Free gospel concert returns to west Charlotte

GospelSHOUT, a decades-long music event in west Charlotte, is set to return Sep. 12 after a three-year hiatus.

The free concert features gospel music with a brass-band style and has brought upwards of 600 people in past years to the United House of Prayer for All People, which has its main location on Beatties Ford Road.

The event began as one concert in 2003 and later became annual with help from Charlotte Center City Partners. The concerts were put on hold when the pandemic arrived, starting in 2020. 

This year, organizers say, guests can expect the same spirit, excitement and high-energy music associated with GospelSHOUT.

Cedric Mangum, a trombone player for more than 15 years, produces the concert for House of Prayer.

GospelSHOUT features “shout bands” — a high-energy style of music that often involves call-and-response and interactive worship music. Magnum said the church’s string band connects with audiences through “old spiritual hymns that people use to sing in the cotton fields.”

Tom Hanchett, a Charlotte historian who helps organize the event, said the brass band tradition is “very special to the House of Prayer.” 

The music has been passed down since the church’s inception in the early 1900s, going person-to-person rather than through formal methods, Hanchett said.

Hanchett, who grew up in the Episcopal church, said he enjoys GospelSHOUT because of the interactive nature of the event.

“You don’t just sit there; you get up and move,” he said. “You may call out when you hear something you really like. I have been really lucky to be exposed to the House of Prayer.”

Magnum said people will leave the concert in better spirits than when they came. 

“There’s healing in the music,” he said. “When somebody’s sick [and] they hear the music, that music can really make them feel better.”

After the three-year absence, Magnum said he looks forward to the return of GospelSHOUT. He said he believes the event has the ability to positively change people. “I hope they come one way and leave another,” he said. 

If you go:

Date: Sep. 12, 2023

Time: 7:30 p.m. – Free concert begins (Dinner available for purchase at 6 p.m.)

Location: United House of Prayer for All People, 2321 Beatties Ford Road

Masks are required to attend this event. Parking is free.

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