Friday, September 30, 2011

How "Gospel for Teens" is saving the music

I loved this as well – a 60 Minutes segment on Gospel for Teens in Harlem.  To read the transcript and watch the video, see:

How "Gospel for Teens" is saving the music

(CBS News) 

There's a street in Harlem that comes alive every Saturday with the sound of gospel music. You won't find any church there - just a brownstone full of teenagers and the woman who draws them in.

Her name is Vy Higginsen, a New York radio personality and theater producer. Five years ago she created something called "Gospel for Teens."

Never heard of it? Well, we think you'll be glad you did. And if you're thinking that Higginsen thought up this program as a way to save the teens, you'd be wrong. She did it to save the music.

The faces and voices of Gospel for Teens include kids between the ages of 13 and 19 who gather in Harlem each week from all over New York and New Jersey to study the tradition and the art of singing gospel.

"It's uniquely American. It's a story of a people in song created out of an American experience," Higginsen told correspondent Lesley Stahl.

"And you are not gonna let it die," Stahl remarked.

"No," Higginsen replied, with a beaming smile.

Higginsen runs an advanced class, but each fall she brings in a new group, putting out a call for auditions in local papers, on radio, and in churches. She calls them her "beginners."

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