Middle Collegiate Church, a congregation “deeply committed to economic justice, marriage equality, LGBTI justice, and racial justice” will launch its first album, Welcome, at a concert on Sunday, July 1 at 6 PM. Written and composed by actor Tituss Burgess, the album is a blend of “gospel, jazz, and theatrical genres.” Burgess has appeared on Broadway in Jersey Boys, Good Vibrations, and Guys and Dolls, and originated the role of Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid. He has also appeared in a recurring role as D’Fwan on 30 Rock.
The song, Welcome, features vocals by Rev. Jacqui Lewis, who leads Middle Collegiate Church, and the music video for the song “We are the Ones” features Burgess, Jenny Powers (Grease, Little Women) and Alyson Palmer from the band BETTY ( music featured on The L-Word and Weeds) Dionne McClain-Freeney (This One Girl’s Story) is a co-producer on the album.
Burgess says he collaborated with Middle Collegiate Church on this album because “Middle Church cares about everyone. It's not a surface level concern. It runs deep. [Rev. Jacqui Lewis] stands on the side of justice. She calls out those who neglect civil rights.” In July 2011, on the first Sunday gay and lesbian couples could legally marry in New York State, Rev. Lewis performed a triple wedding at Middle Collegiate Church.
Albums are available as CDs and as a digital download. Congregants will share the “We are the Ones” music video in their social networks at the July 1 release concert.