Black Entertainment Television is bringing its auditions for the hit gospel singing competition show “Sunday Best” to town this weekend. Chicago is one of four cities the show is traveling to for auditions looking for vocal standouts in gospel music.
Tryouts will be held Saturday, March 9 at New Faith Baptist Church, 25 S. Central Avenue, in south suburban Matteson. Doors open to singers age 18 and over at 7 a.m. and close at noon.
Chicago is home to the founders and legends of gospel, including Thomas Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson. It is also home to Shari Addison, a finalist in the first season of the cable network competition show. A number of other Chicagoans have competed on “Sunday Best,” now in its sixth season.
The show airs on the cable network and is hosted by Kirk Franklin. Gospel celebrity judges – for the auditions and the show – include Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and CeCe Winans. Singers will have to perform any one of 23 contemporary and traditional gospel songs and hymns as part of the audition. The playlist includes: 2013 Stellar Award-winning “Awesome” by Chicago’s Rev. Charles Jenkins and his Fellowship church choir; the traditional sound of “Thank You Lord (For All You’ve Done For Me)” by the legendary Walter Hawkins; and “I Surrender All” – Traditional Version. Winans recorded an an arrangement of the hymn on her “Alone In His Presence” album.