Gospel Pioneer Muyiwa Olarewaju is taking part in one of the longest running shows on British Television. Songs Of Praise which first aired in October 1961 has changed over time to cater for the needs of the audience, skip forward 55 years to November 2017 and the producers have kept the faith in a format change that was introduced in 2014. The show in its current form showcases some of the best amateur choirs from around the country. Using the word amateur actually is so inaccurate, these choirs are anything but amateur. In all the years that Muyiwa has been involved as a judge, the quality of the choirs has been amazing and their sound distinctly British.
The first Judge –
Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel (born 19 February 1963), better known by his stage name Seal is an English singer and songwriter. He has sold more than 20 million records worldwide and is known for his international hits, including “Kiss from a Rose”, which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1995 film Batman Forever. He was a coach on The Voice Australia in 2012 and 2013, and returned to Australia to work as a coach in 2017.
Seal has won multiple awards throughout his career, including three Brit Awards; he won Best British Male in 1992, as well as four Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award.As a songwriter, he received the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Award, for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, in consecutive years for “Killer” (1990) and “Crazy” (1991).
The last judge,
Karen Gibson, a full time, award-winning choir conductor and workshop leader, is a powerhouse of inspiration and energy.
Known for the high quality of her work, Karen’s experience is extensive. She has been involved with vocal groups and choirs for over 25 years, conducting gospel workshops all over the UK and Europe as well as Nigeria, Japan, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and the USA. She has been instrumental in drawing together and conducting some of the most prestigious large-scale choirs for a variety of gospel and community initiatives. Karen currently works in schools across London regularly, and has also run workshops for those wishing to learn how to conduct gospel in Poland, Norway and Italy. A recent review of Karen’s work states: ‘Karen Gibson knows how to bring the best out of people, to allow their latent talent to come alive and, most importantly, to create a synergy that ensures the music is tight, strong, and yet also borne on the wings of a poised ensemble’
Muyiwa Released a statement – ‘Sunday past filming ‘Songs of Praise’ 5th year Anniversary Gospel Choir program with Seal and Karen Gibson. Had such a good laugh. Found a lost long brother in Seal. Look out for the broadcast on BBC One ‘Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the year program 1’ Sunday 26th November. And program 2 on Sunday 3rd December’