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York County Gospel Choir
Singing for God: The York County Gospel Choir
Ecumenical group touring the country, spreading the gospel
By JOHN HILTON Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 07/26/2012 10:34:22 AM EDT
York, PA -When the York County Gospel Choir performs,
audiences usually expect music.
Sometimes, they get the unexpected.
“People are looking for us to start off with just singing, and
we’ll start off with a drama and it surprises them, but they
enjoy it,” said David P. McCoy, choir director. “We make it
different everywhere we go.”
The choir has a drama group, a prayer group and a liturgical
dance group. Its performances are as eclectic as its
Formed four years ago, the choir is a unique ecumenical
group. The one common thread the members share is a
Christian belief in God. Otherwise, they represent an
array of ages, races and backgrounds.
And church denominations.
“We’ve got Lutherans. We got Baptists. We got Methodists,” said Cheryl Tyler, public relations administrator for the group. “Two members are Catholic.”
The group has never had any conflicts over members’ beliefs, McCoy said.
“It’s all about God,” Tyler added. “We’re so like family. I guess because when we go away, we’re all kind of stuck together. If we can’t get along with each other, how can we help others?”
The group started with eight people and now has about 25 members. Over the past four years, the choir has been to Florida, California, New York, St. Thomas and all over Pennsylvania.
Most recently, the group visited Louisville and Henderson, Ky., and Evansville, Ind., in May. They took detergent and cleaning supplies to a women’s shelter. The group performed at a Salvation Army in Henderson, the Evansville Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity.
“We prayed with the newest owner of the house, sang and prayed for people throughout the block,” Tyler said of the Habitat for Humanity visit. “Others heard us from two blocks away and came because they wanted prayer also.”
Soon after they returned to York, a check arrived in the mail.
“One man was so touched
that after we got back he sent us a check from his own checking account,”
said McCoy, who was involved with two Maryland choirs prior to moving to York
County. “It was small, but he wanted us to know that he appreciated it.”
In between mission trips, the choir performs locally several times a month,
although they are much busier around the holidays. Performances are usually
at area churches and nonprofits, and always free, but donations are accepted.
The choir has performed twice annually for the past three years at the Lutheran
Retirement Village at Utz Terrace in Hanover. Performances draw about half of
the facility’s 86 residents, said Kristina Martin, activities director for the village.
“They’re a very giving, fun-loving bunch,” Martin added. “They have very lively gospel music that really
awakens the residents. They just get them very active.”
Funds raised support the group’s annual trips. If some members can’t quite afford the mission bill, the choir will help them out, Tyler said. A Jamaica mission trip is planned next spring. McCoy said he expects the choir to continue to thrive. “We’re just growing as we go because God is leading us and telling us where to go and what to do,” he said.
See the show
The York County Gospel Choir will perform at 10:30 a.m. July 29 at Trinity United Church of Christ, 32 W. Market St. in York. The public is welcome.
The York County Gospel Choir holds auditions at 6:30 p.m. every Monday at the
Church of the Open Door, 8 Carlisle Court, West Manchester Township. Newcomers
are asked to arrive by 6:15 p.m.
“They gotta at least be able to “carry a tune” to be in the group, said Cheryl Tyler,
public relations administrator for the group. “If they can carry a tune, they don’t have
to be perfect.”
For more information, email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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York Dispatch Newspaper
Gospel choir delivers ‘uplifting sound’ to Revs
EYANA ADAH MCMILLAN The York Dispatch
Updated: 04/28/2009 10:55:32 AM EDT
Darrell Henry said he had never heard of the York County Gospel Choir, so he Googled them. After finding the choir’s Web site, Henry contacted Cheryl Tyler, the group’s member and spokeswoman.
Henry — a play-by-play broadcaster and baseball information manager for the York Revolution — asked her if the choir would be interested in singing the national anthem at Sovereign Bank Stadium before one of the team’s games.
At his request, the choir sent in an audition tape, and the rest is baseball history.
The York County Gospel Choir will be singing the national anthem at the York Revolution’s first home game of the 2009 season at 7 p.m. Friday when the team plays the Lancaster Barnstormers.
“This is the first gospel choir we’ll have here,” Henry said. “They have a very uplifting sound, kind of a feel-good sound to them, which is something we’re looking for. They’re not a big choir, but they sound huge.
They have big voices.”
Tyler said her fellow choir members were surprised and thrilled when she first told them about Henry’s invitation.
“They were stomping their feet, clapping and hands were up in the air,” said Tyler of North Hopewell Township. “It was pandemonium, and they were just glowing.”
Then members got to work, learning the national anthem as musically arranged by its director, David McCoy, who started the choir in September, Tyler said.
“He arranged it so that ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ has a gospel flair,” said Tyler, who is McCoy’s daughter. “Each time we rehearse, it gets better and better. I don’t think anyone has ever heard ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ sung with the power of God.”
The multi-racial, multi-denominational York County Gospel Choir — which will be going on tour in September to Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina — has about 15 members and sings at churches, retirement homes, malls and even grocery stores in York and Maryland, according to Tyler.
“So why not sing at a stadium?” she asked. “This is not something we’ve done. God did this. We go where he sends us.”
– Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 505-5438 or email@example.com.
Still More Media:
The Daily Record Newspaper, York, PA
Voices ring in praise
York County Gospel Choir made its debut.
By JOSEPH MALDONADO
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 12/01/2008 10:22:10 AM EST
At times during the York County Gospel Choir’s inaugural performance, the 17 people who make up the group sounded 10 times their size.
And even though the members represent about a half-dozen churches in the county, their blues-infused renditions of “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night” made them sound as if they had formed way south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
“This is a real gospel music choir,” said choir member Cheryl Tyler of York. “My father raised us a little south in Maryland.”
The group performed Sunday night inside the sanctuary of Miracle Tabernacle Ministries in Jackson Township. It seemed appropriate because that was where God led them to practice since forming in September, Tyler said.
Tyler’s father, choir director David McCoy, has been teaching music all his life. When he moved from Maryland to Thomasville two years ago, Tyler said, he brought his love of song with him.
In July, Tyler said God laid it on her father’s heart to form a choir with representatives from churches across the county. So he put an advertisement in the paper and spread invitations by word of mouth to as many churches as he could.
As the group continued singing Sunday night, its musical style changed from southern gospel to contemporary Christian to traditional standards.
The music reflected the diversity of the group’s members, who range from young black children to older white adults.
“We wanted a nondenominational choir that would bring the body of
Christ together for something special,” Tyler said. “Age and race are unimportant to us. And even though we are doing our first public performances during the Christmas holiday, we want to sing year-round.”The group is still recruiting, McCoy said, and practice is not the typical chore one would expect. His daughter agreed.
“The spirit of God always shows up when we practice,” she said. “Our time together always feels more like a praise and worship service than a choir practice.”
For more info about attending or booking future performances or becoming a member of the York County Gospel Choir, or for any other reason please call Cheryl Tyler at 717-659-7288 or Mr. David McCoy at 717-259- 0418. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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From left to right: Frank Phipps, A.C. Davidson and Voni Grimes of the York County Gospel Choir rehearse at the Church of the Open Door. The choir has about two dozen members and accepts new members as long as they can ‘carry a tune,’ said Cheryl Tyler, public relations administrator for the group. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS — JASON PLOTKIN)
The hand of director David McCoy can be seen leading the York County Gospel Choir through a rehearsal. McCoy led choirs in Maryland before moving to York County and starting the choir. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS — JASON PLOTKIN)
Cheryl Tyler of the York County Gospel Choir reacts to a prayer message during a recent rehearsal. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS — JASON PLOTKIN)
David McCoy, left, director of the York County Gospel Choir, leads the group in prayer before the start of rehearsal at the Church of the Open Door. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS — JASON PLOTKIN)
Paula Dickerson sings during
rehearsal at the Church of the Open Door. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS
— JASON PLOTKIN)
York County Gospel Choir director David P. McCoy, lefts, leads a group in singing the national anthem during a rehearsal at Sovereign Bank Stadium. (Randy Flaum Photo)