

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# Glory, glory, hallelujah!

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# His truth is marching on

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# Our God is marching on

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# Our God

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# Is marching

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# On. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Hope Gospel Choir.

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Ruby.

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What's so important is for... To see a choir standing there,

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encouraging the nation to sing.

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The enthusiasm was there, they were smiling,

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they really wanted to be there and they are singing, it's great,

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absolutely great.

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APPLAUSE

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Bazil. I liked that arrangement very much.

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I was very entertained by the performance.

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The song, a beautiful song, again very well known,

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but it's about the individuals on stage coming together,

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working together as a team and presenting it.

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They certainly lifted my spirit and that is what gospel music is about.

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APPLAUSE

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Carrie. I think there are probably lots of people all across the UK

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right now thinking, "I'm going to join a gospel choir."

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I think that that was really inspiring.

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For me, the last 30 seconds were fantastic,

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the blend of it, the passion of it,

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the swells, you know, crescendo, diminuendo,

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all of that stuff was happening in the last 30 seconds.

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That's what you need to focus on, it was good.

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Hope Community Gospel Choir!

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THEY CHEER AND LAUGH

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Fantastic!

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They were impressed with the epic ending

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which is what we had been working really hard at.

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THEY CHEER

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We are already halfway through this first-ever

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Songs Of Praise Gospel Choir Competition in Birmingham Town Hall.

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Next is the turn of a gospel choir from Dagenham in Essex.

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It's Fountain Of Praise.

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We need a church to give thanks to God, to give worship to God.

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Gospel music is a channel through which we communicate

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the gospel, the good news was pronounced to

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millions around the world.

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# I will cling to the old rugged cross... #

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Rugged Cross, powerful hymn, isn't it?

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It's a song reflecting back on what God has done for you,

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and knowing where you are today because of what he has done

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so it's a testimony in itself.

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# On a hill

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# Far away

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# Stood a rugged

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# The old rugged

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# Cross

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# On a hill far away

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# Stood an old rugged cross

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# The emblem of suffering and shame

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# And I love that old cross

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# Where the dearest and best

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# For a world of lost sinners was slain

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# So I cherish the old rugged cross

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# Till my trophies at last I lay down

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# I will cling to the old rugged cross

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# And exchange it someday for a crown

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# So I cherish the old rugged cross

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# Till my trophies at last I lay down

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# I will cling to the old rugged cross

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# And exchange it someday for a crown

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# So I cherish the old rugged cross

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# Till my trophies at last I lay down

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# I will cling to the old rugged cross

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# And exchange it someday for a crown

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# And exchange it someday for a...

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# ..Crown. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Fountain Of Praise, everybody.

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So, Carrie, Fountain Of Praise sing together in church every week,

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that's got to help in a situation like this, hasn't it?

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I think the more you sing, the better you get,

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that's just a fact, so definitely.

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For me I think you're the most sincere choir that we've seen so far

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and I love you for that. APPLAUSE

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There's just a reality about you that's very endearing

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and really touched my heart, really sincere.

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Ruby, this was a very, very different style

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to the previous choir. What did you think?

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I'm sat here and I started to write and I stopped.

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It took me back to days of my mum. My mum used to sing that at home

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and it warmed my heart. Thank you so much.

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Really wonderful.

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Bazil, this is a classic song, it's been sung by so many people,

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do you think Fountain Of Praise did it justice?

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It's a beautiful song

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and it's from a different era

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and this is where it shows the variety that we have

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in gospel presentation and I think they did very well.

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Tenors were drifting on the tuning edge on little bit for me,

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but overall performance I thought was very good.

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Fountain Of Praise.

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THEY CHEER

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Amazing.

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When they said that we were a sincere choir,

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that just touched me so much cos that's what we set out to do.

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Hoping to live up to the title of their hymn choice, Perfect Praise,

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it's One Voice Community Choir.

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There are all kinds of ages from all over Lancashire.

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Basically the aim of the choir is to bring joy to everyone.

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# Yeah! Yeah! #

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The word gospel means good news and I believe in good news.

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In an age where everything seems to be about the bad news of this world,

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it's something to penetrate the hearts and minds of people,

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so I think it is a fantastic thing and it's my faith.

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I'm a nurse and when things are frantic, things are awful,

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I can think of some of those sounds and some of those words

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while I'm at work trying to cope with difficult things,

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and help people cope

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and I think it's really given me a lot of strength.

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# How excellent! #

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For me, gospel music allows me to be me, to rejoice, to dance,

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to smile with people and, most of all, to share it with them.

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# Oh, Lord

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# How excellent

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# How excellent

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# How excellent

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# How excellent

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# Is

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# Thy name

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# There is none like you

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# None like you

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# Jesus, excellent

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# Is

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# Thy name

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# In all the Earth

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# Jesus, excellent

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# Is

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# Thy name

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# In all the Earth

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# Every knee shall bow In all the Earth

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# In all the Earth

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# And every tongue confess In all the Earth

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# That he is Lord

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# Jesus, excellent

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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# Is

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# Thy name. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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One Voice Community Gospel Choir.

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Bazil, Perfect Praise is a real test for a gospel choir.

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Did they pass the test?

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CHEERING

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THEY LAUGH

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There are a lot of people called Bazil in the audience! Exactly!

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I just loved it. I thought they were wonderful. How excellent!

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CHEERING

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I mean, they... It was so believable

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and I thought it was wonderful to see a choir

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presenting a song has been established for such a long time

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and singing it so spirit-filled and is certainly communicated with me.

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I loved that.

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APPLAUSE

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Carrie. I want to say so much to you guys.

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None of you look the same, you're all different ages,

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you're all completely different.

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You absolutely embody the word "community".

0:26:130:26:16

You absolutely embody what a choir is about because choirs

0:26:160:26:19

don't necessarily have to have all amazing singers individually,

0:26:190:26:23

it's when you put the voices together that the magic happens

0:26:230:26:26

and that is what we saw today.

0:26:260:26:27

APPLAUSE

0:26:270:26:30

Ruby, Perfect Praise. Was it perfect for you?

0:26:310:26:35

Oh, goodness me, it was songs of praise, it really was.

0:26:350:26:39

It really was.

0:26:390:26:41

I mean, when they finished, I just said, "Amen!"

0:26:410:26:44

CHEERING

0:26:440:26:46

One Voice Community Choir!

0:26:460:26:48

Excellent!

0:26:480:26:50

Magnificent. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for more.

0:26:500:26:53

I can't believe it. Can we go and do it again?

0:26:530:26:56

THEY CHEER

0:26:560:26:58

Finally a choir also from Birmingham.

0:26:580:27:01

It's Birmingham Community Gospel Choir.

0:27:010:27:03

# La... #

0:27:030:27:06

The choir rehearse here at Aston Parish Church.

0:27:060:27:10

The choir is a Christian-based community gospel choir,

0:27:100:27:13

so Christians from

0:27:130:27:14

different areas of the community can come in and join.

0:27:140:27:14

different areas of the community can come in and join.

0:27:150:27:16

Right, left, right, left...

0:27:160:27:18

Maxine's a stern taskmaster,

0:27:180:27:21

but that is what we need to achieve the sounds that we want.

0:27:210:27:25

And stop. Swell!

0:27:250:27:27

Some of the songs, even though they're very old, like a recipe,

0:27:270:27:31

you can turn them around and make them your own.

0:27:310:27:34

I think that's what Maxine's done.

0:27:340:27:36

# Got a prayer... #

0:27:360:27:39

We're finding that the audience responds, so there are many tears.

0:27:390:27:41

We're finding that the audience responds, so there are many tears.

0:27:430:27:43

We don't want to make them cry, but they do cry.

0:27:430:27:45

It's because they're touched by our passion perhaps

0:27:450:27:48

and also the presence of the Lord.

0:27:480:27:50

# Guide me, O thou great Jehovah

0:27:510:27:57

# Pilgrim through this barren land

0:27:570:28:03

# I am weak but thou art mighty

0:28:030:28:09

# Hold me with thy powerful hand

0:28:090:28:16

# Bread of heaven Bread of heaven, bread of heaven

0:28:160:28:22

# Feed me till I want no more

0:28:220:28:37

# Open now the crystal fountain

0:28:370:28:43

# Whence the healing stream doth flow Whence the healing stream doth flow

0:28:430:28:50

# Let the fire and cloudy pillar

0:28:500:28:56

# Lead me all my journey through Lead me all my journey through

0:28:560:29:02

# Strong deliverer Strong deliverer, strong deliverer

0:29:020:29:09

# Be thou still my strength and shield

0:29:090:29:13

AUDIENCE CLAPS ALONG

0:29:130:29:15

# Be thou still my strength and shield

0:29:150:29:22

# When I tread the verge of Jordan

0:29:240:29:30

# Bid my anxious fears subside

0:29:300:29:36

# Bear me through the swelling current

0:29:360:29:42

# Land me safe on Canaan's side

0:29:420:29:48

# Songs of praises Songs, songs, songs, songs

0:29:480:29:55

# I will ever give to thee

0:29:550:30:01

# I will ever give to thee. #

0:30:010:30:10

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:30:100:30:13

INAUDIBLE

0:30:160:30:17

Birmingham Community Gospel Choir.

0:30:220:30:25

CHEERING

0:30:250:30:28

Carrie, that was a cappella, completely unaccompanied.

0:30:290:30:32

A brave choice, but was it the right choice?

0:30:320:30:35

CHEERING

0:30:350:30:39

Wow!

0:30:390:30:41

It absolutely was the right choice.

0:30:410:30:44

With a cappella singing, the two things you've really got to watch

0:30:440:30:47

are that we don't lose, we don't drop in tone,

0:30:470:30:49

and the timing.

0:30:490:30:51

Tuning, you were on point, you nailed it.

0:30:510:30:53

CHEERING

0:30:530:30:54

Timing...

0:30:540:30:56

I do want you to have a little think about your timing.

0:30:560:31:00

The timing actually improved when the audience started clapping

0:31:000:31:04

because you kept in time with them.

0:31:040:31:06

LAUGHTER

0:31:060:31:07

Ruby, you've been on stage countless times.

0:31:070:31:09

In a situation like this, with cameras and the audience

0:31:090:31:12

and people watching at home, with pressure,

0:31:120:31:14

how do you think they performed? They performed great.

0:31:140:31:18

The connection they made with the audience took us in with them.

0:31:180:31:22

Suddenly we wanted to be there.

0:31:220:31:24

That is what making that connection's all about.

0:31:240:31:27

It's what choir singing is all about,

0:31:270:31:29

people joining in and just enjoying it, and they were great.

0:31:290:31:33

Bazil, they say as a choir, they want to move people's hearts.

0:31:330:31:36

Did they touch your heart?

0:31:360:31:38

They certainly did and I think it's a very brave thing,

0:31:380:31:42

taking a song like this

0:31:420:31:43

and presenting it without any accompaniment

0:31:430:31:45

because not many choirs like to do that

0:31:450:31:47

because you're totally exposed.

0:31:470:31:49

Again, I looked at all the singers, they were engaging with

0:31:490:31:52

the audience and certainly engaging with the conductor - so important.

0:31:520:31:56

APPLAUSE

0:31:560:31:58

Birmingham Community Gospel Choir!

0:31:580:32:00

We were somebody else up there, weren't we?

0:32:020:32:04

Who were we? We were blessed!

0:32:040:32:06

We didn't drop the note, we kept it there, we kept it at the level.

0:32:060:32:09

THEY CHEER

0:32:090:32:11

It's been fantastic watching and listening to these six choirs.

0:32:110:32:15

Let's show them some love and appreciation.

0:32:150:32:17

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:32:170:32:20

Now, no choirs are going home at this point, I know, but, judges,

0:32:210:32:25

have you been moved particularly

0:32:250:32:27

by any choir from a worship perspective?

0:32:270:32:29

Have any stood out for you? Ruby?

0:32:290:32:31

They were all so, so wonderful

0:32:310:32:34

and I feel very blessed to be a part of this.

0:32:340:32:37

The song Do Not Pass Me By

0:32:370:32:40

is an old gospel song that I've loved

0:32:400:32:43

and the choir delivered it so wonderfully today.

0:32:430:32:46

# Hear my humble cry... #

0:32:460:32:49

Bazil?

0:32:490:32:50

The choir that sang How Excellent, which I believe is One Voice,

0:32:500:32:55

they certainly moved me.

0:32:550:32:57

I wanted to join them and worship through that song.

0:32:570:33:00

# How excellent... #

0:33:000:33:02

And, Carrie, what about you?

0:33:020:33:04

There is one choir that has really stood out for me

0:33:040:33:06

technically today and that has to be the Town Hall Gospel Choir.

0:33:060:33:10

# This

0:33:100:33:11

# This is my story... #

0:33:110:33:14

Wow, so three judges, three different choirs.

0:33:140:33:18

And there's plenty to think about for next week.

0:33:180:33:21

Do join us next week because all six choirs get to sing

0:33:210:33:24

a great gospel song, but this time

0:33:240:33:26

with full accompaniment, and one of them will become

0:33:260:33:29

the first Songs Of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year.

0:33:290:33:33

Bye for now.

0:33:330:33:35

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:33:350:33:38

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:33:550:33:59

David Grant introduces six talented gospel choirs from around Britain who must impress judges Ruby Turner, Bazil Meade and Carrie Grant and an enthusiastic audience in Birmingham Town Hall with their exciting gospel songs and hymns.


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