Choirs and Music Competitions Worldwide

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Music is Good for People

Music participation and listening prepare the brain for learning languages, maths and sciences; helps to heal the brain in times of head trauma and emotional upheaval; moves people to action, and uplifts the spirit. It doesn't matter whether the music comes from a Gospel choir, a washboard, a symphonic orchestra or GLEE on your TV - it all works a miracle.

Gospel music has always held onto a large audience in the Midwest and the Bible Belt of America, as well as other regions. This is despite the attempts of some newspaper critics to denigrate the genre and the singers who perform it. Major awards are presented to Gospel singers, writers, and albums every year, whether the naysayers like it or not. We have Gospel competitions local and national; choir competitions joining people on a global; scale to share cultures, the Gospel Quartet Competition down south, and more than I can list in one Hub.

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Family Films

Unfortunately, some critics dismiss family films that do not have extreme profanity, continuous gunfire, and blood and guts spilling all over the ground. To them, two deaths in this film - Joyful Noise - do not seem to be enough. How many funerals must there be, I wonder?

Above all, the film's intense argument scene between an abandoned and therefore single mother in her 40s and her teen daughter, including physical confrontation, is not enough for some of the newspaper critics. From Queen Latifah as Mom, her shouting side of the argument is the best description of single motherhood I have heard in several years. People are going to memorize it and use it in their own acting auditions. Expect to hear it often.

For decades Gospel Quartet competitions have been held in the American South and choir competitions have built steam and caught up with the those quartets in competitions and album releases. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been a go-to Christmas album producer ever since the invention of the phonograph - or almost.

Elvis Presley sang Gospel and in fact, he applied and auditioned to become a member of a Gospel Quartet and was turned down, so he went to Rock and Roll. He still recorded Gospel number after Gospel number and album - a favorite of mine is the song Run On.

Tina Turner learned to sing in church. How many successful Motown celebrities did not?

Carry Underwood is a Country and Gospel singer that won American Idol in recent years as well as various country music and other awards ever since. Gospel Music is popular - popular enough to have its own Top 100 list on Billboard Magazine online.

Liberian A Capella Youth Choir - Kuo (The Devil Is a Liar)

3/4 of a quartet.
3/4 of a quartet. | Source
A Children's Choir.
A Children's Choir. | Source

Reasons to See Joyful Noise

The music soundtrack is the first best reason to see this film (Nielsen SoundScan ranking #8 for the week ending January 22). My church lost its whole large choir and the choirs in Joyful Noise brought back the music I miss and even do a better job on performing. They deliver a message as well, be it in Gospel or Pop Music. For the faithful, it's about belief, but for the nonbeliever it's about unity of humankind. For both, it is about the wonders that music can do in a community and in an individual life. For fun, just watch the choreographed numbers at the competition at the end of the film.

Dolly Parton plays a choir master's widow and although she is aging a bit, she's not too old to tote a shotgun or get into a food fight. The songs she wrote for this film are superior to some of her others, so I was pleased by her contributions. She even makes fun of her own plastic surgery.

Queen Latifah is always good in her parts, and she's good and funny in this one. But sometimes she's pretty angry. From a poor community during the recent Recession, she fulfills the job of single parent as her husband earns money as a soldier in Iraq. One teen child is a daughter (KeKe Palmer with a HUGE voice) and the other is a son with Aspberger's, so the conflict is built in. Dexter Dardin gives an outdistancing performance as a teen on the Autism Spectrum that wants to join in but be himself as he figures out life and relationships.

Jeremy Jordan does a top performance as a new choir member with ideas. A newcomer from the Disney world of acting, he will become a top-name performer before long. Other stars include Courtney B. Vance as the pastor; Angela Grovey, choir member looking for love but jinxed; and several more entertaining people.

See the film and read about some choir competitions and competitors below.

Man in the MIrror

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American and World Choir Competitions

  • How Sweet the Sound, sponsored by Verizon Wireless. This is an annual competition among Gospel Choirs to find the Best Church Choir In America. See links above to listen to some super videos of these high-energy choirs. See the link below for more information.
  • Interkultur World Choir Games and Other Festivals - Don't miss the Cincinnati, Ohio edition of the World Choir Games during Independence Week, or anywhere in your area that may host choir competitions. Check your convention centers and local concert venues.
  • National Gospel Quartet Competition - This is an entire week of competitions and showcases in Kentucky. I know folks that attend every year. Gold City and the Kingsmen are a couple of the most famous quartets still attending and performing. The Crabb Family has split up into ministries now, but Jason Crabb is usually on hand.

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Joyful Noise: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Joyful Noise: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Music Soundtrack Album CD. The soundtrack is very good by itself without the movie.

 

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Comments 18 comments

GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

I did not have Joyful Noise on my must see list but now will have to rearrange my schedule.

I love music but the trailer did not hit me right but your article did.

I will have to report back. Thank you for expanding my horizons on music.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Excellent review, Patty. I saw this film and although the story was a bit contrived, the music is glorious. The singers are superb. Dolly Parton's musical creations are some of her best. Voted up, m'dear.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the comments! - I thought the story was a bit old, but the music and the choir competitions made the film worth seeing to me. It's led me to renew interest in the 2012 event in Cincinnati and that will be a lot of fun and good music. A great vacation for the July 4th holiday!


jenubouka 4 years ago

I like how you noted that why does there have to be violence needed for interest? A family film should be enlightening and inspiring as this article.

P.S. I have this on the must see list, Ms. Parton is a distant cousin on my mother's side. We even have her photoed with my great grandfather in '79 pre-plastic surgery days.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

A relative - amazing! Let us know how you like it - the music anyway!


jenubouka 4 years ago

I sure will. She is sure a spit fire of a lady with incredible voice, in my opinion.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

She's fun in the movie and hr songs are pretty good for it.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I read somewhere that the only Grammy's Elvis won were for Gospel music. Can anybody confirm that? Great topic - well written.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I did not know that; I'll have to look it up...

Looks like 14 Grammy nominations and 3 wins: album How Great Thou Art in 1967, album He Touched Me in 1972, live concert recording of the song How Great Thou Art in 1974 in Memphis.

All the music he recorded, but the Grammys went to Gospel.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Patty I am a music lover and I have sung with both church and professional choirs for 49 years. I love serving God and giving back to Him for the voice and ability He gave to me.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I'd like to hear you sing one day!


authorfriendly profile image

authorfriendly 4 years ago from Charleston, SC

I had a grand time with Joyful Noise, because the music was so good. I am not a fan of gospel or spritual music, but I may have to revise that thought.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

I was not familiar with this movie. I will have to check it out.


MikeSyrSutton profile image

MikeSyrSutton 4 years ago from An uncharted galaxy

Unique and awesome hub Patty! Voted up.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

We need more music in our lives on a daily basis!


mindfuliving profile image

mindfuliving 4 years ago from Boston, MA

You are so right about music! If I'm having a blue day, all I have to do is put on some of my favorites, and my mood jumps immediately :) I always wonder how people live without surrounding themselves with music, and we're already introducing our 7 year old (for years now, actually) to greats like Elvis, Van Morrison, Classis Rock and Classical!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Good for you! Music is great and I try to notice quickly when I don't listen to enough. It makes a real difference.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great hub, Patty. You've misspelled Carrie Underwood's first name. It's Carrie with an ie and not a y. This was so insightful and amusing with great music reviews that deals with choirs and music competitions in gospel music. Voted up!

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