Be Glad: A Post Terror Attack CD
Since its formation in the early 1970s, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has become nothing less than a musical institution within the Christian/gospel music industry at large. As part of the ministry arm of the world-famous Brooklyn Tabernacle Church in Brooklyn, New York, the 250-voice choir is recognized worldwide for the magnitude of its sound and the soulful inspiration of its music.
by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Over the years, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has recorded three videos and numerous albums, garnering critical acclaim on an international level. The two-time Dove Award winning group also has four Grammy Awards to its credit, and recently received its seventh Grammy nomination for the Christmas project Light of the World.
The choir's multi-ethnic members have come from all walks of life to form a close-knit family. Some members have been singing with the choir for more than 25 years.
"We've got doctors, lawyers and nurses standing alongside people who've been homeless, people who've been in prison, and former crack addicts," says director Carol Cymbala. "They've all come together from different nationalities and backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common - we've been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and we have a new life in Him. I believe the life they now have in Jesus means so much to them that they take very seriously what they do, and they truly want to give all the glory to God. They just want to serve God and see others come to know Him. That's the whole focus of our ministry."
The choir's latest project, Be Glad, is a celebration of that hope in Christ, and perhaps the timing of this project could not have been more appropriate. The choir began recording Be Glad in late September of 2001, just days after the nation's tragic loss of lives in the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Many choir members worked in the World Trade Center towers, and fortunately were able to escape the building alive, although other members of the church were lost in the tragedy.
"We were all in shock and it took a while for us to get our bearings," Carol shares. "We start each of our choir practice sessions with prayer - sometimes we might pray for an hour, and sometimes we may end up spending the entire practice in prayer. As we began to come together in September to rehearse for this album, a lot of that time was given over to prayer. Many of our members just needed encouragement, and they needed to get their comfort from the Lord."
As the album came together, Carol selected songs for the project that they could see were truly ministering to their own congregation. With the nation's focus on a national tragedy, the choir wanted to remind others of the hope of Christ.
In the midst of terrorism and all the turmoil going on, so many people are focusing on a tragedy and on patriotism, but I think our theme as Christians should be to "Be Glad," because we know that our hope is in Christ Jesus and there is so much to be glad about there."
Be Glad features the signature sound and powerful vocals of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. It's a collection of eleven uplifting, celebratory songs like the energetic "My Life Is In Your Hands," written by Kirk Franklin, and the inspirational "This Is How It Feels To Be Free," written by Phillips, Craig & Dean. The album also features magnificent orchestrations by the Prague Symphony of the Czech Republic.
"I think the key for us is not to lift up our own ministry, or lift up who we are - but lift up the name of Jesus," Carol shares. "Our focus has always been to lift Him up. When you do that, then He will draw people unto himself."
"There's such a joy being in God's will," she continues. "We absolutely love what we're doing - we believe this is what God has called us to do. It's what we get excited about!"