Joyful Hearts Gospel Quartet Plans 20th Anniversary Concert

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Arts / May. 18, 2017 9:22am EDT


“Joyful Hearts” sings gospel at the final service of the Chelsea West Hill United Methodist Church on August 21, 2016. From left to right, Marlene Reed, Gloria Bowin, Ginny Campbell, and Margaret Doyle. (Herald File / Bob Eddy) “Joyful Hearts” sings gospel at the final service of the Chelsea West Hill United Methodist Church on August 21, 2016. From left to right, Marlene Reed, Gloria Bowin, Ginny Campbell, and Margaret Doyle. (Herald File / Bob Eddy) Drop a pebble in a pond and it will send ripples to the farthest shore. In 1997, four friends made a small splash singing gospel at a Chelsea variety show.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, May 21, they will celebrate 20 years of singing together with a free concert at United Church of Chelsea.

When Ginny Campbell worked to organize the first Chelsea Variety Show in April 1997, she decided she’d like to participate. She loved to sing, but wasn’t prepared to stand alone. Friends Marlene Reed, Gloria Bovis, and Margaret Doyle were enlisted to round out a fledgling gospel quartet.

Their experience that evening was so uplifting, they decided to keep on singing, naming themselves “Joyful Hearts.”

“Joyful Hearts” was so much fun, the group decided early to sing for free, and this anniversary concert is no exception.

The group sings mostly gospel, but has added a few popular tunes and old favorites, for appearances at senior citizen centers, nursing homes and such.

All grew up in homes where singing was simply part of daily life. As Marlene Reed speaks of her Connecticut childhood, “You breathe, you eat, you sing, you brush your teeth, you sing.”

Together, with Reed on bass, Campbell up top on soprano, Doyle and Bowin singing the inner tenor and alto lines, the group has spread the joy of music far and wide.

The variety show circuit has brought them to East Bethel, Williamstown, Waits River, and Chelsea. Nursing homes as far away as Morrisville have hosted them. Churches from Burlington to Springfield have included them in worship.

“Joyful Hearts” outreach has extended to weddings, funerals, Christmas and birthday parties, senior citizens’ centers, revivals, and even sporting events, singing for the Mountaineers and the Frostheaves.

And, on May 21, “Joyful Hearts” 20-year odyssey will bring them home to Chelsea’s United Church, where their first chords were sung. It will be a wonderful celebration and, as always, it will be free!

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