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College of the Mainland
Gospel Singers to Perform at COM
News Release
Thursday, February 17, 2011

Voices of the Mainland members from left to right, Melvin Hudnall, lead vocalist; Maurice Nunn, vocalist; Larry Brown, vocalist; Willie Alexander, lead vocalist; Bennie Ballard, vocalist and bass guitar.  Not pictured, Roy Nickerson, rhythm guitarist; Henry Edwards, percussionist. (Courtesy Photo)College of the Mainland’s Multicultural Team presents “An Evening of Gospel Music: Why We Sing,” with special guests Voices of the Mainland from Texas City, Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center, with guest soloists Antionette Long and Delores Penrice.

Voices of the Mainland from Texas City was formed Oct. 16, 1966, in the home of Mrs. Josie Lee Matthews in Texas City. The group was established by a visionary named Lionel McCray. The chartered members were L.H. McCray, Val Marie Maxey, Doyle Bryant, Robert E. Maxey and Henry White. The group’s first formal appearance was held at the First Baptist Church in Texas City, with the late Reverend F.M. Johnson as pastor. The group had only one musician, Val Maxey. Within a few months the group grew in size with two additional members: Lee Thurman Henderson and guitarist Bennie Ballard. Curtis Long, Roy Swann, Jessie McCarter and Emmitt Brown later joined the singing group.

Gospel music is an expression of man's continuous search for tranquility through songs. Gospel music is structured to satisfy the moods and specific situations that arise in life. The Voices of the Mainland uses gospel music as its medium for expressing things too sacred to be uttered in ordinary speech. The words express inner thoughts with the hope that they will be able to inspire others in the same manner.

For more than 25 years the Voices of the Mainland has performed throughout Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.  Performing at the Texas Folklore Festival in San Antonio, Kaleidoscope Festival in Houston, Mardi Gras in Galveston, Annual Church Bazaar, San Antonio, Channel 8 in Austin, Channel 13 and Channel 2 in Houston, and at nursing homes and community churches throughout Texas.  

Voices of the Mainland donates its time, talent and treasure back to the community. It has assisted individuals who have lost homes to fires, in financial distress, assisted in paying mortgages, utilities, medical expenses, funeral expenses, scholarships, transportation, food and clothing, and more. Being able to give back to the community is a privilege for this group and it is what keeps them singing.   

For more information about the event or Voices of the Mainland, call 409-933-8205.

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