Local Christian music takes center stage in Dorton Arena

Two nights of spirit-filled worship music are included in this year’s Homegrown North Carolina Concert Series.  On Friday, Oct. 16, Summit Church will feature contemporary Christian artists and church members Kaimy Masse and Hank Murphy, and a performance by the Summit Choir. On Thursday, Oct. 23, the gospel sounds of Wake Chapel Choir, Instrument of Praise Gospel Concert Chorale and Watts Chapel Gospel Choir will have fairgoers clapping their hands and singing along to familiar gospel songs.

We spoke with Hank Murphy with Summit Church and Angela Coley of Instrument of Praise Concert Chorale to help get us pumped up for the shows.

Murphy is a worship leader at Summit Church and a singer/songwriter whose latest album, Smplfy, was released earlier this year. He describes his music as having a pop-vocal focus with an infusion of hip hop. “I am hoping to create a new genre of music called honest music,” Murphy said. “Yes I am going to talk about God and the things of God. My goal is to relate to people in an honest way. We are all more alike than we are different, and everybody is looking for hope and joy.”

Murphy lives in Raleigh with his wife. He’s looking forward to the fried Oreos at the fair. “The fair is a time to splurge. I work out every day, and my wife and I eat pretty healthy. But at the fair, I want fried Oreos.”

Murphy will perform about 25 minutes of songs from his latest album. Kaimy Masse, a singer/songwriter with an R&B sound, and the Summit Choir will also perform contemporary Christian praise music. “It’s going to be a great night of worship,” Murphy said. “People will be shocked by Kaimy’s voice, the choir and the dude trying to tell the truth.”

400807_287725097950411_103991700_nThursday, Oct. 23, will bring the big sounds of gospel choirs to Dorton Arena. Instrument of Praise has members from all over Wake County, as well as Harnett and Nash counties. With 50 to 60 members, this group will lead concertgoers through a melody of music that includes hymns, 90’s gospel and newly released songs. “We want people to sing along, clap, know the words,” Coley said. “We want the show to be accessible and enjoyable to everyone from senior citizens, early 20’s and teenagers.”

The chorale, led by Zemir Kersey, was founded by a group of young people from Cary First United Church of Christ in the late 80s. Kersey and Instrument of Praise recorded a record in 1995, for which Kersey wrote most of the songs. “Zemir likes to tell a story with his melodies, with each song leading into another, and telling the complete story of Christ,” Coley added.

The choir has played for Spiritual Awakenings on WRAL, the Martin Luther King celebration in Raleigh, First Night Raleigh and at different area churches. This will be their first time playing the N.C. State Fair. Coley is looking forward to being part of the fair lineup and her visit to the fair. “I am too old for the rides, but I like to be outside and walking the grounds. You always see someone you know. The fair really brings people together.”

Instrument of Praise will be joined by the Wake Chapel Choir and Watts Chapel Choir.

Admission to all Dorton Arena concerts is free. Fans wanting floor seats, should pick up a ticket at the Dorton Arena Box Office on the day of the show. Thursday, Oct. 23, is also Food Lion Hunger Relief Day. Fairgoers can gain free admission to the fair for five cans of Food Lion brand food.


About Funhouse

On the blog I go by Fun House (AKA Heather Overton). At the Fair you'll find me checking out the blue ribbon winners or hanging out in Heritage Circle. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite part of the Fair, but I can tell you one thing I hate - leaving it on the last day. I can't wait for opening day!

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