Arts and Entertainment

Sing Out! offers ‘total experience’

The Rev. Pat Wright shares the joy during the Sing Out! Gospel Workshop. - Kathryn Keeve/Courtesy Photo
The Rev. Pat Wright shares the joy during the Sing Out! Gospel Workshop.
— image credit: Kathryn Keeve/Courtesy Photo

Tickets are on sale, but there won’t be any spectators at the 11th annual Sing Out! on Jan. 30. Everybody in the building will be clapping, singing, tapping their toes, rocking back and forth in the gospel tradition.

“Come prepared to have a wonderful time,” said The Rev. Pat Wright, founder and director of the Total Experience Gospel Choir, and whose warmth and humor elicit active participation “from the heart, not the head.”

Sing Out! is more of a celebration than a performance, and is a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year’s event takes the experience up a few notches. A film crew will be taping the event, set in a new venue to allow more capacity.

Wright, whose choir consists of persons ranging from ages six to 72, came to Bainbridge in early January to assess the set up at Island Church.

“The people have been warm and welcoming,” Wright said. “And that is 100 percent the key.”

Sing Out!, like the harmonies it creates, comes in four parts:

First is a gospel singing workshop from 1-5 p.m. where participants learn traditional spirituals and black gospel-style choral music that inspired Dr. King. Participation earns them a slot in the 2010 MLK Memorial Choir, which will sing later that evening.

The workshop, open to people 10 years old and up, requires no musical experience since Wright teaches in the oral tradition. No sheet music is used.

A limited number of youth scholarships are still available for the event.

At 5 p.m., master chef Rudy Rimando and friends bring out savory soul food for the second part of the celebration: a community dinner featuring Rudy’s BBQ spareribs, baked chicken, steamed long-grain rice, baked beans, chicken and sausage gumbo, collard greens, corn bread, vegetarian lasagna and more. Music and a program will accompany dinner.

The third part is the 7 p.m. concert that will shake the church’s rafters.

The fourth element, in line with King’s focus on service to the community, is the donation of all proceeds to Helpline House.

Tickets: concert – adults $12, students $8; dinner – $12; Workshop – adults $12, students $8; package – adults $30, students $20.

Tickets for dinner and all package tickets must be purchased by 6 p.m. Jan. 27.

For information about student scholarships, call Pat Johnson at 842-2200.

Tickets are available at Winslow Drugs or by calling 842-2200. For information, call Jerry Elfendahl at 842-4164 or email:

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