Branson's Best: Bringing Glory to the Ozarks
courtesy of Tate Music Group
Never underestimate the power of music … Michael and Felicia Cole can truly attest to the power of a glorious melody to inspire and bring hope. Their children, Michael II, 18, Avery, 14, and Nadia, 11, unknowingly launched their vocal careers nearly four years ago when they sang to their mother, who was in a coma as a result of an automobile accident. While Avery and Nadia were too young to understand the extent of their mother’s injuries, they were aware of how sad their older brother was, and Michael remembers vividly how he felt when his mother responded: “it was absolutely amazing. I had a real feeling of assurance, of her progress. I would describe it as true happiness.”
Before Felicia’s accident, the three sang in church individually. Avery said it was pretty amazing how well their voices blended.
Realizing their gift, father Michael encouraged the children to sing to other patients, soon they began to sing in other venues and auditioned for the famed “Showtime at the Apollo”; and later for the hit TV show “America’s Got Talent.” The trio lit up the stage.
“I never thought we’d be on national television. Everyone liked us. Sharon cried when we sang,” Nadia said, referring to Sharon Osbourne, who serves as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.” She was moved to tears — and the crowd to their feet — by their performance.
“There are no limits to what God can do. We’ve been given so many great opportunities, and He’s opened so many doors,” Avery said.
Their appearance on “America’s Got Talent” was just the beginning. Since the Voices gained national attention, they’ve performed before audiences at Madison Square Garden and at the 41st Annual GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Awards; on “The Jim Bakker Show”; and on “Bobby Jones Gospel” on BET (Black Entertainment Television).
The Cole family is, as one would imagine, proud of the success the siblings have had. “Our dad always encourages us. He tells us to keep dreaming and shoot for the stars,” Avery said. “Yes, he said from the beginning, ‘You can make it all the way,” Nadia said, agreeing.
Their uncle Gerard Cole serves as their manager. “The Voices of Glory’s success has been incredible. They often receive standing ovations, and audiences compare their sound to internationally-known artists … Nadia’s been compared to Whitney Houston; Avery to a young Michael Jackson; and Michael to Barry White … we’re so pleased with how well everything has come together.”
Each of the members is studying instruments and hope to one day be skilled enough to play during performances. They’ve been influenced musically by singers/musicians. “ I love a wide variety of artists … I like music with a message,” Michael said.
This month, the Voices of Glory bring their own message of encouragement, hope and love with their self-titled, debut CD, set to release Jan. 7. The CD has 13 cuts including a remake of Whitney Houston’s megahit “The Greatest Love of All,” in which Nadia displays her powerhouse talent, and her favorite cut “You Untie My Wings” — “I like this song because it encourages you to overcome adversity,” — Avery’s favorite “Believe” and Michael’s favorite “Lord I Want to Thank You.” Cole feels “Father Who Cares,” which is the first single with their label Tate Music Group, will be a big hit. “The message in this song is for everyone: you may not have a physical father, but you do have a Father, a heavenly Father, who cares,” he said.
In March 2010, the family moved from Highland, NY to Branson, Mo., and performs before awe-inspired audiences who, as Osbourne was, are often moved to tears. If you’d like to experience the Voices of Glory live, attend their CD release party at 8 p.m., Jan. 7 at the Icon Theatre, 3307 W. 76 Country Blvd., in Branson.
So, who would the Voices of Glory most love to perform with? What songs inspire them? Their answers may surprise you.
Nadia: “Musically I look up to CeCe Winans, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and Carrie Underwood. I love gospel music.”
Avery: “I love the song ‘I Hope You Dance.’ It’s so inspirational.”
Michael: “I listen to Anthony Hamilton, The Black Eyed Peas, Kirk Franklin … I’d love to perform with Stevie Wonder. Not only does he create great music, he’s had such longevity. I also look up to Andre 3000 [of the group Outkast]. He plays like 13 instruments. I ‘d like to talk to him … ‘to pick his brain.’”
For more information about the Voices of Glory, future performances and/or to purchase their CD “Voices of Glory,” visit their website voicesofglory2020.com or e-mail Gerard Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org.