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United Voices Concert Choir - Directors
Colin Williams began singing at the tender age of 3 and at the age of 18 started directing his church gospel choir. His love of music led to him singing with and supporting various choirs, groups and solo artists such as The London Community Gospel Choir, The Harlem Gospel Choir, Jennifer Holliday, Deronda K. Lewis, and World Wide Message tribe to name but a few.
Colin has also worked for the BBC, doing such programmes as the BBC's "Songs of Praise" and BBC Radio 2's "Gospel Train". Having worked and toured with various groups and artists Colin has worked with community performing arts organisations, developing and encouraging individuals to reach their goals in the music industry.
A director of a 30+ Gospel choir in his hometown of Bradford, Colin and the choir have attracted singers from miles around. He works with a children's choir ranging from the ages of 3 to 16 and had recently undertaken an album project with Steve Thompson involving children from the age of 9 to 16 years.
Colin's musical experience includes:
• Choir Director with United Voices Gospel Senior Choir ensemble of 40 voices. • Director of various church youth choirs. • Vocal arranger for concerts and recordings. • Urban Colours, vocal arranger and backing vocalist.
• BBC Songs of Praise. • BBC Radio 2 Gospel Train. • BBC Radio 2 10th Anniversary Concert. • Harlem Gospel Choir Master Class. • St John's International School Belgium. • Victoria Concert Hall, Halifax. • Black History Month celebrations. • Merribell Gospel Choir reunion. • Sheffield Come Alive Community Choir facilitator.
Acting Director of Choral Activities
• Facilitated workshops on choir performance. • Responsible for the training of choirs for special events. • Queens Jubilee Baton Ceremony. • The Commonwealth Volunteers Ceremony. • The Lord Mayor's Reception Banquet. • Youth Music Anniversary. • Manchester Christmas Lights Celebration.
• BBC Radio Sheffield's Christmas Carol Concert. • Medgar Evers College Choir (Brooklyn School of Music). • Guest vocalist World Wide Message Tribe (Ireland 2002). • Vocalist for Tuff The Sessions. • Backing vocalist for Graham Kendrick. • Backing vocalist for Jennifer Holliday. • Backing Vocalist for Steve Thompson. • Backing vocalist for Deronda K Lewis. • Vocalist with Audrey Mattis Chorale. • Vocalist with Men's Room worship Team.
• Backing vocalist for Pauline Sheehan. • Choir vocal arrangement and backing vocalist for Rob Lowe. • Backing vocalist for Beracah Music International Ensemble. • Backing Vocalist for Nick Miller (Belgium). • Salvation Army Big Band. • Urban Colours.
Colleen Has lived all her life in the Yorkshire area, moving to Bradford with her parents and siblings at the tender age of twelve. From what Colleen can remember she has been singing in church since the age of five. When she would join her sister and cousin and sing in her parent's local Church. It was at the age of thirteen that Colleen committed her life to God and states that she believes her steps to be ordered by God.
Past accomplishments include organising singing workshops; concerts; and community events in Black History Month and the Bi-centenial Celebration of the Abolition of Slavery. Colleen has participated in local, regional and national music events and has also participated in singing events with a gospel group in Europe.
Colleen has also participated in various television and radio programmes such as 'Songs of Praise' and the 'Gospel Train' radio show. In addition Colleen has also taken part in the production of 'Carnival Messiah' at the Leeds play house. "I played a gospel singer on the streets during the carnival - not much acting needed so I think I did alright!"
In terms of her choir directing abilities Colleen says she has been involved in directing choirs from her late teens both locally and nationally and enjoys it. "I took a break of several years from directing and participating with a choir to concentrate on being part of a gospel group, however I missed being around a choir and soon found myself once more directing and singing with a choir".
The main influences in Colleen's musical abilities are her parents and other family members. "My father is a Pastor so I grew up in Church with lots of musicm, my parents always gave me encouragement to express myself as they did my sisters. I recall desperately wanting to sing with my sisters who had formed a group with their friends, however I was told I was too young. To this day I don't know whether this was true or if they just thought my vocals were not good enough!" Colleen's main regret is that she did not continue with her piano lessons past her teen years, although she did achieve level 5 in her piano forte exams.
Colleen says she loves listening to music whenever she can and wherever she is and will listen to all types of music. Her main influences in the gospel scene are Donnie McClurkin; Fred Hammond; Kirk Franklin; Israel Hougton; Marvin Sapp to name but a few, plus a mass of choirs/groups including Kurt Carr and the Curt Carr Singers; Richard Smallwood & Vision; Donald Lawrence (& the Tri-City Singers) Ricky Dillard & New Generation, the list is endless.
Colleen is Worship Co-ordinator at her local Church and views this post as an important role in ensuring that the worship team lead the congregation into worship and praise throughout the services, reflecting on God's grace and how he has influenced lives through his love for each individual person. These have not only taken place within the local church but also in Prisons, during the monthly services and also at various church community events including Bradford Cathedral during 'Racial Justice Day' services.
When asked about her involvement in gospel music, Colleen states that her aim is to share the 'good news' of God's love and how he can make a difference in individuals' lives. "Just hearing that one person has enjoyed or has been encouraged by any event I have been involved with makes it worthwhile".
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