"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
The Saint Augustine Gospel Choir was established in 1977 by Rev. Raymond Kemp, then the pastor of St. Augustine. The Choir’s repertoire consists of African American spirituals, hymns, and contemporary Gospel music, and it sings at the 12:30 p.m. Sunday Mass. God blessed us with our highly gifted Director, Mr. Samuel Edison Cromwell, in 1998.
The Saint Augustine Gospel Choir has had more than 30 exciting years, spreading God’s praises singing in places such as Saint Peter’s Basilica and in The Vatican for Pope John Paul II, performing in Costa Rica for the African Diaspora Festival of the Flowers and in Toulouse, France.
On September 23, 2015, 17 choir members had the distinguished honor to sing for Pope Francis at the White House welcoming ceremony with President Barack Obama and more than 10,000 invited guests. They have performed several times in the White House for former President and Mrs. William J. Clinton; in April 2008 for Pope Benedict XVI and President and Mrs. George W. Bush for the Pope’s second visit to the United States. More recently in 2010 and 2011, the Choir performed at the residence of Vice President and Dr. Joseph Biden for their Christmas Celebration.
In February 2011, the Choir participated in Pathmark’s Gospel Choir Competition in Harlem at the world famous Apollo Theater and came in first runner up. In addition, following an invitation from the Gospel Choir of Saarbrücken that visited us in October 2009, we bore musical witness, with our “Saint Augustine Spirit,” in Frankfurt, Germany where we ministered in a series of concerts in Saarbrucken, Bettingen, Trier, and Klarenthal, Germany in June 2011.
Watch a video of our performance of “We Are Marching in the Light of God.” at the 9/11 Unity Walk.
It’s not unusual for visitors to St. Augustine’s 12:30 p.m. Sunday Mass to comment about our choir and church.
The St. Augustine Gospel Choir seeks to provide musical support to enhance the liturgical, sacramental, and worship services of St. Augustine Catholic Church; offer spiritual and musical witness in support of the evangelical, educational, cultural, and service ministries of the St. Augustine community; and bear musical witness to communities of faith throughout the world in any setting that God provides.