Vy Higginsen and the Gospel for Teens Choir

Gospel for Teens is a highly respected and influential arts education program. Since 2006, they have provided award-winning FREE training to greater New York City area youth between the ages of 13 and 19.

In 2006, legendary writer and producer Vy Higginsen and gospel legend Dr. Emily “Cissy” Houston, joined forces to teach aspiring teenagers about the importance of gospel music as an art form. The program started as a workshop that, as a result of growing popularity, is becoming an institutionalized program of the Mama Foundation for the Arts’ School of Gospel, Jazz, and R&B Arts. Since then it has grown to be a highly respected and influential source of education and self-development for youth.

Gospel for Teens was created to provide aspiring teenager artists, ages 13-19, with fundamental vocal techniques such as placement, breathing, harmony, pitch, and sustained control, theatrical staging and projection essentials, as well as the historical significance gospel music has played in other musical art forms such as jazz, blues, and contemporary R&B. Through the Gospel for Teens program, seasoned music masters will nurture musical talent, yet groomed, in a program that includes individual musical assessments, the learning of new and established music in MFA’s Traveling Theatres repertoire, and discussions about the role gospel music played in history and in their current lives.

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Land Acknowledgment

The Parliament of the World's Religions acknowledges it is situated on the traditional homelands of the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), and Odawak (Odawa).

PoWR recognizes the region we now call Chicago remains home to a diversity of Indigenous peoples today and this land upon which we walk, live, and play continues to be Indigenous land.

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