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Gospel group

Founded by a group of musicians who grew up together in East Elmhurst, the Ron Crichlow Ensemble, also known as RCE, is working on reaching people through their gospel music and also released their debut CD in November.
The group began in 2001 by playing performances during memorial services in East Elmhurst at the Leverich Memorial Church. As they did, they got positive feedback from listeners and also continued to find more singers for the ensemble.
Currently, its members are drummer Crichlow, guitarist and musical director Billye Arrington, bassist Randy Parks, keyboardist and vocal director Roy Leaper, and vocalists Reggie Spencer, Shirelle Woods, Tisha Hunter, Denise Blanks, Jackie Crane, Jasmine Hall and Donzella Johnson.
“It’s gospel music, but the members like to say it’s gospel music with a twist,” Crichlow said of the music RCE produces. He also said that the group wants their music to appeal to as many people as possible and not just to those who are already fans of gospel music.
Jamal Salter, the president of EBL Entertainment, which signed RCE, said that one factor that distinguishes RCE from other gospel groups is that that they are a full band and that there is a strong emphasis placed on the music. He said that with other gospel groups, there is typically only a piano and that the emphasis is placed more on the words.
The songs that RCE performs range from original tunes to hymnals to music from other groups that they have redone. On November 6, 2007, the group released their debut CD with EBL Entertainment, “The Path.” The tracks on it include “Awesome God,” “Everything Means Nothing,” “Children of God” and “Lift Up the Name of the Lord.
RCE began recording the CD three years ago. Initially, when they went into the recording studio they did not intend to record a full length album. But, as the process continued, they realized that it was turning into something much bigger than they had planned.
“It’s very exciting. It’s something that we thought would never happen,” Crichlow said, adding that the album has been well-received while also extending his gratitude to the Queens fans who have given their support. “It’s really giving new breath to the gospel industry I think.”
In releasing the CD, Crichlow said the hope is that people will listen to the messages of the songs and be put “on the path to their own knowledge.” He said that he hopes it will help them realize that God is there and has a plan.
RCE also still performs and Crichlow said they want to continue doing as many performances as possible. Along with doing shows in Queens, they have played in Long Island, New Jersey and Florida.
Crichlow also said that the group wants to give the CD a chance to be successful. They have also been considering songs for another album, although they have not started production on a follow-up CD yet.
“The Path” is available at major music retailers.
For more information on the Ron Crichlow Ensemble, visit www.rcegospel.com, www.ebl-entertainment.com, or https://www.myspace.com/rcegospel.

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