Go Gospel!

212 TUTOR: Jo Sercombe (BA Music)

Sing your way through the evolution of gospel music with an established choir director and the founder of Bath Community Gospel Choir. You will explore the sounds and rhythms of this inspiring genre from its early spiritual roots right up to the present day with all the swaying and clapping into the bargain! Suitable for all levels of singing experience, you will be singing in harmony but you will also be learning 'by ear' so you don't need to read sheet music. If you've always wanted to be in a gospel choir, here's your chance.

1 PM
PM course

Course Notes

Hearing the sound of a gospel choir is one of the truly uplifting and inspirational experiences in life. All those voices working together to create a harmony 'wall of sound' over a rocking band; singing lyrics of hope, comfort and aspiration, draws us to the music and makes us want to move! In this course, we'll explore how the sound of gospel music has evolved over time; absorbing influences from other musical styles to create new expressions of the classic gospel sound….. and we're going to do it through singing!

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who would like to have a go at singing gospel music.

What happens in the sessions?

The focus of this course is group singing. Each day begins with a vocal warm up to ensure we're using our voices safely as we sing. In each session, we'll learn a song or songs from a different gospel era and talk about how the music is changing as we work our way through the week.

We'll be singing in teams to create vocal harmonies. In keeping with the gospel tradition, all songs will be taught 'by ear' (Jo sings a line and the team sing it back).

Gospel singing involves gentle movement (swaying and clapping) from time to time.

Do I need to have sung in a choir before?

No. Gospel music is very accessible and easy to pick up. If you've not sung in a choir before, don't worry, Jo and your fellow singers will help you along. If you're an experienced singer, there will still be plenty to challenge you.

Will I have to sing on my own?

No. Being in a gospel choir is a team activity so you will always be singing with others.

Do I need to read sheet music?

No. We'll be using lyric sheets and our listening / sing-it-back skills.

Will I get to perform?

It's always great to share our efforts with others so we'll aim for an informal performance at the end of the week.


Spirituals Roots - exploring the early days of gospel and identifying what makes it 'gospel'.


Traditional Gospel - defining the elements of the traditional sound.


Soul, Funk & Disco - learning what happened to gospel in the 1960s & 70s


Urban Contemporary - discovering how pop crossover and RnB influenced gospel towards the new millennium.


What's happening today? - learning material from current artists and considering where gospel might be headed.

Essential equipment

Please wear comfortable clothing and footwear as there is some movement during sessions (particularly avoid high heels in the warm up!)

Bring your water bottle as singing can be thirsty work.

Bring a pencil in case you want to scribble on your lyric sheets.

If you have any access needs (learning/mobility etc) please let the college know so that we can support you.

Course Tutor

Jo Sercombe

BA Music

About Jo

Jo is a fantastic motivational educator, vocal coach and musical director who is particularly keen on making singing accessible to all. Alongside her role as Lecturer in Singing & Musical Theatre at Bath Spa University, she travels the country delivering singing workshops with community choirs, schools and colleges, and businesses. In her home town of Bath, she founded and directs the Bath Community Gospel Choir and creates original music with Young Carers as a workshop leader for Bath Philharmonia's Education Team. Jo also enjoys her role as President of the the local Priston Music Festival.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM