New Count Basie Center Gospel Choir announces auditions


RED BANK – The nonprofit Count Basie Center for the Arts has set virtual audition dates for the new Count Basie Center Gospel Choir.

Virtual auditions for voices in all vocal categories – soprano, alto, tenor and bass – will be held between 10AM – 2PM on Saturday Dec. 12 and Saturday, December 19. Those interested must register in advance for an audition slot at

The Count Basie Center Gospel Choir is a new project headed by Music Director Gwen Moten and assistant music director Dr. B Dexter Allgood, designed as a community initiative open to interested performers in New Jersey and surrounding areas. Moten, whose resume includes international presentations and appointments in Newark, the United Nations, the White House and beyond, believes the Basie Center Gospel Choir will be an engaging cultural and artistic offering, designed to develop a holistic and cultural ecology throughout the Basie Center community and beyond.

“The Count Basie Center for the Arts is not only a haven for performances, but for education and community engagement as well,” says Moten, who was appointed as an American Cultural Specialist for the United States Information Agency by President Bill Clinton. “I congratulate the administration of the Count Basie Center for The Arts for recognizing the need to incorporate at the Arts Center the Count Basie Gospel Choir. This added community outreach project will certainly strengthen your mission of ‘engaging cultural and artistic offerings that can reflect the diversity of the region.”

“I strongly believe that participating in the Count Basie Center Gospel Choir will create many benefits,” says Dr. Allgood, choir assistant music director and Minister of Music at Canaan Baptist Church in New York City. “With proper leadership, vocalists will learn discipline and order, which is essential. Choral techniques such as breathing, phrasing, and blending with other voices will be emphasized, along with a repertoire that will be challenging but also quite rewarding.”

Interested performers will be required to submit:

  • Music Resume
  • Headshot / photo
  • One solo vocal selection for the audition
  • Audition video link to Youtube or Vimeo (optional)

“Throughout history, gospel choirs have come to represent so many human emotions, providing comfort in times of sadness and joy during moments of celebration,” said Dr. Lucy Chen, Director, Count Basie Center Academy School Of Music. “The singer Yolanda Adams calls gospel music the sound of peace, recognizing its power to inspire people to persevere. This is an energy and a cultural heritage the Count Basie Center Academy of the Arts will be proud to bring to the community.”

Once formed, the Count Basie Center Gospel Choir will perform at events in and around the community, including onstage at the Basie Center’s historic Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre and the organization’s brand new performance space, The Vogel, which opens on the Basie’s Monmouth Street campus later this month.

For more information, visit or call 732.224.8778 x 125.