Choir conductor of Guyanese heritage wows Royals

Choir conductor of Guyanese heritage wows Royals
This April 24, 2018 file photo shows Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir, who performed the soul classic “Stand By Me” at the royal wedding, in London.
Rick Findler / PA via Associated Press, file

The news went viral when it was learned that Gibson, an accomplished, award-winning gospel singer, indeed has Guyanese roots from the town of Berbice.

According to reports, billions of citizens around the world watched as American actress, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were married at St. George’s Chapel Windsor Castle, on May 19, and where The Kingdom Choir wowed the universe with Ben E. King’s hit song “Stand By Me” – a moment that Guyanese are very proud of.

Musician Karen Gibson, a British-born of Guyanese lineage, was that talented founder and director of The Kingdom Choir, who was front and center at the Royal wedding.

Guyanese poet, James Richmond, who personally knows the family, confirmed that Karen Gibson was born in London to mother Myrtle Gibson of Eldorado, on the West of Berbice. Kim Gibson, another daughter, and Karen’s niece, Robyn Samuels along with her (Robyn) husband, Vernon Samuels, are all members of the 20-member choir, making it a family affair.

Richmond also confirmed that the family, just last year visited Guyana, for the 80th birthday anniversary of mother Myrtle Gibson.

Both Karen and the choir have been regular performers at Royal family events, first, at Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee, then the wedding of Duchess Meghan and Duke Harry of Sussex.

She has performing alongside greats including Elton John, Donnie Mc Clurkin, Andrea Crouch and many others, over the past 20 years.

In a Facebook post, Karen thanked all of her well-wishers stating: “I have just gotten home, I’m tired and I just want to sit down, but before the day is out, I just want to say, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the FB love.

“Honestly, it has been all of my intention to represent well. I wanted to make God, our families, friends and several communities of which we are a part, proud. I hope that we did that today.”

She went on to say, “If I’m to be honest, today has been unreal: the greatest, highest honor but totally unbelievable, and I’m still processing it all. It’s been wild are the words that keep coming to mind.”

“I would love to answer all your message of love, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get around to it. I’m not being lazy, but it’s a lot. However, I am so, so grateful to every single one of you – you have filled my love tank right up.

“May God bless your hearts real good, and let’s move forward together in whatever our sphere of influence may be. Work hard, be intentional, love with passion and seek to do everything with excellence. Peace,” concluded Ms. Gibson.

The Kingdom Choir was described by “The Sun” as a unique group of dedicated men and women, who blend choral discipline with the raw Gospel spiritual sound — drawn from an inner experience.”

According to the news outlet, in 2000 the group won BBC Radio 2s Minstrels in the gallery annual competition. In 2002, the choir was nominated for best UK Choir at the Oasis Awards.

Members of the choir have performed on TV, for advertisements, corporate launches and at venues including Royal Albert Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Martins in the Field and the Millennium Dome.

Karen is the gospel expert who appeared on TV show “Gareth Malone’s The Choir: Sing While You Work” in 2013, according the British Metro.

More from Around NYC