Soul Voices Director Knoelle Higginson on AGT
The teen gospel group received the nod from all three judges during the auditions that aired on July 19. The first round of live competition for AGT’s 17th season begins on August 9.
The Soul Voices Choir is a mixed vocal ensemble that explores the music of the African American experience, including spirituals, gospel, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, and jazz. Each semester culminates with a public concert on campus. The choir is open to all students regardless of major. Associate Professor of Jazz Studies Pete Malinverni founded Soul Voices 15 years ago and passes the torch to Higginson this fall.
The multi-octave singer has appeared on stages across the U.S. and internationally. She is the artistic director of the not-for-profit Mama Foundation for the Arts located in central Harlem. Higginson co-founded the foundation’s Gospel for Teens program in 2006. Since then it’s served thousands of youth using music as a mentorship and development platform to preserve the history and genre of gospel music as an art form. The program is now known as Mama Music Matters, reimagined to allow students to explore a variety of music while gaining an appreciation for the influences of gospel, Jazz, R&B, and more.
Higginson took the most advanced members of Gospel for Teens a step further by creating Sing Harlem, a traveling commercial choir that’s appeared on major platforms including The Grammy Awards, Saturday Night Live, Nickelodeon, RFK Human Rights Gala, and in feature performances with Madonna, Chance The Rapper, SZA, Usher, Pharrell, Ariana Grande and many more.
Watch their entire performance below.