Award-winning Catawba singer Dennis Reed to perform Monday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2008

One of Catawba College’s most successful music graduates will return to his alma mater for a special performance this coming Monday evening, Dec. 8, as Dennis Reed brings with him the acclaimed gospel choir he founded and directs, God’s Appointed People (GAP). Reed and GAP are quickly becoming a significant force in the world of gospel music, and Catawba proudly celebrates their success with this special public event.
Reed has used his talents to quickly build a career for himself in music since his graduation from Catawba in 2006. Among his credits are recordings with Queen Latifah and Mavis Staples. He and GAP have also worked with some of gospel music’s leading recording artists, including LaShun Pace, Donald Lawrence, The Murills, Tamela Mann, John P. Kee, Smokie Norful, Ted and Sheri, Lucinda Moore, Patrick Love, Christopher Brinson, Christopher Gray, Ricky Dillard and Shirley Caesar. A number of leading gospel artists have already covered Reed’s original works, leading to significant national air play for several songs.
Reed attributes much of his writing style to the beloved producer Donald Lawrence. Reed and GAP had the pleasure of working with Lawrence in a concert for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Reed also credits Kirk Franklin and the late Thomas Whitfield as influences.
Success for Reed began even before his graduation from Catawba. In 2006, he beat out more than 1,200 other college songwriters to win the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship with his song “Out of Control.” The song came from his debut CD with GAP, the 2005 “Water Walker.”
Music is central to Reed’s personal ministry: “Just like God, my music is multracial, multicultural with one main purpose. That is to lead the lost to Christ.”
In particular, Reed’s ministry holds a concern for at-risk youth. This led to his creation of Charlotte’s Inspire the Fire, a youth and fellowship conference that draws hundreds of participants each summer.
For the past two years, Reed has also served as Young Artist in Residence for his alma mater. According to Catawba College associate professor of music David Lee Fish, “When Dennis was a student, he founded an extra-curricular gospel ensemble that quickly became one of the most vibrant musical groups on campus. That has grown into a regular course offering with Dennis serving as its director. It’s one of the elements that makes Catawba’s music program so distinctive.”
The performance by Dennis Reed and GAP is presented by the Catawba College Music Department’s Friends of Music and is open to the general public. The free concert begins at 7 p.m. in the college’s Crystal Lounge.
For more information, contact the Catawba Music Department at 704-637-4345.