History of MCGC

History of MCGC

The choir debuted in 1994 under the direction of the late Rev. Fred Shapiro and the late Andy Shapiro. From its beginnings as a loose-knit group of about 20 people, the choir has grown over the years under the leadership of its current director John Harrison to its present size of over 60 members. While there are some members who have been professionally trained, for the most part the choir is comprised of everyday people who share a love for inspiring and uplifting ourselves and others through music.

Why are there so many White people in a gospel choir?

We are a multiracial choir singing African-American Gospel music. We have a deep love and respect for Black Gospel music because it is incredibly powerful, joyful, painful, real and emotional. We believe it is the foundation of much of what is great in American music, and are honored to bring this true American art form to the Vermont community. We strive to be respectful and intentional in publicly acknowledging the rich and historic African-American origins of this music and its creators. We are also passionate about offering and supporting anti-racism opportunities in our community. Please be in touch (choir_admin@vtgospel.com) if you have any suggestions for us and to share your thoughts about how to build an anti-racist, multicultural community.

Tammy Fletcher

Fontella Bass

Lester Bowie

Over the years we have performed under the Gospel Tent at the Discover Jazz Festival in Burlington, Vermont; at Montpelier’s First Night New Year’s Eve celebration; and at the Farmer’s Night concert series at the Vermont State House. We have been privileged with the opportunity to sing with Tammy Fletcher, Vermont’s homegrown blues great, and with gospel legend Fontella Bass and jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie. We sing at benefits, church services, prisons, nursing homes, and memorial services, but the heart of what we do happens at our Monday evening rehearsals. It’s there that we share with each other, open our hearts, take chances, and witness the movement of the spirit. When all of that carries over into our concerts, we are all blessed.

Tammy Fletcher

Fontella Bass

Lester Bowie

Some of Our Past Concerts