The New Gospelites celebrated 30 years of service in performing Gospel Music on September 14th, 2003. The group originated in 1973, from the kitchen of the same house where most of the original members grew up; in the small town of Worton Point on the upper eastern shore of Kent County, Maryland. The original members were Lavinia Hynson, contralto (1 yr.), Gloria Jean Hynson Johnson, soprano (24 yrs.), Irene's daughter, Joan Wilson McGowan, alto (5 yrs.).
Peggy Wilson Blake, 2nd soprano, served till her death in December 1998. Franklin Hynson, tenor. James Phillips, bass. Irene Wilson Moore, alto; and group president.
The New Gospelites did not begin as an a cappella ensemble. Within the first year they took on guitarist, Darlene Washington of Philadelphia, PA. Washington being a female guitarist was quite unique, and her talent was equally as captivating, she remained with the group for one year.
They dedicated their services as a choir to traveling ministers throughout the 1980's to mid 90's. That took them all around Delaware and back to Maryland: to name a few road partners, the Rev. Reuben Freeman of Chippy Chapel, Hockessin, DE., Rev. William Johnson of A.U.M.P St. Pauls of Wilmington, DE.
They also traveled with Rev. Anthony Brown while he was serving at the Centennial United Methodist Church, Smyrna, DE. Rev. Brown is currently the presiding pastor of their home church St. George U. M. in Worton Point, where they are all members.
In 1987, Hester Hynson Newnam joined the group, she sang alto and was also a family member. Singing a cappella did not necessary become a preference until they perfected it, they say. Not until their own unique sound began to set like grandma's preserves. Then you don't want accompaniment because it changes the flavor.
The New Gospelites have performed for the historic documentation of the Delmarva Folklife Project, Friends of Folk, Hartly, DE.; at the Avalon Theatre at Easton-Radio from Downtown, Easton MD., Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Baltimore MD., the Kent County Arts Council, Chestertown MD., the African American Heritage Council, Worton, MD., at numerous churches, festivals and universities through-out the mid atlantic region and beyond.
While performing at Wesley College, Dover DE., in 1997 the group met Dr. Mike Nielsen, Director of Communications; he was so excited about their sound he offered to do the mixing and mastering when they were ready for a recording project. Sometime later, Tom Walker, a friend and fan of the group donated a generous gift for sponsorship through the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for the completion of a CD project. The New Gospelites asked Karen Somerville to produce the CD, as well as lend her soprano to the recording. While in production some of the songs were recorded at the historic Wesley Chapel, where the sound of the a cappella did truly resonant from the acoustics of a time gone by.
Inside the album are photographs with oral histories of late family members and ancerstors who were former slaves in the town of Worton Point, throughout the 19th Century. These people were the descendants of North America's early institution of slavery. The plantation of which them were bound and died is today called Andelot Farms. The pix and recorded histories are elude quiet vividly to the importance of family and church within the African American community hundered of years ago as today. You should purchase the album just for the rich history it contains. Then you'll be doubly pleased when you heard the music.
The albums producer, Karen Somerville is a local historian and noted gospel, blues, and jazz singer, who often dedicates her time and talents for the betterment of her community.
She is also a member of St. George, and resides in W. Pt. She is founder and director of the African American Heritage Council, and curator of the exhibit "....And they Sang." Somerville produced her own CD project "Loves Cures" in 2001.
Every third Sunday of the month the New Gospelites render the music at the 9am service. If you can't make it, play this album and just keep in mind from where you are, that 'Everyday is Sunday'. www.cdbaby.com/ksomerville