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Shiloh Baptist Choir Celebrates 34th Anniversary

3/6/2013, 10:17 a.m.

The Shiloh Baptist Church Gospel Choir will perform its traditional Palm Sunday Praise Service in celebration of its 34th anniversary under the direction of Dr. Thomas Dixon Tyler.

"We Are Victorious" is the theme for the Gospel Choir's musical performance which will be preented at 4 p.m., March 24 in the sanctuary of the historic church. Tyler will be accompanied by renowned organist Evelyn Simpson Curenton and featured guest director Damon T. Gray, an anointed and skilled musician.

Gray, a native of Omaha, Neb.,has accompanied several world-renowned gospel artists, including James Cleveland, Daryl Coley, Kirk Franklin and Albertina Walker. His God-given talent at music was evident by the time he was two years old and started playing drums. At age nine, he began studying piano and soon gained a reputation for his talent as a musician.

Gray relocated to the Washington, DC area in 1998 and acquired a B.A. in performance from Bowie State University. He currently is the Music Department Chair at DuVal High School and serves as music coordinator at Jerusalem AME Church in Clinton, Maryland. Gray has been guest artist for the Washington Performing Arts Society's fall Children of The Gospel Concert and as an instructor for its summer camp. He also has been staff accompanist for the Historic Howard University Chapel Choir.

This year Shiloh Baptist is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its Christian witness in the nation's capital since its founding by former slaves.

"I Gave Up Everything to Follow Him" was the debut selection sung by the SBC Gospel Choir on March 25, 1979 to inaugurate its Palm Sunday Service. The choir was directed by noted church musician and gospel artist Andrew Rowe who composed and arranged the debut selection. Since then, the choir's repertoire has expanded to include anthems as well as standard and contemporary gospel music.

The community is invited to this free, special Palm Sunday performance at the Shiloh Baptist Church, located at 1500 Ninth St. in Northwest D.C.