Electronic Press Kit
Known MPLS, an audition-based gospel youth choir founded by Courtland Pickens in the summer of 2019, stands as a beacon of recognition and empowerment for young voices in Minneapolis. A vibrant extension of Voicez, Inc., a nonprofit music organization dedicated to nurturing the next generation of singers and composers across the Twin Cities, Known MPLS thrives under Courtland's direction.
Guided by the ethos of galvanizing youths aged 12-25 as catalysts for change, Known MPLS fosters a transformative space, instilling self-esteem, leadership, cultural appreciation, discipline, and a pursuit of excellence among its members.
Since its inception, Known MPLS has graced prestigious stages alongside renowned musical luminaries. Performances at iconic venues such as the Paisley Park for the Prince Annual Celebration, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and The Armory for the Annual Music for the Holidays attest to the choir's remarkable journey. Additionally, collaborations with acclaimed artists like Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, and appearances on national platforms alongside Shane & Shane highlight Known MPLS's unwavering commitment to musical excellence.
At its core, Known MPLS echoes Courtland's deep-rooted mission to cultivate the next generation of singers and songwriters. Recognizing music's capacity to uplift, heal, and unify communities, the choir aspires to be an agent of healing and empowerment, fostering a space where youth discover and amplify their voices.
"We aim to empower young dreamers by guiding them to find their voices. Music's ability to uplift, relieve stress, and unify communities inspires our pursuit. Our aspiration is to heal and unify our community through gospel music." — Courtland Pickens
WE ARE KNOWN, a testament to the choir's aspiration to be acknowledged, understood, and validated, resonates as a powerful testament to Known MPLS's commitment to nurturing young talent and fostering a harmonious community through the language of music.
The Ordway Theater - Soul's Anthem
St. Paul, MN
Timberwolves Game - Lift Every Voice & Great God
HOW THIS CHOIR HAS IMPACTED THE YOUTH
“It is very important to me that we train the next generation of singers & songwriters. Music can be very uplifting, a stress reliever, can bring peace, and also bring a community together! Gospel music heals, and it is my hope that through my music, our community can be healed. I hope to empower youth to follow their dreams by teaching them how to find their voice.”
I have always been a bit insecure about my voice because my voice can get really deep when I sing... until yesterday my director really boost my confidence about my low register! It’s only been a few months and he’s taught me so much!
I actually really love singing in my brother’s choir. I never thought it would be this awesome. I’m not even talking just about the voice. It’s really teaching me how to stay committed and getting me ready for other things in the future. Also, i’ve made so many new friends my age in this choir who feel the same way about god like I do. We pray together, we have fun together, we cry together, we eat together, and we sing together. We be city girls together . Thanks for the opportunity period Courtland Deon Pickens
Sincerely, City Girl Alto.
They are just phenomenal!! -Dana Brewington
Now that’s how you teach music 🎶. Excellent job with your community choir -Angela Stewart
"They sound amazing! What a wonderful instructor you are!!" -Angela Shackleford
"This is amazing!! Wish I was in this choir as a youth. They’re blessed." -Ashley Dubose
"I loved every moment of it! So glad you are giving them the opportunity to be in a safe environment to be artistic! It's amazing to watch!" -Tesa Johnson
Now accepting bookings! To book Known MPLS for an event please feel free to contact us with any inquiries.