5 Years Strong, When Praises Go Up Gospel Showcase

All rights to this photograph belong to First Lady Balena Ali of BaLady Photography, © 2015.

An attendee gazes upon the program booklet in amazement of the performance lineup. All rights to this photograph belong to First Lady Balena Ali of BaLady Photography, © 2015.

In early 2010, former executive director Phillip Thomas had a vision of blending ministry and performance. Last in the year, Thomas and the staff of Newark Symphony Hall introduced When Praises Go Up Gospel Showcase (WPGU) to the city’s residents. Five years later, current executive director, Leon Denmark, shares this passion! On Sunday, December 13th, Newark Symphony Hall and the Newark Symphony Hall Ministers Council hosted the 5th annual WPGU showcase in the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall honoring gospel pioneer Minister Donnie Harper, The New Jersey Mass Choir founder.

The program also featured performances by Dr. Barbara Clark, Kingdom Generation Dance Ministry, JT Cotton, Minister Creasha McCall, Nathan Martin, Vessels of Praise, Men of Worship, Elder Chrylyn Bell-Myers, Shannon Swiney-Bruce and Eunice Rivers.

Thank you to the many contributors and sponsors of this year’s When Praises Go Up! Gospel Showcase including the Honorable Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the City of Newark, New Jersey, The World Gospel Musical Association, Newark Symphony Hall Ministers Council (NSHMC), Council President Mildred C. Crump, Councilmen John Sharp James, City of Newark’s Department of Health and Community Wellness Program Coordinator Almetta Sabb, ShopRite Route 22 of Hillside, New Jersey and CJ’s Motorsport and Cycle located at 225 Elizabeth Avenue in Newark, New Jersey.

With a special thanks to Apostle Antoine Obery, Grace Cathedral Ministries of Newark and Pastor Lily Williams located at 54 Elizabeth Avenue in Newark, New Jersey, Pastor Dale Cicerone, Raise the Praise Radio Show and WKMB.

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Thank you for your support of Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey’s most historic arts and entertainment venue.

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