Minister Waltier Blocker
Walt Blocker began singing and acting at a very young age. His singing abilities changed very early in life when at the age of 10 his once soprano voice in the matter of months shifted to bass. During this transitional period Waltier began learning to play the flute, trombone and the piano and eventually began to lead the choir and play at his home church.
Walt later attended the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts where he majored in vocal music. Here he began to learn the in depth fundamentals of music. While attending CAPA he had the opportunity to work with such artist like Dr. Jay Fluellen, Lorraine Boisseau, and the world famous group Boys to Men, while also receiving in depth classical training. During his tenure at CAPA, students, for the 1st time were allowed to start their own gospel choir. This outstanding choir of trained singers began to sing and accept engagements all over the Pennsylvania tri-state area. Members later branched out and began singing as the Heavenly Hall Singers. This group of teenagers, led by Lorraine Boisseau and later Walt Blocker began to travel all over the country spreading the gospel. Later, Walt Blocker along with the remaining members founded, The Praise Ensemble, which also traveled and ministered all over the country for several years.
Walt Blocker continued his education at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and also The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He still is a bass soloist that is a force to be reckoned with. He’s won numerous awards and vocal competitions worldwide. This led him to extensive travel singing opera and classical music by way of choral, solo concerts and performances with The San Francisco Opera, The Chicago Opera Company, The Syracuse Opera Company, Opera North and the Pennsylvania Opera Theater Company just to name a few . Wanting to settle down from the busy life of traveling and assist his parents, who were both debilitating, he began teaching elementary school in Philadelphia. While in the Philadelphia area Walt began to return to his true passion and called ministry of gospel music and began choral directing and music ministry at several area churches. Having a passion for acting, he also held several leading roles in world renowned producer, Donald Welch, productions to include portraying a tribute to James Cleveland in “Walkin` By Faith”. This Full production traveled all over the east coast for several years. While working with Donald Welch on numerous plays he also had the opportunity to work with such artists like Mary Wilson, Freda Payne, Lawanda Page and many others.
In 1991 Walt Blocker was called to direct a gospel choir at the historic Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia. This concept and idea of gospel music started a change in worship for the entire Episcopal Church worldwide. Under his leadership and God’s grace, the St. Thomas Gospel Choir currently has 4 CD Recording which display his and the choirs various and diverse styles of gospel music. Walt Blocker and STGC have traveled as for as Costa Rica, won numerous competitions, regularly sings and writes music with the Philly Pops Orchestra and for The Washington National Cathedral.
Walt Blocker is known for being an accomplished Song Writer, Vocal Coach, Recording Producer Choral Director and Actor that demands EXCELLENCE. Being ordained a minister at the age of 12, Walt Blocker lives, moves, breathe and proclaims the word of God in everything he does.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
The St Thomas Gospel Choir
The ST. THOMAS GOSPEL CHOIR is based from and represents The Historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas that was founded by the Reverend Absalom Jones in 1792 in Philadelphia, PA. The current rector and overseer is The Reverend Canon Father Martini Shaw.
The STGC currently consists of 60 spirit-filled, energetic, singers, ministers and musicians of all ages and backgrounds.
The choirs membership represents over 15 different area churches and is open to anyone who loves God.
The STGC shares their music ministry at over 100 services, programs, concerts, and celebrations of all kinds every year.
Some of the choir’s ministry highlights include:
*STGC are the winners for the PHL Live Event held in Philadelphia as the 2016 Best in the Philadelphia Area in Gospel Music Category,
*Traveling to Memphis, TN in June of 2016 for the Rhythm of Gospel Awards and winning 2 awards
(Traditional CD of the Year and Producer of the Year)
*The STGC was selected to make a cameo appearance in Ralph Celestin’s movie “Boston2Philly, 2016
*In 2016, The Installation of Bishop Daniel G. P. Gutierrez, the 16th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania
*In 2015 STGC was the featured choir for the Installation Services held at the Washington National Cathedral for:
The current Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the 1st African American Presiding Bishop for the United States Episcopal Churches and in 2006, the former Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, the 1st female Presiding Bishop for the United States Episcopal Churches
*2014, Ministering at the National Convention of Gospel Choirs & Choruses (NCGCC) for their annual Founders Day held in New Orleans, LA
*STGC took part in the stage play “The Events” held at the Annenberg Theater in 2014
*Sang the national anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014, 2017,2018 and 2019
*STGC was the featured choir for the National Episcopal Youth Event, held at Villanova University in 2014
*In 2013, STGC Won 1st Place for the Northeast Regional Competition for “How Sweet the Sound” and also winning the Hope Line Award (This Live Concert/Competition was held at Radio City Music Hall to a sold out audience in New York City)
*In April of 2008, STGC was the featured choir at the World Women’s International Summit held at the Washington National Cathedral
*STGC was featured during the historic moving of the Liberty Bell to its new pavilion in 2003
*STGC has been featured on CBS 3 Talk Philly as well as ABC and Chasing News
*Regularly sings at The Barnes Foundation, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Constitution Center, and the Woodmere Art Museum
*Ministering at the Installation services of Rev. Betsy Ivey, Fr. Angelo Wildgoose, Fr. Isaac Bonney and Rev Brandon Joynes
*Chosen 300 ministries, several nursing homes, churches, schools, synagogues, weddings, funerals, festivals and celebrations of all kind
The STGC Music Recordings:
The music ministry of STGC has already reached thousands of thirsty souls and continues to reach many more. STGC released full music compilation CD’s in
2003: “Worship & Praise"
2006: “The Anointing Makes the Difference"
2009: "Glorious is Thy Name"
2015:“Glorious Is Thy Name" (Re-Released with the Tate Music Group)
2017: "Jubilant Sounds of Christmas"
Other CD Recordings Include:
2015: The Philly Pops, David Charles Abel, Guest Conductor, Christmas Extravaganza
2015: Lee Whitaker’s, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord
2011: Kikoriki-Team Invincible, Russian Movie Soundtrack
2010: Rhythm of Gospel Awards, Top Tunez
2007: Novartis, Lighten the Load
2004: Lee Daniels, The Woodsman, Movie Soundtrack
The St Thomas Gospel Choir has performed as far as San Jose and Limon in Costa Rica
also the STGC did an 11 day tour in Rome, Venice and Florence Italy in June of 2018.
The STGC also has also shared their joyous music at the Philadelphia Kimmel Center with the Philly POPS Orchestra for 9-11 performances during their Christmas Spectacular Concert series in December for the past 13 years and will join them again this Holiday Season.