Gospel choir reaches the high notes

GOSPEL choir director Nathan Simmonds is taking his band of singers to new heights.The Bethel National Choir (BNC), led by Ipswich's Mr Simmonds, has just released a CD.

GOSPEL choir director Nathan Simmonds is taking his band of singers to new heights.

The Bethel National Choir (BNC), led by Ipswich's Mr Simmonds, has just released a CD.

Entitled Only Because, the album was released last week after being recorded at a concert earlier in the year.

The choir's own members wrote the songs.


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Mr Simmonds, 40, of Shakespeare Road, is the eldest son of Bishop Martin Simmonds, who is based in Bethel United Church, Ipswich.

Mr Simmonds junior said: "It was an idea that had been bandied around for many years. I just decided to that we would go ahead and do it.

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"We recorded in August at our national convention centre in Birmingham. It was an excellent recording.

"The place was full and people were just full of anticipation and excitement and I hope that comes across on the CD.

"The background feel is traditional gospel, but we have added more contemporary music to appeal to a wider audience.

"It the same music but with a different delivery – and it wouldn't be lost on the dance floor just as it wouldn't be lost in the church."

Christine Knight, 41, of Cullingham Road, Ipswich, sings an alto lead on one of the tracks.

She said: "I love singing and I love being able to worship God in song and the fact that you can join together in song.

"It is not about talent, it is about praise and when you do that, your voice lifts."

The BNC is a national choir, with around 180 members of all ages from 14 to 70 and from all over the country.

The choir consists of church members from the Bethel Apostolic Churches nationwide.

CDs, priced at £13.99, are available by e-mailing director@bncuk.org.uk or by writing to Bethel United Church, 2 Luther Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 8BL.

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