For the love of gospel

2011-06-03 00:00

MULTI-AWARD-WINNING American gospel singer Israel Houghton, who has a long-standing love for South Africa, will be auditioning throughout the country to find vocalists to join his New Breed Africa project.

Nationwide auditions are being held in Cape Town on June 7, in Durban on June 8, and in Johannesburg on June 9. Durban auditions will be held at Coastlands in Umhlanga, and will start at 8 am and end at 8 pm.

Houghton — a four-times Grammy winner and gospel megastar in the United States — will be joined on the auditioning panel by Neville D, Louis du Plessis, Loyiso ­Bala, Ernie Smith, Nurden Cross, Khaya Mthethwa and Natalie Rungan.

The organisers hope to identify 24 vocalists nationally to join the New Breed Africa initiative which will be nurtured by Houghton. This hands-on mentorship programme will provide experience for live performance, live and studio recordings, and the possibility of an international platform, including a chance of future international tours.

“This is the first time that something like this is happening,” said Preya Chetty (Life Events) in a statement. “Israel has been dreaming about this since 2005, and we are delighted that his dreams are now coming true.

“The successful auditionees will then rotate, depending on logistics concerning need and location of events. We will hear all vocalists and Israel Houghton will be a part of the audition and interview process for all finalists,” said Chetty.

“Ideally, we are asking that these individuals be a part of a church and preferably active in serving in that church in some capacity,” explains Houghton in his vision statement. “We believe this group will simply be the outworking of a heart for service that already exists. Our basic core values consist of a love for God and a heart to serve others in need. Therefore, we want the type of people who possess a matched quality and passion for this. In doing so, it will reflect in our music presentation.

“We want to empower, educate, train, challenge and encourage musicians and singers alike to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, both in music and ministry development, in life and leadership development,” he says.

Houghton is an internationally acclaimed Christian singer and worship leader, best known for his hybrid style of music which embraces gospel, jazz and rock. He has two gold-selling albums, six Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, a Soul Train Award, and four Grammy Awards.

Auditionees can come through at any time from 8 am until 2 pm. Final auditions will take place from 3 pm until 8 pm.

They should sing a song of their own choice, either acapella or they can bring backing tracks. If they play guitar or keyboards, they can provide and sing to their own accompaniment.

Registration forms can be completed online or at the registration table at the venue on the day of auditions. Auditionees are invited to attach a CV, photograph or endorsements to their registration form, should they want to furnish additional information.

• For more information or to register go to www.newbreedafrica. co.za or phone Life Events at 082 589 5411.

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