Gospel Male Chorus is back with Port Arthur concert; see the details

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Several years have passed since the Gospel Male Chorus of Southeast Texas held its Concert of the Year.

The return wait is over.

After a break spawned by the pandemic, the Chorus is presenting concert Dec. 17.

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Doors open at 5 p.m., and the concert begins at 6 p.m. at First Sixth Street Missionary Baptist Church, 548 Abe Lincoln Avenue in Port Arthur.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door the day of the event. VIP tickets are $15 and can only be purchased in advance. Tickets are available from any Chorus member or by calling 877-896-7574.

Hear from a member, director

Gospel Male Chorus Member Christopher Bates has been in the organization since 2011. He looks forward to getting back with the members and performing.

“It’s an amazing feeling. All year long when I see different members of the choir, they ask ‘are you singing this December? And my response is, ‘yes, I’m ready.’” Bates said.

Gospel Male Chorus of Southeast Texas poses for a photo. (Courtesy photo)

Bates said they are expecting a minimum of 60 men to participate this year and they come from different areas, some as far as Houston and others from the Golden Triangle.

The group originated at Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church. Brother James Miller is the clinician and director, and Miller’s dad is still a member in his 90s.

But what does it mean to be part of the Gospel Male Chorus of Southeast Texas?

“We have 60 men singing, with praise and glory given to God,” Bates said. “It’s something that is a joy to see. You see the smiling faces of the men in the choir and the enjoyment they have just singing, which is what they love to do everyday.”

James Miller said it feels wonderful to have the concert again and realizes the excitement has been building.
Miller said each year they perform about 16 songs with many different lead singers and many different people participating from across the area and beyond.

“It is one of the most anticipated events of the year,” he said.

When the event began 25 years ago, it was a typical program where an offering was taken at intermission. When the organizers started it as a ticketed event, it seemed to make the concert grow even more, Miller said.

There will be a variety of gospel songs performed, as there are young and old participating. Then afterward the singers can bring the music to their own respective choirs and teach them.

Bates said the event is more than a concert.

“We love singing. Everyone in the choir loves singing, loves God and gives Him all the glory,” Bates said. “We look forward to having this concert, and even though COVID set us back, we want to make sure we always have this concert for the community.”

Community involvement

The Gospel Male Chorus of Southeast Texas is more than workshops and a concert.

Bates is the youth director for the choir. He hopes the youth taking part in the production continue to participate in the future, and they too can look back over the past 25 years.

Miller said the concert is a scholarship fundraiser and money raised goes toward individuals attending college or trade school.

While the scholarship amounts are not high, the most maybe being $500, it is a help.

The choir also hosts a career day, where they bring in professionals in different types of jobs to speak with youth and encourage them.