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Harmonizers plan weekend concerts

The Harmonizers, who have been making music together for 35 years, will perform Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church and Sunday at the J.A. Pickard Auditorium. -- Special photo

It is rare for soloists or musical groups to stay together more than five years, but for local gospel group the Angelic Harmonizers, longevity is something to sing about. Celebrating 35 years, the Harmonizers will hold an anniversary celebration Saturday at 6 p.m., inside the Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church. The festivities will continue Sunday at 4 p.m. inside the J.A. Pickard Auditorium with music from artists across the Black Belt.

Known for its close, rich and well-balanced harmonies in a cappella and with traditional music, the group has performed throughout Alabama and traveled to Florida, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, the Bahamas and Japan.

Group member Minnie McMillan said the group is also involved in community service projects such as singing in nursing homes and providing medical and financial assistance to burn victims and local schools.

“This weekend we are working with the Selma High choir,” McMillan said. “The second weekend in December (Dec. 11) at 4 p.m., we’ll be in Camden at the Camden School of Art and Technology. We just try to uplift people through our music and lend a helping hand financially to our schools.”

McMillan said the group’s style is what separates them from other artists.

“We have a lot of traditional gospel and a cappella — we pattern ourselves after shape note singing,” McMillan said. “We have a love for music … the love of Christ — I think that benefits things and makes us united. We’re rooted and grounded in the word.”

Guest artists for Sunday’s event include the Rev. Afonso Bowens of Mississippi, Toby Blanche and Converted Voices of Mississippi, Brothers Together of Clayton, The Alabama Gurlz of Eufala, the Spiritual Messengers of Georgia and local acts. With its first recording debuting in 1995, the group has spawned other local groups such as the Majestic Voices and Divine Harmony, organized by the group’s offspring.

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