"A Story to Tell" – North Carolina Community Choir

“A Story to Tell”
North Carolina Community Choir feat. Darrell Luster
4Winds/Malaco Music Group (2012) 

Originally posted March 20, 2012 at 7:58AM
Last Updated March 21, 2012 at 11:52AM

Darrell Luster takes the lead on North Carolina Community Choir’s new single “A Story to Tell.”

“What’s that behind that smile on your face?” the choir inquires over the unhurried horn-laced musical backdrop. “What kind of pain are you trying to erase?  How do you hide it–hide it so well?”

“I’ll bet you’ve got a story,” Luster interposes.  The choir returns, “A story to tell!” 

The choir was originally formed in 2008, under the direction of Ray Braswell, Jr. and James Bellamy in Rocky Mount, from the vision of Dr. Thomas L. Walker (known for his circa 1980 gospel gold album One Day at a Time).  At that time, the aggregation was called The Promise Choir.  Sometime later, the choir was revamped and renamed with Luster, Braswell, and songwriter Brian Foster at the helm.

The choir has performed on Bobby Jones Gospel, and has sung on projects by The Sensational Nightingales (Live in Rocky Mount), Darrell Luster & F.C. Barnes (“He Won’t Change”), and Lil’ Blair & The Fantastic Heirs.

“A Story to Tell” is a compelling preface to the North Carolina Community Choir’s upcoming CD memoir.

North Carolina adds its name to roster of recording mass choirs

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever  

In a time when many choirs are taking a back seat to church praise teams and ensembles, North Carolina Community Mass Choir (NCCMC) is emerging as a fresh voice in its subgenre.   NCCMC (not to be confused with the North Carolina Mass Choir of the early 1990’s), may not be on your radar like Mississippi and Georgia Mass, but it certainly has an impressive team of singers and industry notables at its helm, starting with its visionary Dr. Thomas L. Walker. 

Walker is the pastor of Rocky Mount’s Ebenezer Baptist Church.  He is also a notable gospel singer, perhaps best known for his circa 1980 smash hit album One Day At A Time, which earned gold record status.  It was he who formed the choir in 2008 to sing for the National Black Caucus, at the request of Congressman G.K. Butterfield.  NCCMC was under the musical direction of James Bellamy and award-winning songwriter and super-producer Ray Braswell, Jr. (Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson & the Spiritual Voices, F.C. Barnes, Ministree, and others).  According to Braswell, who is the choir’s current president, NCCMC had a different moniker at that time.

“The choir was originally named The Promise Choir until leadership changed and I sought after reconstruction for the choir’s growth,” comments Braswell.  “Then I met with Malaco’s producer and artist, Darrell Luster of Durham, and great songwriter, Brian Foster of Henderson.”  

Darrell Luster, formerly of Charles Johnson & The Revivers and The Sensational Nightingales, is the choir’s CEO and primary lead vocalist.  Foster, who is also a musician and leader of the praise and worship group Josiah, is the vice president. Since its founding, NCCMC has performed on Bobby Jones Gospel, and has provided vocals on projects by The Sensational Nightingales (Live in Rocky Mount), Darrell Luster & F.C. Barnes (“He Won’t Change”), and Lil’ Blair & The Fantastic Heirs.  

More recently, the 30+ member choir completed its own debut recording, and according to Braswell, there is something on it for gospel music lovers of all kinds.

“We are taking choir music back to the roots to bring back the traditional sound,” he says.  “Our CD is full of traditional, praise & worship, and contemporary music, so it’s not just for the seasoned saints. It’s definitely for all listeners.”  

NCCMC is currently seeking additional voices as it preps for the upcoming CD release and a DVD recording. Braswell invites interested singers to choir auditions on Saturday, May 28, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Rocky Mount.  Click the flyer above for details.