Celebrating joy this holiday season with Good Tidings! A Gospel Christmas

Vancouver gospel choir Good Noise is bringing its “Good Tidings! A Good Noise Gospel Christmas” show back for its 20th anniversary season this December. This year’s shows, on Dec. 15th and 16th, feature guest performances from gospel and R&B singers Timothy Fuller and Crystal Hicks.

“As individuals they command the stage. And as a duo, which they will be for a few of the songs, they will be a powerhouse combination,” says Good Noise choir artistic director Gail Suderman.

Criss-crossing genres

Fuller is known for his R&B and soul vocals and Hicks is well versed in gospel music, a combination of genres central to Good Noise’s own musical focus. The effects of R&B and Soul on gospel music can often be seen in vocal stylings – including improvisation, harmonies, and rhythm – and these influences have crossed over to mainstream music. Seen in singers like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and John Legend, mainstream genres are embracing influences like gospel. Suderman says the mainstream influence is even crossing back into the church as people are appreciating it.

Good Noise choir. | Photo byLeigh Righton.

“We – the choir, and our audiences – love the energy of gospel music, along with the influences of other musical genres,” she says.

The audience plays an important part in Good Noise’s Good Tidings! performance, and Suderman says seeing the audience interaction is her favourite part of the show. Suderman hopes to leave audiences with a feeling of joy they can carry with them for the rest of the holidays.

“There are those who are content to sit and listen, taking in the sounds and energy of the music; and then there are those who must jump to their feet and dance along,” she says.

Lifting each other up

After having to produce video concerts in 2020 and 2021 (weathering the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic) and work hard to stay connected as a choir, Suderman says this 20th anniversary means a lot to her and the choir: she views it as a celebration.

“We had to figure out a way to come out the other side with the ability to carry on, both financially and musically. It’s a joy to see our hard work having paid off,” she says.

Suderman links their song selection – including an arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas” – with the choir’s message of hope, reconciliation, joy, and peace.

“These are reminders of the deeper meaning of Christmas – reminders of what we should strive to be, or what we should strive to bring and share with others,” she says.

One song, performed with Fuller and Hicks, still poignant in today’s time that Suderman highlights is Stevie Wonder’s “Someday at Christmas.”

While the song was originally released in 1967, with references to the Vietnam War and the changes in the world at that time, Suderman thinks the lyrics and the message continue to resonate today.

“We’re still needing a reminder that peace is something we must continue to work towards,” she says.

Suderman knows the holidays can be hard. She encourages the public to come out for Good Noise’s Good Tidings! performance, and carry a moment of joy with them throughout the rest of the festive season.

“If our concerts can provide a way to brighten spirits and make people’s lives just a bit better,” she says, “that would make me very happy.”

For more information on Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir and the show, visit: