By AMANDA GREENE
Religion News Wilmington
That’s not bad at all.
Georgia-based Southern gospel artist Karen Peck had just that story to tell last year when she was asked to play the master of ceremonies in the new film “Joyful Noise.” The film, released Jan. 13, is about a small town choir with big dreams to compete in a national church choir competition.
In the film, she sings Mighty High with a choir on purple-lit concert stage to start the competition.
Peck has been a fixture and powerful voice in the Southern Gospel scene for two decades. Now, she’s touring as Karen Peck & New River with her sister, Susan Peck Jackson, and “Gospel Dream” star Jeff Hawes.
You can hear Peck’s mighty voice this week as Karen Peck & New River perform at 7 p.m. Friday Jan. 27 at Wrightsboro .
Religion News Wilmington caught up with Peck on the road in Nashville this week for a quick chat.
Q: How did “Joyful Noise” come about for you?
A: “A year and a half ago, I got a call from a New York City casting agency who had been researching gospel artists for ‘Joyful Noise’ and wanted to offer me a small part and went to be the master of ceremonies for a church choir competition. It’s special to me because it was filmed all around the Atlanta area so it’s a Georgia-based film. I just had the best experience. I could not have chosen a better first movie. Everything just seemed to have fallen into place.”
Q: Did the spirituality of the other stars come through off-stage?
A: “Every cast member I spoke to was so gracious and so sweet. And I had a great conversation with Queen Latifah about the Lord. I thought it showed through with their acting. They really captured those parts and characters so well because they all have a personal relationship with Jesus.”
Q: Are the movies a new career path for you?
A: “I sure hope this will be a door open. This has been a dream come true. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Q: It seems there are fewer Southern Gospel family groups touring these days. What is the future for groups like yours?
A: “I think as long as the gospel needs to be heard there will always be a place for us to go. I think the future’s bright. I think there are a lot of great upcoming groups. With this recession going on, it does make it a little more difficult for a lot of groups to travel. But if we’re at the center of God’s will, he will make a way.”
Q: The phrase ‘joyful noise’ obviously comes from scripture. Is there a spiritual passage guiding your career right now?
A: “I guess the one I’ve been clinging to lately is ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Honestly, it’s realizing and understanding that I can’t do this on my own. I can’t stand on this stage every night on my own unless I have his strength. Honestly, I have seen what seemed like impossible things happen to me, literally just dropping in my lap. But I know that none of it would have happened had it not been for the Lord.”