The Joyful Sounds Community Choir
Formed in 1991 to celebrate the tradition and inspirational root of gospel music on America’s mainstages, the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) Men and Women of the Gospel Choir has demonstrated artistic excellence in this artform through performance of works by local and national composers. Throughout these years, both the WPAS Men and Women of the Gospel and the WPAS Children of the Gospel Choirs have shared the stage with an array of artists including Beverly Crawford, Dottie Peoples, Richard Smallwood, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Myrna Summers, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Vickie Winans, Y’Anna Crawley, Kurt Carr, Ramsey Lewis, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Kathleen Battle, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and others. Under the direction of Artistic Director, Stanley J. Thurston, this multi-dimensional choir has performed with such artists as: Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Sweet Honey in The Rock at Carnegie Hall and Warner Theater; The Ramsey Lewis Trio; and has been featured at Americans for the Arts Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture; The Helen Hayes Award Gala; the opening of both the Harman Center for the Arts and Strathmore Music Center, the DC Mayor's Arts Awards and other special events. Over the years, the 135+ voice choir has worked with an array of noted music/choral directors including Valeria Foster, Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, Ronald Johnson, Sr.