THE BROOKLYN TABERNACLE CHOIR
Directed by Carol Cymbala, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is a nearly 300-voice choir composed of vocally untrained church members from diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds. The choir has recorded thirty albums, winning seven Dove Awards and six Grammy Awards. Their concert venues in New York City have included Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Madison Square Garden Theater. They also had the honor of singing at the Billy Graham Crusades in New York City’s Central Park and Flushing Meadows Park. The choir sang at the 2012 Presidential inauguration in Washington, DC, before an estimated viewing audience of one billion people. The choir’s recognition has provided them with an open door for ministry in presenting the gospel message through music to people worldwide.
Carol Cymbala grew up as one of six children in a ministry home where she witnessed the power of God in miraculous ways. She displayed a gift for music at a very early age, when she taught herself to play the piano by ear. She always had a love for beautiful chords and harmonies. When her father, the late Rev. Clair Hutchins, would return from his mission trips to Africa, Carol would watch the films he brought home and was captivated by the different styles of music and rhythms she heard.
It was during these years that God spoke to Carol that she would one day direct a choir. In the natural, this seemed very unlikely, as she was extremely timid and shy. Carol married her childhood sweetheart, Jim, and they immediately went into ministry.
In the early 1970s, Pastor Cymbala and Carol took over the leadership of The Brooklyn Tabernacle, a congregation that numbered less than twenty people at the time. Carol obeyed the Lord’s leading and started a choir with a group of nine people. Severe anxiety and self-doubt almost led her to cancel their first rehearsal, but her love of music and sense of God’s calling caused her to push through; and, as a result, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir was formed. Over the years, the small choir grew and became a vital part of the ministry of the church.
Carol began to discover a gift for songwriting, and soon the choir was given the opportunity to record their first album. God blessed this first recording, which eventually led to more albums and open doors for the choir and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers (a core group of vocalists from the choir) to travel around the country and world and spread the gospel through song. Carol has written hundreds of songs and recorded 30 albums, 6 of which have won Grammy Awards.
Carol continues to direct the 250-member choir, which ministers every Sunday, drawing visitors from all over the world as they lift up the name of Jesus.
THE BROOKLYN TABERNACLE SINGERS
The travel logistics of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir prove too cumbersome except for a few ministry trips each year. A core group of vocalists called The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers, who sing all of the music of the Choir, travel frequently to international and domestic destinations.