- Holiday concert features local orchestra and choir -
When CeCe Winans, the bestselling female gospel artist of all time asks to see you before a show, you have just got to say yes.
That happened to Vicki Yohe, the Baton Rouge-based gospel singer, songwriter and worship leader, who will perform at The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center in Humble Dec. 11.
“CeCe has always been such an inspiration for me,” said Vicki. “We were both scheduled to perform at a concert and 20 minutes before the show, one of her people told me that CeCe would like to see me.”
When they met face-to-face, Winans told Vicki how much she liked her music and “ … I am starting a record label. I would love for you to be my first artist,” she recalled.
It took six months of prayer and reflection because, Vicki said, “I didn’t want to sign because I was a fan but because this was something God wanted me to do.”
When she called, CeCe told her, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Lake Houston has been waiting for Vicki Yohe, too. While she has performed numerous times at Grace Church Humble at the Beltway and Interstate 69 — in fact, she attended college with Grace Senior Pastor Scott Jones — this is her first time to bring her praise and worship experience to The Bender.
“I am going to be doing some traditional and not-so-traditional music,” she said. “There are many good voices out there, but my focus isn’t for people to say that I sing well. I want them to say that my voice touched them.”
She is excited to be performing with a live chorus and orchestra. Two notable Lake Houston area artists are adding their talents to Vicki’s performance. Heath Vercher, music minister at Lakeside United Methodist Church, is arranging the music, and Phil O’Neal, Atascocita United Methodist worship leader and choir director at Woodcreek Middle School, will lead the chorus. Choir and band members are all from the Lake Houston area.
Vicki Yohe has never done anything else. Her dad traveled and she went with him. She recalls her minister father putting her on a stool and singing to the congregation. She was a ventriloquist, “ … I can talk under my breath really good,” she played saxophone and drums, and was a majorette, but she gave it all up to sing. When she was 25, an aunt gave her the money to record her first album, a cassette.
“That is how I got started. I’ve never done anything else since but travel and sing,” she said.
But 250 dates a year for 30 years, performing in 42 countries eventually takes its toll.
“I remember being on the road, again, and in a church performing on a Sunday morning. Seeing the families sitting together. Enjoying the day,” she said. “That is what I wanted, and the pandemic forced me to stay home with my two boys and not leave them. It has been awesome.”
“I have no intention of going back on the road. I loved that season, but it is over. Now I am very selective,” she said.
Vicki picked Humble for one of her performances and that is why Lake Houston is lucky to get Vicki Yohe at The Bender Dec. 11.
Listen to Vicki’s music and learn more about her on her website, vickiyohe.org.
The Bender’s 2021 season ends with the Vicki Yohe Holiday Concert but Jennifer Wooden, director of The Bender and the Humble Civic Center, already has fresh performances planned for the 2022 season beginning with a Night at the Ballet Jan. 15, Canadian blues guitarist and singer Sue Foley Feb. 11 and Houston’s own Ally Venable Band back at The Bender July 9.
To purchase tickets for any of the 2022 events and to experience the inspiration of Vicki Yohe backed by a live orchestra and choir Dec. 11, humblepac.com, or 281-446-4140. Tickets are $20.