History of Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads, USA
By Founder, Musician & CEO, Rev. Brenda L. (Sears) Boone
I bring you greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus. It is an honor for me to share with you the history of this multicultural and Dynamic group of talented singers and musicians.
God gave me a dream and a vision in December 2000 to bring together multiple voices of the Hampton Roads area into one concert choir. With much prayer and seeking the Will of the Holy Spirit, I was inspired in my dream in December 2000 to combine every choir, soloist, male chorus, and gospel ensemble from the area churches I have served as organist and musician current and past. Therefore, during the month of January 2001, I was given the opportunity to present a concert at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Suffolk, Virginia with their Chapel Choir in celebration of Choir Month 2001. At this union, a concert was performed so that we could mightily Praise God! After much prayer and planning, requests were made to each group to join in this Community Choir vision. Responses and agreements to participate were overwhelming and it was revealed at that moment that God was doing a great and mighty work in the Spirit of Praise!
God gave me the theme, the scripture, and the name of the choir in my dream for the initial concert, “Let’s Just Praise Him,” and the name of this concert choir, “The Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads,” (HPCC). I was inspired by God to begin each rehearsal and the reading of the entire 100th Book of Psalm to establish the central theme for this choir. HE also gave me the names of the accompanying musicians HE wanted to serve with me in this endeavor. Psalm 100 was given by GOD to be the establishing scripture for HIS Higher Praise Community Choir. We meditate and exercise this inspiring scripture at every rehearsal and whenever we minister in songs which ushers Higher Praise Community Choir into the presence of GOD.
Most importantly, God spoke to my spirit these words: “I want everyone to just praise ME. If you praise ME more, I will bless you more….just tell everyone to lift ME higher with praises, not just today or tomorrow; but all the time. Lift up holy hands and praise ME and I will heal you, I will heal your finances, I will heal the land, I will pour out bountiful blessings upon you and your families….bless ME with a higher praise.”
As a result of this charge of music ministry, January 28, 2001 became the establishing point of time where the Chapel Choir of Metropolitan Baptist Church of Suffolk, Virginia; Dr. Robert Hobbs, Pastor; united with many other Hampton Roads' choir members to include:
New Hope Baptist Church, Chesapeake, VA; Dr. Foster, Pastor;
Oak Grove Baptist Church, Suffolk, VA; Dr. Copeland, Pastor;
Tabernacle Christian Church, Suffolk, VA; Dr. Upton, Pastor
Poplar Run Baptist Church, Suffolk, VA; Rev. Williams,Pastor
Mt. Joy Church of God In Christ, Suffolk, VA; Bishop Wiggins, Pastor
Eternal Joy and several Gospel vocalists and musicians
We all united as one numbering 120 voices strong, lifting up the Name of Jesus as HE commands. It was at this appointed time that GOD spoke to my spirit again to voice to everyone that we are to PRAISE HIM HIGHER, LIFT HIM HIGHER, and GIVE A HIGHER PRAISE! GOD wants his people everywhere to PRAISE HIM more and more.
As a result of God’s command, Higher Praise Community Choir sings with the Anointing of God, and gives the Lord a higher praise.
I thank God for serving the Hampton Roads Church communities for over 15 years with Higher Praise Community Choir, but in the Ministry of Music for over 45 years in song, worship, and praise. This Gospel Ministry has grown spiritually over the years and GOD has been reaffirmed in countless ways. This choir is made up of multiple professions including licensed ministers, evangelists; United States Active Duty service members and Veterans; city, local and federal government professionals; as well as college and public school teachers; all serving GOD to enhance our communities.
We invite you to celebrate with us to sing higher praises unto our Lord God and worship Him in the Spirit of Praise. When we come together on any occasion, we know we are to sing higher praises to the Most High God. Join in with us on this very blessed and joyous occasion with this anointed group of voices, the Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads, as we explore higher heights in Jesus Christ through contemporary and traditional songs, hymns, praise, and worship to our God.
Please continue to pray as we travel here and abroad, sharing the vision of higher praise, that we will continue to lift Him up with a Higher Praise. Pray with us as the Gospel of Jesus Christ pour out bountiful blessings upon our world, our land, our government, our communities, our homes, and our lives.
We are blessed and happy that GOD has continued to pour out His Spirit upon this blessed and anointed group of singers and musicians. We know that God has taken us to another level in Him in this most anointed CD/Album, released April 20, 2007, “Let’s Just Praise Him.” We were also very blessed to feature an international recording artist on this anointed CD, Frankie Davis of Paris, France. Frankie sings professionally with the Golden Gate Quartet in Paris, France, on a French label.
This CD/album promises to lift you higher in Jesus and is a unique sound of traditional and contemporary Gospel with a flavor of African and Reggae mixture. We invite you to listen attentively and expect to be blessed and healed by the powerful anointing of God! Rev. Dr. Sidney Foster, Jr., prophesied to me that people will be healed and delivered as they listen to this anointed CD and it has been confirmed on several occasions. We pray that you will feel the presence of GOD’s anointing as we minister in song and as you listen to this anointed CD/Album as we continue to lift Him up with a higher praise! To God Be The Glory For The Great Things He Has Done!! Higher Praise Community Choir will be working on their second CD project in the near future.
A NOTE OF THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS
I thank Dr. Robert Hobbs, Pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, for believing in the ministry that was placed upon me in my dream and vision by God to bring together multiple voices to present this concert that was inspired by God. Higher Praise Community Choir was birthed at Metropolitan Baptist Church with 120 voices praising and uplifting the Name of the Lord with a higher praise in December 2000.
I thank my pastor’s wife, Rev. Dr. Joyce Foster, our mentor and our spiritual mother, for continuing the prophecy given to me by her late husband, Dr. Sidney Foster Jr., previous pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, 1317 Gust Lane, Chesapeake, VA, who was a great inspiration and supporter of Higher Praise Community Choir. Prior to Dr. Sidney Foster’s home-going celebration, he prophesied to me on several occasions and up to his very last days on earth, he said that the CD/Album would be an anointed CD that would minister all around the world, nationally and internationally. He said that we had to get ready because God was going to take us to places in the USA and out of the country to minister in song.
Higher Praise Community Choir On Tour In Paris, France – April 9-27, 2010
Therefore, as a result of this prophecy, Higher Praise members were blessed to travel to Paris, France April 9-27, 2010, on tour, to minister in song as Dr. Joyce Foster ministered the Word of God. One special blessing was when we ministered in song in Princess Diana’s church as well as in the Wine Country. The trip to Paris was an exchange choir agreement between Thierry FRANCOIS and I, through Frankie Davis of Paris. The prophecy began to unfold and yet there is still more given by Dr. Sidney Foster Jr. that has not been fulfilled, but will be in the future. Dr. Foster constantly told me that he wanted to pray, anoint and dedicate our CD Album to the Lord before it was released to the public. Even though he did not have a chance to do so, his wife, Dr. Joyce Foster has continued the prophecy for him.
I also thank my cousin, Rev. James Williams, Jr., Pastor of Poplar Run Baptist Church, Suffolk, VA, for also believing in the ministry God placed upon my life as a minister of the Gospel and with Higher Praise Community Choir, and for allowing us to record “live” to continue this music ministry that God placed upon me. We also thank our family & friends for their continued support as well.
On Tour In Birmingham and London, England - October 17-26, 2012
Higher Praise Community Choir was blessed to travel on tour to Europe in the United Kingdom on October 17-26, 2012 to minister in songs in concerts promoted by Rev. Dr. Joyce Foster in Birmingham, England and London, England. We also ministered in music at the Church of the Queen, Rev. Eve Pitts, the first African American Priest, in Birmingham, England. We were also honored, upon request, to sing on Great Britian’s (BBC) radio broadcast on Sunday morning, October 21, 2012. We sung an a cappella version of “Wonderful God,” and was heard nationally and internationally (all over the world) on that day. Upon request, I also conducted a Gospel music workshop with the choirs of Birmingham, England which included Higher Praise Community Choir Ensemble. On that evening, a concert was performed and we praised God to the highest!
God has truly blessed us with new members from other community churches, i.e, Noble Street Baptist Church in Portsmouth, VA, Family Baptist Church in Suffolk, Jerusalem UHC, Chesapeake, Macedonia COGIC, Cool Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Gaston, NC; First Baptist Church, Zebulon, NC; Gateway International Church in Roanoke Rapids, NC., New Hope Church of God In Christ (COGIC), Norfolk, VA, End Time Church of Deliverance and Portsmouth Christian Outreach Ministries (PCOM), Portsmouth, VA.
Higher Praise Community Choir Returns, on Tour, to Paris, France - April 13-24, 2015
God has ordained His work of ministry for us and in April 2015, concerts have been scheduled once again in Paris, France. We will be ministering the Word of God and ministering in the ministry of music. God is truly doing a great and mighty work in the ministry of Higher Praise Community Choir. Amen!
Rev. Brenda L. Boone, Founder/Directress Sidney Foster, III, Lt.Cdr-U.S.Navy Vet, Director
CEO-Musician/keyboards-Organ Steven Alexander, Gospel Comedian/U.S.Army Vet, Director
Higher Praise Community Choir Ensign Clement Edionwele, Congas, Bongos, Djembe/ Rainstick
Wayne Copeland, Bass Guitarist
Norris Wilson, Lead Guitarist
Marshall Donaldson, Lead Guitarist
Monty Simmons, Backup Lead/Bass Guitarist
Larry Driver, Bass/Lead Guitarist
Eli Malone, Lead Guitarist
Robert McDonald, Percussionist
Rev. Donnie Futrell, Backup Percussionist
George Sears, Keyboards & Organ