Vy Higginsen'S GOSPEL FOR TEENS: A HARLEM HOLIDAY BENEFIT CONCERT will take place at The Dempsey Theater, located at 127 West 127th Street (between Lenox and 7th Aves) on Friday, December 7th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling the Mama Foundation for the Arts at 212-280-1045. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Mama Foundation and the Gospel for Teens program.
In 2006, Vy Higginsen formed Gospel For Teens, a program of the Mama Foundation for the Arts, with a mission is to teach young people between the ages of 13 and 19 the art of gospel, jazz and R&B, as well as to acknowledge the contributions that African-American music and gospel make to American music. Auditions are held twice a year and selected teens attend at no cost. Gospel For Teens helps replace the music programs taken out of many inner city schools, acknowledging and supporting the city's musically gifted children. Vy Higginsen'S GOSPEL FOR TEENS: A HARLEM HOLIDAY BENEFIT CONCERT will feature performances from the program's freshman, advanced, and Performing Before Live Audiences classes.
Teens from the Performing Before Live Audiences group make up Vy Higginsen's Gospel for Teens Choir, an award-winning ensemble that is currently featured in the Off-Broadway production of Mama, I Want to Sing: The Next Generation (performed on Saturdays at The Dempsey Theater in Harlem). The subject of a 2012 Emmy Award-winning "60 Minutes" profile, Gospel for Teen Choir's other national TV appearances include performances on "The Celebrity Apprentice," "The CBS Early Show," and "The Nate Berkus Show."
The choir took the grand prize in their division at the 2011 Pathmark Gospel Choir Competition of Harlem (their very first competition) and then went on to another win at Verizon's How Sweet the Sound Gospel Competition. They have recently performed at the prestigious TED Conference in Long Beach, CA; the Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Nashville, TN; and Moncler Grenoble's winter show at New York Fashion Week. The Gospel for Teens Choir has had the privilege to perform with such artists as Cissy Houston, Arsenio Hall, Clay Aiken, and Madonna. Their debut single "Yes, We Can," released through Harlem Records, is currently available on iTunes.