NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – They have performed for the Pope, and have been called the best college choir in the nation, but if you think you have seen the best of the TSU New Direction Choir, think again.
The world-renowned choir has been selected to appear as featured performer on BET’s hit show “Sunday Best,” a reality television gospel music singing competition series.
The choir will appear in an episode of the show which airs this fall. They will perform gospel hits selected by the show’s producers. On May 9, the group spent the day taping their upcoming performance in the Tyler Perry Studio in Atlanta.
“We are just excited and grateful,” said Justin Butler, director of New Direction, who called the invitation a “total surprise and a wild moment.”
He said one of the producers of Sunday Best (Torrance Glenn) “called us out of the blue” and said he had been following New Direction for a long time, and when he needed a choir to perform behind the contestants, the TSU group “instantly” came to mind.
“It was a wild moment. We didn’t know we had impacted someone all the way in New York,” Butler said. “He just said, ‘I need you all as guest performers for this episode and I need you here’ by this time. He said he felt we would be the best to perform on the show behind the contestants.”
Kedrick Noel, a junior music education major from Memphis, is president of New Direction Choir. He said he got the call from Butler about the opportunity to appear on BET.
“It is just amazing. We are beyond grateful and blessed to have this opportunity to perform on BET Sunday Best,” Noel said. “It was just a blessing how everything worked out. The school was one hundred percent behind us, the choir was one hundred percent behind us.”
Last winter, New Direction spent 31 days touring and performing in different cities across Europe. The group held 24 concerts, including an appearance in the Vatican, where they met and performed for the Pope.
“That was another wild moment,” said Butler. “The people were so excited to see us. They treated us like we were rock stars. The red carpet was laid out for us everywhere we went.”
“It was overwhelming to see our students come out and work so hard,” primary group advisor Deborah Chisom, said at the time. “Even though I was not on stage with them, seeing them so excited was just very fulfilling.”
For more information on the TSU New Direction Gospel Choir, go to http://tnstatenewsroom.com/archives/tag/new-direction-choir
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