David North & The Gospel Celebration (DNGC) was a unique and exciting "out" gospel group that was based in the Washington, DC area. This talented group of musicians performed at MCC and other churches around the country and a variety of LGBT festivals and special events, between the years 1997 - 2001.The group was led by the Rev. David K. North who served as the lead vocalist and wrote all of the original gospel compositions performed by DNGC. The other regular vocalists in the group included: Scott Breivold (Tenor); Shirley Clay (Alto); and Frieda Rink-Walton (Soprano). They were backed by a wonderfully talented set of musicians that included: Jeanie Broderick (Drums); Virgil Night (Bass); and Janina Sajka (Keyboards).
DNGC presented music that put a fresh face on a timeless message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and LGBT perspective. Their energetic and diverse performances ran the gamut from traditional to contemporary and embraced a variety of musical styles. Original compositions written by the Rev. David K. North were the mainstay of the DNGC repertoire. Their songs, featuring creative arrangements and tight vocal harmonies, presented themes of gratitude, encouragement, determination, and grace. The group's music sought to affirm God's unconditional love and to empower the LGBT community to accept with pride their unique place in God's creation.
DNGC performed for MCC churches in DC, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and more; the 1999 UFMCC general conference; the 1999 Soulforce "Journey to Lynchburg" event; Gay Pride Festivals in Maryland, New Orleans and the Nation's Capital; a gospel brunch in Washington, DC honoring Ms. Rosa Parks; the 1998 GLAAD Media Awards Ceremony; the 1998 "Gospel and Soul" event hosted by the Human Rights Campaign; and several affirming churches including Methodist and Baptist congregations.
In 1999 DNGC released their recording "I Am Not Ashamed." The CD features eleven original compositions that reveal powerful messages for all God's people. The title track, a kind of "anthem" for the GLBT community written by David North and Virgil Night, was enthusiastically received at churches and Gay Pride events and was performed live at the Millennium March on Washington April 30th, 2000.
As a result of various personal, spiritual, and professional pursuits, the group is no longer performing together. We stay in touch though, and enjoy making music when we can. We hope that through our CD the music we made will live on and continue to touch people's lives.