The Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir, though its soulful interpretation of the African-American gospel music tradition, moves audiences spiritually and creates community across racial, cultural and economic boundaries.
We strive to perform to the highest musical standards, preserving and educating others and ourselves about traditional forms while exploring new musical avenues with African American gospel music. In this time of division and unrest, we strive to model community and reconciliation. We seek to bring people together with a message of hope and joy through our music.
The Choir gathers singers of various musical experience, ethnic backgrounds and ages to celebrate the power of music. For some, the Choir is a first foray into gospel singing. For others, this music is a way of life.
LISTEN HERE to Artistic Director David Hurst on KBEM 88.5 talk about the choir!
David Hurst, songwriter, musician, and actor, David’s experience brings a fresh new look at how traditional African American gospel can blend with current contemporary music. His creative energy and vision have propelled the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir to perform at the highest musical standards.
David has performed with Will Smith, Luther Vandross, Usher, Patti Austin, BeBe Winans, Tom Jones and many other artists at the New Year's Celebration at the White House with President Clinton.
He‘s worked with both secular and gospel artists such as R. Kelly and Brian McKnight, and has laid background vocals for Mary J. Blige on No more Drama. David has performed with The Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, John P. Kee and Kim Burrell.
In 2008 David produced and directed The Night that Christ was Born Christmas Play for HPMDC Drama Department. He currently plays the lead role of Santa Claus in 'Twas the Night before Christmas with the Sounds of Blackness, and has played for Black Nativity 2006 – 2010 and Get Ready 2007 at the Penumbra Theater.
David has also played Clyde in the MN hit stage play My Man or My Child and was the Music Director for James Grear & Company’s last release Don’t Waste Another Day.
David is formerly a member of the 2002 Stellar Award Winners, 2003 Grammy Nominee Excelsior Choir and Grammy Award Winning Sounds of Blackness.
Andrew Griffin, Associate Choir Director
Andrew Griffin, born in Chicago, IL., began work with the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir in 2016. He has been Concordia University’s Gospel Gospel Choir director since 2007 where he has worked with many local artists including Paris Bennett, Darnell Davis and the Remnant, and James Grear & Company. Since 2013 Andrew has also been the choir director for the Youth and Adult Choir at Morning Star Baptist Church where Reverend Carl Walker is the Pastor. While at Morning Star he began directing the Minnesota State Baptist Convention Choir.
Andrew graduated high school in 2006 at Luther High School South. In high school he was involved in the Chicago Children’s Choir from 2000 through 2006, with which ensemble he sang at the New England Conservatory alongside with the Boston Children’s Chorus for the Martin Luther King Celebration. Andrew continued his musical education at Concordia University in Saint Paul, earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music. While at Concordia University he performed with the Christus Chorus under the direction of Dr. David Mennicke, including in concerts in Ghana and South Korea.
Ed Newman started playing keyboards at the age of 7 and started performing professionally at the age of 11 years old. He has performed with the Thompson Community Singers and New City Mass Choir.
Ed has recorded many gospel songs and albums with Dr. Charles D. Hayes founder of the Chicago Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer. Ed is currently producing songs and soundtracks, performs for several choirs and churches in the Twin Cities and is a choir director.
Ed said, "I love the choir and their energy. When we perform live, it is very welcoming and spiritual".
Trenon Graham started playing drums, singing and playing percussion with the Grammy Awarding winning group, The Sounds of Blackness. He has performed with Janet Jackson, Karen White, Alexander O’Neil, Boyz II Men and toured worldwide. Trenon has also performed on TV shows such as Arsenio Hall, Jay Leno, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and several BBC networks. He has been featured in Drummer magazine and is currently endorsed by Pro Mark drumsticks.
Today, Trenon is currently working with the Twin Cities Gospel Choir and the Shelby Brass Band in addition to doing recording session work with KOO as well as others.
Trenon says..."I love the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir choir because they are very spiritual, energetic, and they sing with power and spirit."
Just four months after its first rehearsal in 1990, this community-based, multi-cultural choir swept the competition to win first place in the prestigious Amateur Talent Contest at the Minnesota State Fair.
Amateur no more, the Choir returned to the State Fair a year later to present 13 concerts -- and completed its first professional studio recording that same summer. Since then, the choir has thrilled audiences at hundreds of events in venues as varied as the Historic State Theater, Central Baptist Church in St. Paul, the Ordway Theater, Red Wing Correctional Facility, and the Governor's Mansion.
Since its inception the choir has maintained its commitment to be a community resource, bringing its music and message to urban, suburban and rural communities.
President: Tom Wasmoen
Tom is the founder, managing principal and CEO of Firm Ground Architects & Engineers. He is a registered architect and interior designer with experience in the design of retail, commercial, office, hospitality, healthcare, multi-family, student and senior housing projects. Tom’s greatest strength may be his ability to blend architectural and engineering design services into a collaborative team with the owner and contractor in the design/build delivery system.
His experience working directly for national development companies has given him an owner’s focus and an understanding of what it means to create “Raving Fans” and deliver outstanding customer service.
Vice President: Laura Tueting Nelson
Laura Tueting Nelson is a leader and team-builder with more than 20 years experience in helping people move ideas from information to action. Through effective use of communications skills, she focuses on finding individual strengths, group cohesion and community support across diverse populations.
Laura brings a broad background in public relations, marketing, and management from educational, non-profit and faith-based organizations. She has created and developed communications programs for local, regional and national organizations including Minneapolis Public Schools, Edina Public Schools, The National American Lutheran Church, and the YWCA. Her professional analysis and reporting work took her from the South Bronx to the Mexican border, and from Pine Ridge Reservation to south Florida migrant fields. Serving on as a volunteer providing direct service as well in organizational leadership positions, she has worked for fair housing, appropriate development and improved health services for all. Colleagues have called Laura a “ practical visionary,” bringing people and resources together around common goals.
Secretary: Dr. Tracy Batsell.
Tracy Batsell has committed her life’s work to raising achievement and proving that all children – especially marginalized students of color – can achieve and achieve at high levels. During her 30 year career in education she has served in many capacities. She brings a career focus on program and youth development. She earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Metropolitan State University, her Master’s Degree in Education, a Master’s of Law Degree and a Doctorate in Education from Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN.
Tracy is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and the CEO of Promising Scholars of Tomorrow (PST) a non-profit organization that specialized in assisting student athletes with high school and college retention, matriculation, access and completion. As CEO of PST she has led ambitious initiatives to successfully narrow the achievement gap between student athletes of color and their white counterparts. As a result of these outcomes the students she worked with were accepted to college and completed their coursework. PST’s focus moving forward will be to assist students of color gain access to gifted programming while also creating culturally relevant gifted programs via solutions developed from programmatic research.
Treasurer: Sandy Famodu
A Certified Publc accountant, Sandy recently left a Director position at Global Tax Network to begin self-employed, project-based work. She serves as a board member at Global Minnesota as well as TCCGC. She has been a member of TCCGC's alto section since 2017 and has been serving on the fund development committee. She is a relationship builder and enjoys working collaboratively to achieve shared goals.
Members at Large
Jason brings a combination of a passion for music and professional experience in marketing, business and communication to the board. He currently is Director of Customer Experience at Prudential. He is also a musician and is proficient on guitar, bass guitar, piano and drums. He performs in an indie-rock band that has released its first album and performs locally and elsewhere in the U.S. Jason believes in the power of music to positively affect people's lives.
Jack is a retired educator, having served 25 years in both secondary and higher education. He has also spent the last ten years serving in multiple roles for various non-profits. He has also worked as a consultant to help individuals and organizations understand and cope with the effects of stress and trauma. Jack lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Karina, and their cat, Gus. They are the proud parents of four amazing children who live, work, and attend school in Georgia and Oklahoma.
David Hurst, Artistic Director
See bio above.
Susan Hanna-Bibus, Executive Director.
Susan is a strategic thinker with over 30 years of effectiveness in the nonprofit arts sector. She has a proven track record of success in program development, fiscal management, team-building, grant writing and other fundraising, and marketing. Past employers include the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minnesota Opera Company, and Minnetonka Music Association. Most recently she served as co-executive director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts where she had primary responsibility for arts programming and marketing, and where she founded the Friends of HCA, the fundraising and community outreach arm of the Center. Her passion is to connect artists with audiences and to integrate the arts into the community.