- Faith & Family
When people witness the six women known as the Appointed Gospel Singers of Miami take center stage to sing praises to the Lord, Joyce L. Stockdale hopes that audiences walk away with a couple of invaluable lessons: Christ’s invitation for salvation is for everyone and that it is never too late.
“We want people to know that it is never too late to realize your dreams,” said Stockdale, the group’s founder and a retired Miami-Dade County principal.
Stockdale declined when asked to reveal the ages of the group’s members, choosing instead to reply that they were between the ages of 50- to 75-years-old.
“If you looked at us, you would wonder what are all these retired people doing,” said Stockdale. “Well, we’re just enjoying ourselves.”
The group held a listening party on Sept. 24th and has just released their first CD, “Just Shout,” which features 10 original songs, many of which were written by the group’s members.
“They have their own signature sound,” said Wendy Goines, a local producer that has been working with the Appointed Gospel Singers since July. “They have a combination of traditional and contemporary songs and that is what makes this album unique.”
Stockdale adds, “We were going for the sound of a traditional quartet that had the flavor of a choir as well.”
History of the Appointed Gospel Singers
Stockdale has been singing as a soloist at church or participating in local gospel groups for most of her life. But it wasn’t until 2002, that she was inspired to form the Appointed Gospel Singers of Miami.
“I always wanted to do this but I never really had the time,” Stockdale recalled.
Some members have come and gone but the group’s current singers include: Sheila Wilson, Lauretta L. Williams, Zelma Jenkins, Evelyn Boswell Ellis Turner, Roberta Marshall and Audrey G. Sears. They have performed throughout South Florida and even in the Bahamas. But going on the road can be complicated as some of their members live out of the area — from Central Florida to Pittsburgh.
Turner, for example, spends half of the year in Pittsburgh and the other half in Miami.
A retired M-DCPS teacher and professionally trained soloist, Turner has performed with several professional opera companies. But she says that her time spent with the Appointed Gospel Singers of Miami has been the most satisfying.
“We really get along with each other and I think it’s because we’re all children of God and we have a single purpose,” she said.
By Kaila Heard