This spring, the Ambassadors of Harmony tried something totally new for us, and we didn’t know if it would ultimately succeed. But we felt pursuing a concert aimed at supporting youth arts programs in our community was a worthy goal, so we teamed up with some talented organizations -- the Grammy-winning a cappella quartet, Fairfield Four, the acclaimed St. Louis vocalist Brian Owens and his organization, Life Arts Inc., the St. Louis Symphony’s IN UNISON chorus as well as the champion barbershop quartet, Crossroads -- to deliver a concert celebrating gospel music.
The congregation at Greater Grace Church in Ferguson graciously welcomed all of us into their church the evening of March 3 to put on a nearly sold-out show for about 1,200 people. This show, sponsored in part by Sterling Bank, provided a valuable opportunity to celebrate the healing power of music and promote much-needed unity in our metropolitan area.
“The concert was yet another example of how music can bring people together in an experience that simultaneously enriches our souls,” said Brian Owens, who founded the Life Arts Inc. charity in the St. Louis region to mentor youth and nurture leaders through music, art and technology. “The idea that art can be its own philanthropic engine is an idea that we want to instill in our next generation of artists and musicians; to encourage them to be proactive in using their gifts and talent to serve the community and create opportunities for those come.”
AOH’s first gospel concert raised more than $9,200 to support scholarships provided by Life Arts. We hope to build on the success of the first show by turning the gospel show an annual event.
Concert images courtesy of Katie Myers, text by Joel Currier