Soul. Motown. Clapping. But what exactly is a Baby Gospel family concert?
Baby Gospel aims to uplift sleep-deprived parents, captivate young children and above all entertain both adults and children in equal measure. Born out of a simple connection via Twitter between Baby Broadway and CK Gospel Choir, family concerts now take place around five times a year in venues across London, and there are plans to go to new locations in 2018.
Here are 5 reasons you might want to come along:
1. Awesome vocals
Click on the video above and you’ll see the full CK Gospel Choir in action. Impressed? They’re even better in real life!
A versatile professional group from London, the singers are united by their love of gospel music and have provided backing for artists such as Beverley Knight, Peter Andre and Alfie Boe.
The group is led by Harlano Weekes, who has performed with some of the biggest names in world music such as Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Leona Lewis, Enrique Iglesias, Lulu and Phil Collins as well as being an established solo artist.
Each Baby Gospel concert sees at least four members of the choir performing alongside one of their regular keys players.
2. Just as enjoyable for adults as for kids
Wouldn’t it be nice to sing along to some great music with your little ones for a change, rather than music that’s aimed at kids? Set lists change regularly, but you can expect to hear some of the following at a Baby Gospel concert:
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye / One Love – Bob Marley / This Little Light of Mine – trad. gospel / Angel of Mine – Eternal / Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder / Happy – Pharrell Williams / Oh Happy Day – trad. gospel / Make You Feel My Love – Adele / Lean On Me – Bill Withers / My Love is Your Love – Whitney Houston / You’ve Got the Love – Candi Staton
Of course, your children may not be into soul, gospel, motown or pop yet. Well firstly: you’re never too young to start. Secondly: the music lends itself really well to dancing, clapping and jumping around, which most small children are excellent at. Plus, there are bubbles at every concert, as well as…..
3. Nursery rhymes as you’ve never heard them before
Ever wondered what ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ sounds like in a gospel-jazz style? Or heard ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ sung in 4-part harmony? Every concert offer the opportunity to experience specially-arranged versions of popular nursery rhymes, in what Harlano likes to call: “Baby Gospel Nursery Rhyme Time” (ok, the name might need a bit of work!)
It’s probably why TheSecretLifeOfMum described Baby Gospel as “like baby rhyme time but FAR cooler”!
4. Harlano’s jokes
Well….maybe not (sorry Harlano), but you can guarantee the choir’s front man will get the audience uplifted with his super-smiley demeanor and boundless energy. This picture says it all – you can’t fail to be cheered up with these guys around!
5. Benefits both you and your little one
Music has a direct link to our emotions, and different patterns of brain development are stimulated when we hear music. Even better, if you sing along at a Baby Gospel concert, structural changes take place in the brain giving better overall aural memory!
Many of the songs selected for Baby Gospel concerts are uplifting, joyful and familiar which – hopefully – means you will feel better for hearing them.
Traditional gospel music typically has lots of repetition and uses hand-clapping or foot-stomping as rhythmic accompaniment – all of which is really accessible for young children to respond to, developing gross motor skills and promoting social bonding as they join in.
When The Curious Mummy reviewed Baby Gospel she said “as we left, we had a kick in our step, music in our ears and the biggest smiles on our faces.” What more could you ask for?
Baby Gospel Christmas family concerts are taking place this December in 5 venues across London. Visit our Events page for more information