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Bazil's gospel honour

REWARD: Bazil Meade is the co-founder of Britain’s most well-known gospel
outfit, the London Community Gospel Choir

BRITAIN’S GOSPEL community has been in a celebratory mood since the news was announced that Bazil Meade, a co-founder of Britain’s most well-known gospel outfit the London Community Gospel Choir, was awarded an MBE for services to gospel music.

Key players in Britain’s Christian community took to social media to congratulate him. Charmaine Noble-Mclean, a director at Premier Radio, wrote on Facebook: “Great to see you being recognised by the establishment and thanks for all you’ve done!”

Volney Morgan, director and founder of one of the UK’s most lively choirs, wrote, “Congrats Bazil Meade on your MBE. You have paved the way for people like myself.”

Vernetta Lynch, the eldest of Bazil’s three children wrote on Instagram: “Super proud to announce my amazing dad has been named on the Queen’s Honours for an MBE.

“After 40 years of trailblazing the way for so many musicians, singers, directors, music agencies, vocal tutors and choirs, I say it’s about time, too.”

Bazil Meade started a musical revolution when, in 1981, he joined forces with Lawrence Johnson and Delroy Powell to launch The London Community Gospel Choir. It was the first community choir to comprise members from various Pentecostal churches. The choir caused ructions among black church leaders of the time, who weren’t keen on their members being part of a community choir, let alone performing in concerts. Despite the criticism the choir endured, they pushed ahead.

When LCGC started, they had more than 100 members and took part in prison ministry pioneered gospel music workshops, pushed to get gospel on TV and trained a whole generation of gospel music tutors. Fast forward to the present day and LCGC is one of the UK’s most respected choirs.

It is in demand to sing across the world, and serves as a training ground for many UK gospel artists and musicians. Noel Robinson, John Fisher, Mark Beswick, Michelle John Douglas and Howard Francis are amongst those who once performed with the choir.

Bazil has been overwhelmed with support since the news of his award was made public. He told Soul Stirrings: “On a personal level, it is deeply moving to see the steady fl ow of congratulatory comments from the wider public and internationally, recognising the impact of my efforts in not Only nurturing young amazing talent from our church community, but working with those youngsters to reach across cultural boundaries to share this wonderful music which bringing people together of all races.
This is deeply satisfying.”

He added: “The recognition shown by this award celebrates the dedication of the LCGC members, both current and especially
founder members who came together in those early days to bring about change that all other genres of popular music can access and enjoy.”

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