Donald Lawrence & The Tri City Singers
One of the most popular Gospel choirs of the 1990s, Donald Lawrence And The Tri City Singers also managed to make waves with the secular media similar to a handful of other Christian acts during the decade. But the success could not have been possible without several key individuals working behind the scenes, lending their talents to launch one of today’s premier Gospel music groups.
Perhaps most visible was producer, songwriter and musical director Donald Lawrence, who also performs with the group. Born with a love for music, Donald Lawrence earned a Bachelor Of Fine Arts Degree from the prestigious Cincinnati Conservatory. His list of accolades is a long one, including musical director for Stephanie Mills; vocal coach for the popular group En Vogue; songwriter for the Clark Sisters and the Gospel Workshop of America; and producer for Peabo Bryson, Kirk Franklin and others. In addition, he has written and directed several Gospel musicals and plays. His reputation for quality production was established early on, and he has been often sought after in both Gospel and mainstream music alike. Lawrence first came to work with Tri City Singers when his friend stepped down from his role as musical director. Lawrence stepped in and soon enlisted the group to showcase his work, which became their first collaboration, A Songwriter’s Point Of View.
Soon after Lawrence became part owner of the Detroit based Crystal Rose Records and signed the group as one of the label’s premier artists. Lawrence insists that none of his efforts should be mentioned without crediting Kevin Bond, his close friend and production associate. “Most every project I have worked on has been done with the help of Kevin,” Lawrence explains. “We work very closely, and I couldn’t do what I do without him.” Lawrence and Bond met through Stephanie Mills, of which Bond played keyboard and Lawrence was musical director for several years.
Donald contributes his extensive mainstream music experience to Tri-City Singers, a 34-member choir who represent three distinctive areas in North Carolina: Spartanburg, South Carolina, Gastonia and Charlotte, North Carolina. Among the many Gospel choirs that existed today ,the group has become known for its quality of music much to the credit of Lawrence.