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Higher Praise On Boxing Day

Mon, 20 Dec 2010 Source: B&FT Lifestyle

It is almost impossible to talk about how gospel music has evolved in Ghana without acknowledging the contribution of the Joyful Way Incorporated. For the past 38 years, this group has pioneered contemporary gospel music in the country.

Since they released their maiden album, ‘Joyful Noise’ in 1978, Joyful Way has never lost its vim. They have been consistent in that regard, and have so far released 13 albums; the latest, ‘HIGHER PRAISE 2011’ will be launched on Boxing Day, December 26.

The best way to sample ‘HIGHER PRAISE 2011’ is to be part of the thousands of music lovers who will find their way to the National Theatre on Boxing Day to witness Joyful Way’s annual ‘Explosion of Joy’ musical concert.

Over the weekend, the group had a pre-launch of the album at an impressive ceremony at the M PLAZA hotel which attracted several important personalities and stakeholders in the Ghanaian music industry.

Amidst joy, they treated the audience to a teaser of what to expect on Boxing Day. It was indeed a foretaste. The mood of ‘Explosion of Joy’ concerts is always spirited, and flows with emotion. This year’s will not be an exception considering the pedigree of guest artistes and groups scheduled to perform. A host of choirs, Kofi Duah Anto (KODA), and Joyful Way Phase 2 will be performing on the day.

‘HIGHER PRAISE 2011’ album speaks volumes of the musical disposition of Joyful Way. And what makes this album really stand out is its well-balanced instrumentation.

JOYFUL WAY INCORPORATED traces its origins to Cape Coast where in 1972, the Noise of Joy and the Evangels – two identical Christian musical groups made up of students from Adisadel College, Mfantsipim and Wesley Girls High School – merged to form the JOYFUL WAY SINGERS.

The new group traveled throughout the country putting up performances – in cities, villages, at public places, in educational institutions and churches, on radio and television, and where non-Church-going youth could be found. Music evangelism became popular through the pioneering work of this group.

Later, as the founding members left Cape Coast and proceeded to the universities and higher institutions in other parts of the country they formed nucleus groups and continued to operate in their new localities. In recognition of this, three branches of the group were formally established in 1978 in Cape Coast, Kumasi and Accra. Accra became the National Headquarters. That same year, the group was registered under the Trustees Incorporated Act.

In 1985, however, following a review of the group’s structure and operations, it became necessary for the group to revert to its original unitary structure of 1972, but this time based in Accra.

Over the years, the Joyful Way Incorporated has seen hundreds of young people turn over their lives to Jesus Christ and many Christians have been revived through its ministry. Many Christian musical groups have been established following the pioneering example of the group in music evangelism.

Since its inception, the Group has toured all the regions of the Ghana, and beyond to Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin, Germany, United Kingdom and United States of America. The Group has featured on BBC’s Network Africa (1991, 2002), German TV (1995), and on countless time on Ghana Television and local radio stations. The Group has 13 albums to its credit, as follows:

Joyful Noise (1978) Help (1981) Ofata Ayeyi (1984) Never Give Up (1986) Thru’ The Years (1988) Jesus Thank You (1991) Osabarima (1994) Begye W’ayeyi (1997) Ose Soronko (1999) Joyful Way 2000 (for US market) Barima Yesu (2001) Nyame Ye Ohen (2004) Higher Praise (2011)

Awards include:

- Award Winner By MTN Ceval Gospel Awards in 2007 - Award Winner By Unity Awards in 2003 - Best mass ministry (2000-2002) By Ghana Gospel Music Awards in 2003 - Best packaging and sleeve design (For Barima Yesu) By Ghana Music Awards in 2003 - Most Outstanding Group By PAFAM in 1990 - Best Gospel Group in Ghana By ECRAG in 1988

Source: B&FT Lifestyle