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Audience of millions watch DMU Gospel Choir on BBC One Show

The DMU Gospel Choir has performed live on BBC’s The One Show, and are now preparing to compete in the final of a national TV competition.

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The DMU Gospel Choir performs infront of the university's Hawthorn Building

The group sang live on Wednesday night's (26 August) edition of the show, ahead of appearing in the Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year final, the first part of which will be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday.

It means the choir, who delighted students and their families with their rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah during this year's graduation ceremonies, will have been on national TV screens twice in one week, gaining an audience of millions for their two appearances.

People who tuned into The One Show saw host Alex Jones interviewing gospel choir member Pastor Samuel Gapara who explained how they had just returned from a trip to Jamaica with DMU students.

The gospel choir performed in unison with the five other finalists from Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year and both Alex Jones and Stephen Fry praised the music.

Sister Ellah Kandi, DMU Gospel Choir co-ordinator, said: “When we made it to the final of Songs of Praise, we were contacted by producers at The One Show who asked us on.

“It was the first time The One Show had done something like this so we were all very excited.

“It is quite different to perform in a TV studio. We are used to big occasions and atmospheres in cathedrals and churches but this was a new challenge.”

The choir’s appearance on The One Show was part of a preview of this year’s Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year competition, the final of which will be aired in two parts on August 30 and September 6.

For the final, each of the competing choirs performs two songs, one for each week. The DMU Gospel Choir – which is affiliated with The Emmanu’-EL Apostolic Gospel Academy – will perform Emlanjeni in the Zulu language, which is based on Psalm 137 (‘By the rivers of Babylon……), and probably the best-known gospel song of all, O Happy Day.

Dave Stanford, Executive Producer, Songs of Praise, said: “BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year competition is now in its third year and it continues to grow in popularity. This year’s event comes from Hackney Empire and is very exciting as six incredible choirs compete for the coveted title.

“Although all those involved are amateurs, I think the audience will be astounded by the brilliance of all their performances.”

You can catch DMU Gospel Choir on Songs of Praise on both Sunday 30 August and Sunday 6 September at 4.55pm.

Posted on Wednesday 26th August 2015

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