Moving with the spirit

The Amazing Gospel Experience 2013 returns to Victoria with a larger-than-life concert choir

  • Feb. 8, 2013 9:00 a.m.

Musician Eric Dozier and jazz and gospel vocalist Kim Pacheco lead a mass choir at Oak Bay United Church this Sunday.

Gospel music is in the house – the house of God that is.

The Amazing Gospel Experience 2013, is a workshop and concert spearheaded by Tennessee-born musician Eric Dozier and North Carolina jazz and gospel vocalist Kim Pacheco. It returns to Victoria with a larger-than-life concert choir featuring 125 singing, clapping and dancing musicians filling the air with the sights and sounds of southern and contemporary gospel music.

“What is fascinating for me, is it’s people from all walks of life. There are agnostics, and people who are involved in other spiritual practices. It is simply the full-body experience of singing the gospel music that (people) are looking for,” said Oak Bay United Church musical minister Gordon Miller. “There is an appetite for the musical genre.”

Under the tutelage of the two mentors who travel and deliver the workshops internationally, the sold out three-day clinic features a lineup of vocalists from Seattle, Saskatchewan and the Lower Mainland, all of whom congregate at the Oak Bay church for the finale Sunday, Feb. 10.

“Kim and Eric are both steeped in the tradition of passing on the singing just by listening and participating,” Miller said. “The gospel sound is singing with full body, full spirit and full engagement. That sometimes doesn’t happen when you are stuck to a hymn book.”

Both Dozier and Pacheco are no strangers to the island. Dozier, a former resident of Duncan, founded the One Human Family Gospel Choir there and Pacheco returns for her eighth appearance with past visits highlighted by performances at Hermann’s Jazz Club, the Victoria Conservatory of Music and numerous previous workshops – an avenue she is excited to revisit to share the tradition of her gospel roots.

“The process of getting there is a huge challenge because people are often thinking how can I possibly learn eight or nine or 10 songs, with no written music to look at,” Pacheco said. “The ultimate outcome is a full-body experience. … 125 people all moving, clapping their hands, breathing … it is not an individual singing. It is a mass, moving, breathing, singing and engaging together.”

Pacheco said the music isn’t just for Christians, and hopes celebrating the music leaves race and religion behind and brings awareness to the origins of traditional songs like Hold on just a little while longer.

“It was one of those songs that was indigenous to slave days,” Pacheco said. “That told you freedom was coming soon, it won’t be long, all you had to do is hold on, pray on, wail on and everything is going to be alright.”

The spirit of that song, among many others, will be on display when the massive choir arrives at the church as individuals and perform on the choir loft as one.

“You won’t be sorry, it will be the best $10 you ever spent,” Pacheco said. “Come to be a spectator in this thing – by the end I promise you – you will be a participant.”

The Amazing Gospel Experience Choir performs at Oak Bay United church’s free regular service Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. and the choir’s full concert is at the same location at 3 p.m. Admission is $10.

Pacheco also performs a solo show at Hermann’s Jazz Club on Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door.

Just Posted

Oak Bay instructors teach free outdoor yoga classes at Willow Beach Park

Practise yoga for free Tuesdays at 6 p.m. all summer

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Nanaimo man wanted Canada-wide after walking away from Victoria halfway house

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

CRD holding off repairing Sooke Potholes viewing area after winter landslide

Area likely to experience continued failure of slope, officials say

Sixties Scoop settlement tour stops in Victoria

The information session takes place on July 24 at the Sandman Hotel

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

POLL: Do you use a food delivery app?

With modern life becoming more hectic with each passing day and so… Continue reading

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

BC Cancer Agency refuses to release audit’s critical findings, but discloses ‘positive’ findings

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions of cancer agency’s triage audit

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Countdown starts to 2020 BC Summer Games

Two flags unveiled at Maple Ridge city hall.

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

Most Read