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Gospel CD sales will help MSA

The Brookstock Musicians Guild is putting its faith in its latest project to raise money for the Mississippi School of the Arts.

“Brookstock Gospel” was conceived by the late Virgil Brawley and executed by Don Jacobs, Shaw Furlow and Tyler Bridge.

“It features original music by 13 local artists, including the Mississippi School of the Arts’ own gospel  choir, Total Praize,” Jacobs said. “It’s an excellent, well-produced album with some outstanding original music, destined to be another collectors’ item.”

The group of musicians put out a Christmas CD last year and raised enough to pay their expenses, make a $2,000 donation to MSA and put some seed money aside for this project. They decided that MSA would be the perfect recipient of their fundraising efforts.

Furlow said choosing a school that teaches music to high school juniors and seniors was an easy choice.

“We’re musicians, we’re artists, we’re teachers. That’s what we do,” Furlow said. “They’re the best in the state and using some of the worse equipment I’ve ever seen. They deserve to have the very best.”

One immediate need Furlow saw was equipment for Mary Jane Lampton Auditorium, which is on the MSA campus.

“They need a PA in the worse way over there at Lampton Auditorium,” he said.

Suzanne Hirsch, MSA’s executive director, said the $2,000 raised at Christmas will be combined with the gospel CD to purchase an adequate system.

“Lampton is such a difficult space to correct sound in due to the wood and vast space. The funds will be used to buy a system that will amplify and dampen the sound,” she said. “It will cost more than $2,000 to make that happen, so, we are putting the proceeds from the next CD with the first contribution to get the appropriate system.”

Total Praize, a student-led gospel group in its eighth year at MSA, contributed to the album.

“Our students were thrilled to be a part of this gospel CD,” she said. “We hope the community will enjoy their contribution to the album. The investment made by the Brookhaven musicians in our school means so much to our campus. It lets us know they believe in our mission and hopefully we will make them proud.”

The Brookstock Musicians Guild was excited that the Christmas CD sold so well.

“With the success of that, everybody just sort of got fired up and said, ‘Let’s do a gospel album,’” Furlow said.

Two more CDs are in the works —a rock and roll CD and then one focused on the blues.

“We’ll keep rotating it over until we run out out material or people who will support us, one or the other,” he said.

The album is available at Brookhaven Music & Sound Co. for $15 a copy. To receive a copy by mail, send $15 plus $3 shipping and handling per CD to Brookhaven Music & Sound, 203 Railroad Ave., Brookhaven, MS 39601. Make checks payable to Tyler Bridge. Copies are also available from Furlow. Email him at shaw.furlow@yahoo.com.