Je'Wana Grier-McEachin, member of the Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Church and one of the organizers of A Soulful Christmas, says, “The Gospel Sensations have a sound similar to the Temptations.” The group, which has toured extensively, energizes audiences with synchronized dance moves in matching suits. On the quintet’s third visit to Asheville on the 21st, their set will feature Christmas songs.
The Bethel Chorale, which sings a capella spirituals, started over 43 years ago. Director Calvin Carter who has led the group since he was in his 20s, says that his teacher and mentor James Dillard of Winston Salem State taught him “to never quit, and to keep the songs alive.”
Local youth singers Taylor Whiteside and Jalen Blair will perform at A Soulful Christmas along with possible special guests. “Just like Christmas day,” Grier-McEachin hints, “there will be some surprises.”
The beneficiary of the night, the Bethel Bears Pathfinders Club is a youth group “comparable to the Girls and Boys Scouts, with a focus on learning and camping,” according to Grier-McEachi. The group is raising money to to attend the Seventh-day Adventist Camporee. Over 35,000 children from around the world will attend this event in Oshkosh, Wis. in August 2014. The Camporee only happens once every five years.
“If you attend [A Soulful Christmas], you will be getting the gift of music,” Grier-McEachin points out, “as well as giving these kids the gift of a once in a lifetime experience.”
In terms of the music, “you’ll get to hear the a capella sounds of the past with the Bethel Chorale, the classic sounds of the Gospel Sensations, the contemporary gospel of the Bethel Choir, and the up and coming sounds of the youth singers.”
For advance tickets, or if you have a local small business and would like to vend at the Holiday Market, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 778-7122.