Church Choirs Reluctant to Enter Gospel Choir of the Year Competitons

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The BBC One (Songs of Praise) Gospel Choir of the Year Competition is back and this year the organisers are hoping to see more church choirs and teams getting involved.

Following the success of last year’s runners-up – Living Faith Connections Choir (LFC), London based Redeemed Church of God branch – Living Faith Connections Church, the BBC are encouraging more church based teams to register for Gospel Choir of the Year 2015. However, it seems that many church choirs and worship teams are traditionally reluctant to get involved in the annual competition and others alike. So we decided to catch up with LFC choir director, Evans Ogboi, to ask why he thought this might be the case. He said this:

I think churches are reluctant to get involved with such competitions because we don’t believe in competing in the Kingdom of God. We are all working for the same cause, and so to put that in the setting of a competition really goes against what we are all about. We also believe that our God-given gifts are not to be used to compete against each other or for a display of ability, but rather for the edification of the Body and building of the Kingdom. I even told myself many times that I would never enter such a competition.

When asked why his church worship team went ahead and entered the BBC Gospel Choir of the Year 2014, Evans said:

we saw a real opportunity to share Christ to a wider audience. This competition is one way to really reach out and share Christ to the world and bless lives. Music lovers across the nation and beyond tune into this programme every year, so it made sense to utilise the platform as a beacon for Christ. We never set out to win as that was not our objective.

LFC were BBC Gospel Choir of the Year 2014 runners-up and went on to become winners of the MOBO Best Gospel Act 2014 award. They are now preparing for the live recording of their Beyond the Norm Concert on 3rd April 2015.

We asked Evans if he thought church teams should enter into the BBC Gospel Choir of the Year 2015. He said:

Yes, for 2 reasons. One, it is a massive opportunity for growth in the ability of your team. You are definitely challenged to improve, but you also get the support needed to help you to do so. We had Vocal Performer and Choral Conductor – Ken Burton who came and worked with us, which was amazing and really helped move us to another level. Secondly, as I mentioned before, the opportunity to share Christ to the masses is there and it’s real. I would say go for it!

Check out Living Faith Connections Choir performing ‘Beyond the Norm’ on BBC Gospel choir of the Year 2014.

The BBC Gospel Choir of the Year competition is an annual event that aims to find the best amateur Gospel Choirs in the UK. Entrants receive  ‘constructive feedback’ on their entry and are advised as to whether they have made it through to the televised stage of the competition. The finals are to be held in July this year and is to be what the organisers have described as “a festival of singing, worship and praise. ”

To find out more about the competition and to register click here: BBC Gospel Choir of the Year 2015

Over to you

What are your views on whether church choirs and worship teams should enter competitions such as the BBC Gospel Choir of the Year? Tell us in the comments below.

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