Today guests at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s royal wedding witness history and were treated to a number of romantic moments including a gospel performance of “Stand by Me” by The Kingdom Choir. The Kingdom Choir led by its founder, Karen Gibson, sang the American R&B classic from the West End of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
“The Kingdom Choir is truly honored to be invited to sing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Markle, and very excited to be taking part in such a historic moment.”“It will be a moment that we will always treasure, and we’d like to take the opportunity to wish the couple all the very best for their coming union.”
Karen has previously provided backing vocals for acts such as Grace Kennedy and The Beautiful South. In recent years, Karen has been featured on TV programs about choral singing, including BBC2’s The Naked Choir, as a judge, the Voice reports.
Karen and her sister, Kim, are classically trained singers. Their first musical group was a gospel wind quintet, featuring one oboe, three clarinets and a bassoon. They were called Windsong.
Notable Awards and Honours
- Founder and director of the award-winning Kingdom Choir, who have been one of the most sought after gospel choirs for radio and television work.
- Facilitates workshops all over the UK and abroad in countries such as Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, France, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Tenerife, Poland, Japan, Nigeria and the USA. Workshop delegates have numbered anywhere between 20 and 1000.
- Winner, BBC Radio 2 Church Minstrels of the year, Kingdom Choir, 2000
- Winner, Gem Awards, Kingdom Choir, best Gospel Choir, best Gospel Album, 2004, 2005 respectively
- Winner, Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the year, Maria Fidelis School Gospel Choir, 2010
- Finalist, BBC Choir of the Year, SINGIT Gospel Choir, 2011
- Awarded Jack Petchey medal for outstanding service to young people, 2012
- Awarded for outstanding contribution to the Music and Choral Ministry on the occasion of the 60th birthday of the Church of God of Prophecy, one of Britain’s largest Black Majority Churches, 2013
- Winner, Enfield Mayoral Choral Competition, St Anne’s Girl’s School Gospel Choir, 2013, 2014, 2016
- Winner, Enfield Mayoral Choral Competition, Bishop Stopford School Gospel Choir, 2017
- Winner, BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year, Lewes Sings Gospel, 2014
- Winner, Wise Women Award, Music Category, 2015
- Featured in the first ever book written about British Gospel Music. The book, entitled ‘British Black Gospel’ is written by Steve Alexander Smith and cites Karen as a pioneer of the sound of gospel in this country.
- Conductor, mass choir, VE Day Celebrations, Buckingham Palace, 1995
- Conducting the Kingdom Choir at Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Jubilee procession, 2002
- Conductor, mass choir, Concert for Diana 2007
- Performances for dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Mr Bill Clinton, the US Ambassador, Prince Phillip and the Queen
- Conducting the audience before Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to England with Maria Fidelis Gospel School Choir, 2010
- Performing at Buckingham Palace before Prince Charles 2011 with Maria Fidelis Gospel School Choir
- Performing before Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech writer, Clarence B. Jones, 2011
- Launching the official Olympic Team GB Theme song, Royal Albert Hall, 2012
- Gospel specialist on Gareth Malone’s The Choir: Sing While You Work 2013
- Contributor to a series of episodes for the BBCs Songs of Praise introducing gospel music to the UK, 2015
- Specialist gospel juror on Gareth Malone’s The Choir, BBC, 2015, 2016
- Conductor, Gospel Prom, Royal Albert Hall, 2016
- Named as one of the best Gospel Choir conductors in the UK, and listed as one of the 20 most influential Black Christian women in the 100th issue of Keep the Faith Magazine, 2017
- Leading a ‘How To’ Gospel workshop for 250 educators at the Music and Drama Education Expo 2017
Click HERE to read Karen’s detailed bio.