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Youth choir will perform concert with Marvin Sapp

Like most young people, they expressed their feelings with a shrug and one word: "speechless," or "awesome," or "fantastic."

But, when asked to sing, the response was overwhelming.

That's why the 24 young people at Cody Grove Baptist Church in Warrenton will be singing with gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp.

The group was selected after submitting a recording of themselves singing an original song, How Great is our God, to Nine choirs in Georgia were selected by listeners' votes for the honor. Because their network of church members is so small, the group was surprised to receive so many votes.

"It was an overwhelming experience," said Juya King, one of the teens. "Being from such a small church and out in the country, we didn't expect to be chosen."

The choir performed a pre-concert at McDonald's in Sandersville Sunday afternoon. They will travel to Macon on Friday, May 28 to sing at the Macon Coliseum with the nine other choirs and Marvin Sapp.

The winner of seven Gospel Stellar Awards, Mr. Sapp has recorded seven chart topping albums and is the highest all-time charting gospel artist of U.S. Billboard. The choir showcase concert will be hosted by Tia Brewer-Footman. It is sponsored by McDonald's ®, Johnson Products ® and Grace Christian Magazine and will air live at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

When they were selected, the young people, ages 7-20, began an intense practice schedule.

"It's been a tremendous lot of practices," said JaVoris Wilburn, 15.

"It seems like we've practiced 24/7," added Mikel Wilburn, 10.

Even though they've been at choir practice almost daily while studying for end-of-the-year exams at school, the time has not been wasted.

"I really like to sing, because I like to praise the Lord," said Makayla Wilburn, 8.

With an average Sunday attendance of 80-100, Cody Grove Baptist Church is located on East Warrenton Road in Warren County and is pastored by Andrew Grant. The original song used for the online audition was composed by the church's musician Kenvoris Blair.

Choir members performing in Macon include: Soprano's:   Bianca Turman, Dannasha McNair, Tayonna Evans, Makayla Wilburn, Trynity Bailey-Usry, Mercedes Wilburn, Kamya Smith, Tori Wilburn, Takiya Grant.

Alto's:   Alishia Neal, Chanisa Paschal, Chikita Hill, Juya King, Liya Martin, Shakerria Grier, Mikel Wilburn, Jaylon Scott, Jaymoz Scott.

Tenors:   Donnie Walker, Jr., JaCorvis Cobbs, Richard Wilburn, JaQuavious Murray, JaVoris Wilburn, Jarrod Dickason (special guest).

Advisors:   Kimberly Usry, LaShun Rhodes, Sarah Hannah, Regina King, Betty McNair, Eva Mae Rhodes, Diane Marshall, Barbara Wilburn and Daniel McNair .

For more information, to purchase tickets to the concert, or to hear the choir's audition, go to and register by entering your name and email address. Click on "Macon."

Web posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010

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