The launch of the Individuals Dedicated to the Ministry of Christ (IDMC) gospel choir’s 9th musical album in London, on February 21, 2018, was a captivating and far-reaching testament to the purpose and power of unity. The event, which formed part of the choir’s 24th year anniversary, was a collaborative effort between IDMC, PK Media and the Jamaican High Commission and followed on a long history of impactful joint activities.
Both IDMC and PK Media are members of the Government of Jamaica’s Adopt-a-Clinic programme through which corporate entities across the globe are channelling resources into the development of 320 health clinics in Jamaica and of which the UK chapter is facilitating 55 clinic adoptions. Paul Harrison, Director of PK Media and Chairman of the Adopt-a-Clinic programme’s UK chapter, was keynote speaker at the event.
With the IDMC Director and members being of Jamaican heritage, the group was invested in learning Jamaica’s National Anthem and opening their album launch at the Jamaican High Commission with it, which “was totally awesome,” says Harrison. Bishop Eric Brown, one of the founding members of the New Testament Church of God, did the opening prayer. High Commissioner His Excellency Seth George Ramocan welcomed the choir and congratulated them on their celebration of their 24th Anniversary.
It’s difficult to overstate the calibre of IDMC’s work as a gospel choir. Originally founded in 1993, the group blazed its own trail in 2001 with the landmark album, ‘Take it to the Streets’, which introduced the world to a new generation of sound coming out of Britain. Their profile has risen consistently since then. Some of their most notable performances include their second live recording at the Ealing Christian Centre in London, Luciano Pavarotti’s wedding in Italy, the ‘Thriller – Live’ tour and the London 2012 Olympics.
Through their most recent album, ‘Hide Away’, IDMC has set out to cultivate a stronger spirit of unity in their London community and, with a great sense of immediacy, have positioned it to serve as a counterforce against the spike in knife crimes now being experienced.
The occasion was also part of a thrust to transform the Jamaican High Commission, as a location, into a more accessible and more accessed space, where Jamaicans and their descendants meet to grow in their awareness of each other’s expertise and build connections with outstanding professionals and corporate entities.
As Harrison put it, “The most powerful weapon that we have today is unity, supporting each other in love, in our charity endeavors, business, and spreading the good news.” He further explained that, “We believe that this will bring about a change. Now every person of color should be able to name at least 4 to 5 Jamaican companies supporting diaspora groups, both here in the UK and Jamaica; and know that Jamaica is more than just a beach.”
The event was well-supported, with attendees including Jazz singer Cleveland Watkiss and Basil Meade, Director of the London Community Gospel Choir (both of whom have recently been honoured with an MBE – Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), Ann Mitchell of the East Enders and Comedian Angie Le Mar, among many other remarkable Jamaicans and well-wishers.
Pastor Michael White of the Tabernacle Church gave the blessing and prayed for the success of the IDMC’s 9th album, of which every attendee received a copy.
Gift presentations were made to His Excellency Seth George Ramocan on behalf of IDMC by Karen Harrison, Director of PK Media, and the Choir Director, John Fisher, who presented the new album.
Part proceeds of ‘Hide Away’ will go towards IDMC’s adopted clinic – Browns Town Health Centre in St Ann, Jamaica.