Renowned gospel singer and 12-time Grammy Award-winner CeCe Winans will take center stage, accompanied by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Morgan State University Choir for a rousing gospel Christmas program of holiday favorites on Friday, Dec. 21 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
The 8 p.m. performance promises to feature some of Winan’s biggest hits and select tunes from her brand-new Christmas album, “Something’s Happening! A Christmas Album.”
“Baltimore can come to the show expecting a great time. We’re going to have fun and sing some of the old stuff and some of the new stuff,” said Winans, whose trophy mantel also contains a staggering 23 Dove Awards and seven Stellar Awards.
Winans has also been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has her star on both the Hollywood and Nashville Music City Walks of Fame.
“It’ll be Christmas time; the time of year that gets me excited because it’s fun, refreshing and it comes around every year when we all need it,” she said.
It’s not the first time Winans has performed in Baltimore and, based on her enthusiasm for Charm City, it more than likely will not be the last.
“Baltimore has supported my family and me for years,” Winans said. “You come out, you sing with us, you know the stuff and it’s like family. There’s always a smile on our faces when Baltimore is part of the plan.”
The eighth of 10 siblings, Winans rose to international fame with performances and recordings as part of a duo that included her brother, BeBe. Their first album, “Lord Lift Us Up,” hit the charts in 1984 with several more following including the hugely successful “Different Lifestyles” in 1991.
In 1995, she launched her solo career releasing her first project, “Alone in His Presence.” That would be followed by other successful albums including “Everlasting Love,” “His Gift” and “Alabaster Box,” all of which led to several gold and platinum certifications along with a Grammy and several Dove Awards.
In 2016, Winans became a member of the Artist Committee for the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.
For her latest album, Winans once again tapped her son, Alvin Love III, to produce which features singles like “Something’s Happening,” “Giving Season” along with classics: “Feliz Navidad” and “Silent Night.”
“Earlier, my son produced a record that won two Grammys and we got back together to produce a Christmas album with full orchestration which I love; it’s really beautiful and a lot of fun,” Winans said.
While plenty of work must be done to create new music, Winans said she believes her career and her ministry — she pastors a church with her husband — confirm her calling for God.
“I’ve seen the power of music. It will help encourage you to do the right thing and discourage you to from doing the wrong thing, especially when done in a negative way,” Winans said. “I’m blessed and honored to encourage people to do the right thing and the main message for me is that Christmas is what we’re all about.
“It’s about understanding that everybody is important,” she said.
Music has always been an integral part of Winans’ life who began singing at the age of 8 and had already begun recording by the time she had turned 15.
“I love music and there’s so much more to do and so much more to say and that’s why we keep going,” Winans said. “There were times when I’d say, ‘I’m done.’ But I always knew that this is what I was called to do. It is my purpose. Even in challenging times, I know I was created to do this.”