VAL & LOVE ALIVE MASS CHOIR The summer of June 1987, Valentine Bemiss Williams gathered young people from the neighboring churches and community to learn Jesus through the form of gospel music. She was already directing and teaching many young people in local churches. The summer event was called 100 Children in White. Every summer they gathered to belt out jubilant songs of Praise, packing the church with parents, relatives, and the community. The core of the group consisted of her current church youth choir; private piano students; and the children and grandchildren of their sister choir, the Dimensions of Faith, which was an adult gospel choir, of which Val directed, as well. They met consistently, thereafter, and made a few appearances in the churches that opened their doors to them for rehearsals. By September 1990, the young people expressed their desire to interact more, to be a beacon light for others to enjoy, and take the fellowship higher. Val decided to name the group Love Alive Fellowship Choir because of the energy and spirit displayed, and also being an observant of the love bond that was forming throughout the fellowship – parents and all. They continued the summer concerts faithfully at high school and university auditoriums. The Dimensions of Faith, parents, and church members gave donations to facilitate the events. Every summer they were blessed to travel for retreats as a fellowship. They also participated many times with John P Kee and his conference, Victory in Praise. They were featured on Tiptina Records “Sanctified” recording with many other great groups and blues singers, like the late Marva Wright, who was also a lead soloist with the Dimensions of Faith. Their video footage was used for a Japanese documentary on gospel music. They have participated in many local festivals, church fairs, fundraisers for churches, Music Ministry workshops, Christmas Caroling at nursing homes and Copeland’s Christmas Lights, and N. O. Jazz and Heritage Festival, consistently. Val has appeared on the line-up for the Jazz Fest since its inception. Over the years, the Dimensions of Faith would appear one weekend, and Love Alive Fellowship Choir would be the next weekend, with both entities bringing an electrifying energy to the Gospel Tent! She kept both choirs going after the death of Sammy Berfect, the founder and director of the Dimensions of Faith. In June 2009, the choirs were merged as one and Val coined them Love Alive Mass Choir. One big family choir still comprised of many of the originals, their family, and their church members. Many, who have relocated, return to fellowship every year. This choir has always been accompanied by proficient musicians who highlight the special style of the dynamic renditions they sing. This summer, this awesome group will celebrate 25 years of Powerful Gospel Music – the message will always be JESUS!