In the News

Mayor Sarno Congratulates Springfield’s Own Elder Terrence Haynes and Voices of Praise for their Role in the Upcoming Movie about Whitney Houston - ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno congratulated Springfield’s own Elder Terrence Haynes and Voices of Praise for their accomplishments in landing a role in the upcoming movie ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’, a joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of Emmy and Grammy award winner Whitney Houston, singer, actress and the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time. The movie is scheduled to debut in 2022.

Mayor Sarno stated, “When my Mayoral Aide Coach Lavar Click-Bruce brought this wonderful news to my attention, I knew we had to get the Choir and Mr. Terrence Haynes together here at City Hall to recognize and honor them for this great achievement.  Congratulations to Elder Terrence Haynes and all of the vocalist of the Voices of Praise on this tremendous accomplishment.  Everyone in Springfield is truly proud of you and we are looking forward to watching and hearing your voices in this upcoming movie about the celebration of life of one of the world’s most beautiful talents and voices, Whitney Houston.  To this day, her performance of our beloved Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV, during the Persian Gulf War, remains one of the most iconic and patriotic performances ever.”

“It was absolutely wonderful to have Terrence Haynes and members of the Voices of Praise at City Hall,” Mayor Sarno added.  “It was beautiful to hear their collective voices singing throughout the halls of City Hall.”  

Voices of Praise, also known as DMJ is a Community Choir here in Springfield with members representing over 12 churches in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.  DMJ or David Marshall Jackson was known as Springfield’s Community Choir Man and Pianist for many years. 

Terrence Haynes stated, “It has been important to keep this Choir going because it is our mission as singers of Gospel Music to spread to good news on encouragement and what a way to do it by coming together in fellowship as one. (DMJ) David Marshall Jackson was also the man who gave me my first opportunity to direct a choir so it's important to me to keep his memory alive to recognize his contribution to where I am today.”

Haynes continued “This journey started in June of 2021 when I received word from New York to submit my choirs tape to audition for the part. Nervously, I did and didn't tell anyone but my mom, Pastor Gwen Haynes, and I prayed and left it in God's hands. Two weeks later on a Wednesday I received a phone call from the casting company saying they liked us and wanted to move us to the next phase of the audition, which was to submit a video of the choir singing "Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah" that needed to be in by 12am that Sunday night.  So I call an emergency zoom call with the choir explaining everything and they were all excited and on board. The Sunday we gathered together and completed the task. The original tapping date was scheduled for July but had to be changed and they would be in touch.  The final selection was up to the director. We kept going and heard nothing for months.  October 2021, I was at work and received a call from the casting advisor she was so excited saying "You got the Part!".  I was super excited and kinda didn't know what to do, I was in shock. Then the work came we had 2 weeks to get ready. Every day was emails, paperwork, music, fittings, etc., but GOD allowed everything to run smoothly and on October 20th we made history for our choir representing our City, our Churches, family and most importantly God. We are so humbled and thankful to God for Blessing us with this opportunity.”

Elder Terrence Haynes and Voices of Praise did their taping on Wednesday, October 20th in Boston from the Peoples Baptist Church with Naomi Ackie, playing the role of Whitney Houston and Actress Tamara Tunie playing the role of Cissy Houston.  Director Kasi Lemmons, Music Producer Rickey Minor, and Writer Anthony McCarten were all on set as well.

Members of the Voices of Praise include:    


Terrence J Haynes - Director



1.Overseer Gwen Haynes

2.Showna Denyse Kelley

3.Charisse Freeman

4. Rev Joy Barrett-Howard

5.Darlene Williams

6.Linda Chalk

7. Tammie Terry

8. Kenya Richardson

9. Min Terry A Reynolds

10. Evangelist Roeshell Y. Hamlet-Sciaraffa

11. Krista General



12. Sonya Crapps

13. Vanessa Cofer

14. Chappella Hernandez Rabess

15. Sheila Douglas Shepard

16. Elder Karen Griffin Eberhart

17. Machelle Smith

18. Patryce Archie

19. Antoinette Smith

20. Evangelist Melissa Johnson

21. Pastor Yashica Haynes-Blue



22 Leishia Boone

23 Jermaine Leggett

24 Min Kevin Jiles

25 Brian Bailey

26. Jan Washington

27 Carolyn Spencer-Holmes

28 Francine Pina-council

29 Min James Odom

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm