Tonight, Levitt AMP Asbury Park will host an inspirational show to close out its free music series headlined by Vy Higginsen’s Harlem Teens Choir. The choir is part of the Gospel for Teens program, founded by New York radio personality Vy Higginsen and her daughter Ahmaya Knoelle, with the purpose of preserving the gospel music genre. “[Gospel is] a story of a people in song, created out of an American experience,” said Higginsen in an Emmy Award-winning segment of “60 Minutes” that documented the music education program.
While Gospel for Teens’ main role was initially to teach youth about performance and the history of gospel, the program became a source of self-development for its students, with some coming from underprivileged backgrounds. Joining the free program, which recruits 50 to 75 students every semester, does not require a knack for singing. Through workshops with music industry veterans and regular group voice classes, the program hones the students’ talents while boosting their self-confidence.
Students who reach Gospel for Teens’ highest class level, called PBLA (Performing Before A Live Audience), are given high-profile opportunities to perform together as a choir at famous venues, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and Yankee Stadium. The choir has even backed several music stars, including Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Madonna and most recently, Chance the Rapper.
If you’re in the Asbury Park area, experience the power of this talented group of young artists at Springwood Park starting 6:00PM!