A Joyful Noise

With its soaring stained glass windows and gorgeous acoustics, St. Andrew’s-Wesley is one of Vancouver’s most beloved churches. This historic building is also the setting for A JOYFUL NOISE; a unique music special combining the magnificent voices of two Vancouver Gospel Choirs with special guest stars JIM BYRNES and the SOJOURNERS all accompanied by the amazing BILL SAMPLE and a three-piece band.

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Gospel music is not just for church.  Its roots are buried deep in the United States black slave experience and the civil rights movement.  The power of many voices combined with simple harmonies and a driving rhythm brought people together and provided an outlet for expressing their pain and their joy.

Nowhere is this genre better brought to life than in the hands of the Marcus Mosely Chorale and the Universal Gospel Choir.  With over two hundred voices these are two of Canada’s finest gospel choirs.  But chorale music is never as interesting on television unless there is a strong visual element.  And this concert is packed with visual appeal.

Imagine darkness, then the tiny flame of a single candle.  A solo voice soars through the shadows and gradually others join in.  The majestic stained glass windows of St. Andrew’s-Wesley Cathedral start to glow and come to life as the Cathedral is flooded with light.

One choir is revealed on stage and the other in the balcony, surrounding the audience in harmony and joy. The singers are never still – energy is an essential part of their style and each move is carefully choreographed.

At the concert’s mid-point, the stage is taken over by Juno Award-winning recording artists JIM BYRNES and the SOJOURNERS.

When Canadian blues icon Jim Byrnes called on gospel singer Marcus Mosely to round up a few friends to record some back up vocals for a new album, no one could have guessed what would happen next.  From the moment Mosely and his pals, Will Sanders and Ron Small stepped up to the microphone and began singing, they realized that they had something very special.  This is real gospel – blessed with a soul that can’t be faked.

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The evening culminates in a huge, combined-choir number with jubilant music filling St. Andrew’s-Wesley with colour, joy and the magic that only Gospel music can make.

This television special was shot in high-definition with lighting designed by the renowned lighting designer PHIL GUHL (TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, 2012 JUNO AWARDS).  Massive movie lights to illuminate the windows and a variety of conventional and moving light fixtures including the latest vari-lights will be used to fully realize the incredible ambience of the Cathedral.

The entire production will be directed and produced by SHEL PIERCY. Broadcast on the Knowledge Network.

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