A pivotal force in the advancement of contemporary choir movements of the 1970’s, Myrna Summers is a Gospel Music singer who has performed professionally for over four decades. She has a commanding yet distinctive alto voice.
IMD Living Trailblazer and Stellar award winner — Summers was born in Washington D.C. on March 30, 1949. Her parents were members of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), and she performed in services at the Refreshing Springs Church in Riverdale, Maryland from a very early age. She attended the McKinley Tech High School, and went on to the University of Maryland and the Toutorsky Academy of Music where she received formal piano training.
She formed a group the Refreshingnettes in the early 1960s. The group recorded “Pray Your Troubles / I’m Determined” for HOB Records. Her original compositions “God Gave Me a Song” (1970) and “Give Me Something to Hold On To” (1979) earned her Grammy Award nominations. She was the 1970 recipient of the Gospel Music Workshop of America’s Mahalia Jackson Award album entitled “We Going To Make It” became one of her best-selling recordings in June 1988 and won a 1989 Stellar Award for Best Traditional Gospel Artist (Female). She is widely known for her collaborations with Timothy Wright, the Dallas Fort-Worth Mass Choir and Ambassadors for Christ.
She has performed at Madison Square Garden, the Apollo Theater and the Lincoln Center in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and in London, England and Frankfurt, Germany. She has also performed for the USO, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition Prayer Breakfast, and at countless church services and programs across the nation and abroad.
Summers said her goal is “to raise the spiritual consciousness of men, women, boys, and girls through the presentation of evangelistic gospel music, hopefully bringing about spiritual conviction that would lead to the acceptance of Jesus Christ”. The evangelist is the founder of Myrna Summers’ G.U.T.S.A.Y. (Gospel United to Save All Youth).
Summers was Minister of Music at Refreshing Spring COGIC before joining Reid Temple A.M.E Church in Glenn Dale, Maryland in 1999, where she serves as the Minister of Music. As Minister of Music at Reid Temple she is the leader of the church’s five choirs and orchestra, and the Director of the Mass Choir.
Summers remains faithful to her roots, often lending her ministry of song to the International Mass Choir and the International Conventions of the Church Of God In Christ. The International Music Department salutes and honors this living trailblazer among us.