Morse arranges gospel concert

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Four years ago, London musician and composer Clint Morse attended a concert in Columbus featuring a singer and songwriter of southern gospel and contemporary Christian music.

“The music was so good. I thought, ‘The people in London and the county need to hear this kind of music,’ ” said Morse.

The concert inspired Morse, conductor of First Presbyterian Church’s Calvin Choir, to organize a free gospel concert open to the public. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. May 18 at the Presbyterian Church, 211 Garfield Ave., London. Morse collaborated with Teri Gray, conductor of the choir at First United Methodist Church in London, to make the event a reality.

“The concert will feature our Calvin Choir, the United Methodist choir and individuals from other churches,” Morse said. “In the future, the idea is to expand this so that singers will be invited from all of the churches in the area, even the county.”

The inaugural program will feature 14 familiar gospel songs, all of which Morse has arranged with the concert’s purpose in mind: to deliver a show with a message.

That message will be delivered in three parts. The first, Morse said, will focus on “what God and Jesus did for us” and feature songs that include “God Gave the Song,” “I’ve Just Seen Jesus,” “Jerusalem” and “Oh, Happy Day.”

The second part will explore “our relationship with God and Jesus,” Morse said, and feature songs that include “My Tribute,” “Highway to Heaven” and “He Looked Beyond My Fault.”

The final part of the concert will be about “us going to see Him and Him returning again,” the conductor said. The songs will include “Soon and Very Soon,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “The King is Coming.”

“I tried to avoid arrangements that are too complicated so that the songs are enjoyable to sing and in the range of the singers,” he said. “They’re also arranged so that the message of the song is more important than the music itself.”

Teri Gray will serve as director for the program, while Morse plays piano. Joe Blaho will play bass, and Doug Wells will play percussion.

Refreshments will be served after the concert.

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