GOSPEL CENTRAL is an ecumenical, inter-cultural, mutli-lingual choral music workshop forum for choral enthusiasts.This Gospel music project series is the concept and the initiative of veteran singer/songwriter/vocal & choral coach RAYE WALTER, who hails from San Diego, California, USA, but has been working as a free-lance musician throughout Scandinavia since the late 1980’s.
DURING EACH PROJECT, the choir meets for monthly workshop sessions on Friday evenings and on Saturdays, and the weekend concludes with a "showcase" concert on Sunday evenings.
Our Premiere Project - Oslo, Norway
GOSPEL CENTRAL 2007 was comprised of a 40-voice community choir of experienced choral vocalists. The choir members were primarily from the Greater Oslo area, but several of our vocalists came from as far away as Tromsø, in northern Norway, and Sørland, in the south!
This project was accompanied by a 5-piece band of some of Oslo's most sought-after professional musicians - including prominent Norwegian bandleader & arranger ANDRÉ STORENG - featuring Raye Walter at the grand piano.
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Why GOSPEL CENTRAL?
In his international travels, Raye has become strikingly aware of the desire of many towards a stronger spiritual (Christian) presence in what is the ever-evolving and progressive world of modern popular music. This workshop project is one undetaking - among several - to help facilitate meeting such a challenge.
About RAYE WALTER
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His Vision for GOSPEL CENTRAL
“To promote the recognition and appreciation of the life-affirming message Gospel music carries, and to seek and provide viable public platforms on which to display this music genre’s potential spiritual impact on today’s increasingly-secularized global society”
And these are the major objectives for this workshop choir project:
To foster spiritual growth & development through music and fellowship
To establish a forum where laypersons kan express life experiences and spiritual aspirations through music
To help nuture and sustain a spiritual counter-balance to the secular music market
To provide a venue for community outreach and fellowship
A Brief History
Raye Walter had the privilege of conducting a Gospel choir workshop weekend, at Oslo Norway's Centralkirken, at the invitation of André Storeng and their fellowship choir “deKor”. The weekend was judged to have been - to say the least - an extremely inspiring and uplifting experience for all!
It was after this Oslo visit that Raye conceived this particular workshop project idea. After much thought and prayer, Raye shared his concept with André, and asked if he might be interested in collaboration on such a venture. André gladly said yes! … and the wheels then slowly began to turn! Raye then approached deKor and asked if they would consider hosting the proposed project, and deKor said yes! After a presentation before the Methodist congregation’s Advisory Board, the board unanimously (!) said yes to holding the workshops and concerts at Centralkirken, in downtown Oslo, Norway.
Having been privileged to work with many of Christian music’s national and international singers & musicians - across North American and Scandinavia - over the past three decades, Raye continues to find most pleasure and satisfaction in working with choir vocalists and audiences at the “grassroots” level.
"What greater reward than to witness - first-hand - how the power of the Gospel message touches the hearts and minds of people of different ages, of different cultures, and of all walks of life!" - Raye Walter