It's time for new year gospel singing at Memorial Auditorium

The Primitive Quartet
The Primitive Quartet

The Primitive Quartet will perform at this year's New Years Gospel Singing.

Photo provided
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 at 5:28 p.m.

It's the beginning of a new year.


Want to go?

What: 27th annual New Year’s Gospel Singing
Where: Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, 385 N. Church St.
When: 6 p.m. Saturday Tickets: $15 in advance, $17 at the door
Information: 582-8107 or

For some, it's a time for setting resolutions, joining a gym, or starting new diets.

But for at least 1,500 people, it's time to enjoy some Southern gospel music at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.

“Some of the same people come each year, and it's kind of like a reunion,” said Jonathan Pitts, assistant manager of the auditorium.

The 27th annual New Year's Gospel Singing begins at 6 p.m. Saturday. The event, which usually runs well into the night — sometimes even past midnight — features performances by four leading acts: The McKameys, Brian Free and the Assurance, the Primitive Quartet and The Diplomats.

The show is “a great, positive way to bring in the new year,” Pitts said. “You will get at least four-and-a-half hours of non-stop music.”

And each performing group is well-known to fans of gospel music. The McKameys, who have been performing since 1954, have 16 No. 1 singles — the most chart-topping hits in the history of Southern gospel music. The group has released an album a year since 1981.

Brian Free, a tenor who formerly sang with the Gold City Quartet, formed Brian Free and the Assurance in 1993. Since its beginning, the group has released more than 20 albums and has been nominated for several gospel music awards.

Tickets for the show are $15 in advance or $17 at the door.

“It's a really good value,” Pitts said. “And the artists are really accessible. They mingle (with fans) out in the lobby between sets. It's a laid-back show.”

Pitts, who sees a myriad of musical acts perform at the auditorium throughout the year, says he really enjoys this event.

“I like this music, it's pretty good. You get the bass singer, the tenor, all these different harmonies,” he said. “It's music you don't hear as often anymore.”

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