Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Committed, winner of NBC's Sing-Off, to perform at Navity School benefit concert

“The biggest surprise is how things changed so fast,” Maurice Staple says. “Overnight we’re meeting with important people in the business.”

That’s what happens when you win a competition with 9 million viewers on national television.  Staple is a member of Committed.  Committed won the second season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, forcing a rapid change in the lives of Dennis “DJ” Baptiste, Tommy Gervais, Geston Pierre, Robert Pressley, Theron “Therry” Thomas and Staple.

The all-male a cappella group will perform at the Carolina Theatre on Thursday, August 25.  The show starts at 8:00 pm, and the proceeds benefit the Durham Nativity School Scholarship Fund.  It’s the fourth annual Nativity School benefit concert, and organizers selected Committed because the group’s story resonates with the students at the Nativity School.

Committed was formed in Huntsville, Alabama in 2003.  Although none of the original members remain, Committed is an example of the benefit of hard work and dedication.

“We are grounded in our faith,” Staple says.  “We work hard to not perform music that goes against what we believe.

The group released their self-titled debut album on August 30th on Epic Records.  The album features a blend of cover songs, including a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Hold My Hand” which is the song that sealed their win on the season finale of The Sing-Off, as well as original songs. Their first single “Break Free” was co-written by group member Therry Thomas.

The group was discovered by NBC after a recommendation from Take 6, the a cappella group with ten GRAMMY Awards.  Like Committed, Take 6 formed in Huntsville, Alabama on the campus of Oakwood College.  Committed played at a party honoring Take 6 and made such a strong impression that members of Take 6 contacted NBC and recommended the group for the second season of Sing-Off

The connection between the two groups, along with the win on Sing-Off, was enough to inspire administrators at the Nativity School to have them perform at this year’s benefit concert.  There’s a lesson about paying it forward.  There’s a lesson about solidarity and lending a hand to those in need of support.

The Nativity School seeks to teach through the example of black male role models.  Most of the students at the Nativity School are black and brown boys.  Durham’s public education is replete of examples of minority boys who fall through the cracks due to a lack of attention.  The Nativity School boasts a myriad of examples of boys who move beyond the middle school years to obtain academic scholarships to attend the best private schools in North Carolina.

Yes, Thursday’s concert is about raising money to pay tuition. It’s also a celebration of six black males who endured a seven year wait to get a break.  It came after the group they admire saw their gift and moved beyond the comforts that come with success.  That group will be in Durham tomorrow.  Six black men who do more than just sing will come to show what faith can produce.

They sing without instruments.  They depend on each other to make great music.  Just like life - six black men trusting the other to keep the beat. 

A group of boys will be watching.  Who knows what watching Committed will do to shape their future. 

The name is a good start.  Committed.  Six black men singing, hoping, praying and trusting.

Thank God for Take 6.  Thank God for Committed. 

Thank God for the Nativity School.

Durham Nativity School presents

4th Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring COMMITTED
For tickets

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