FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2012
Ellen Matlach, Middle Collegiate Church, middlechurch.org, c: 646-724-0820
Middle Church Launches the Gospel Album Welcome and a Music Video with Tituss Burgess
(June 26, 2012—New York, NY) Middle Collegiate Church launches its album, Welcome, composed and produced by Broadway and television actor Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls, and 30 Rock) on Sunday, July 1 at 6 PM. A music video of a song featured on the album, “We Are The Ones,” will also premiere, directed by Shari Carpenter who has worked with Spike Lee, Ridley Scott, and Forest Whitaker. The music video features an internationally renowned cast including Burgess, Alyson Palmer (of BETTY, whose music has been heard on The L-Word, Ugly Betty, and Weeds), and Broadway’s Jenny Powers (Grease and Little Women).
The high-energy music blends old-school gospel, jazz, and theatrical genres. Burgess produced the album to support Middle Church and its social justice ministries. He explains, “Middle Church cares about everyone. It's not a surface level concern. It runs deep. She stands on the side of justice. She calls out those who neglect civil rights.”
Welcome’s vocals are performed by Burgess, Palmer, Powers, and a collection of voices who have performed on Broadway or toured nationally and internationally including Kristina Nicole Miller (The Lion King), Tami Petty (American Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Center), Jarvis Derell, Martina Sykes, Amy Lynn Hamlin, Joe Caruncho, and Allison Mickelson. The album was co-produced with Dionne McClain-Freeney and Stefan Held.
Deeply committed to economic justice, marriage equality, LGBTI justice, and racial justice, Middle Church will direct the proceeds from the album to feed the homeless in Tompkins Square Park, launch The Soul Food Truck which will provide low-cost hot meals to neighbors in the East Village, and to support homeless programs for LGBTI youth. The Collegiate Churches of New York have made eradicating hunger a signature mission.
Middle Church has been active in the Living Wage Campaign, Occupy Wall Street, and Occupy Faith movements, and has stood for marriage equality and united same-gender couples in commitment ceremonies since the 1980s. The first Sunday gay couples could legally wed, senior minister Jacqui Lewis held a triple wedding during worship.
Middle Church received national media attention (CNN and Time.com) for “Wear Your Hoodie to Church Sunday” when congregants, choir members, and clergy all wore hoodies to worship in memory and honor of Trayvon Martin and those like him who have been profiled, wounded, or killed because of their race, their religion, their sexuality, or their gender identity.
Albums are available for purchase as CDs for $19.99 and as a digital download for $15. Congregants will share the "We Are The Ones" music video in their social networks at the July 1 release concert. Learn more at Middle Church Music.