Higher Praise Gospel Choir will present a benefit concert Sunday, Aug. 15 at 2:30 p.m. at Thomaston Baptist Church, 112 Main St./Route 1. The concert is sponsored by Down East Singers, and proceeds will be shared equally between Haiti relief and Down East Singers.

Higher Praise Gospel Choir, founded in 1985, is made up of singers from the greater Boston area and is the Boston chapter choir of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Its music is a combination of traditional and contemporary gospel and it has toured the United States. Higher Praise founder Melvin Murphy has performed with many gospel greats including Shirley Caesar, Al Green, JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise, as well as country singer Charlie Daniels. Most of the songs performed by Higher Praise were written and arranged by the Rev. Murphy.

Down East Singers artistic director Anthony Antolini said that in the mostly white Midcoast population, people sing gospel music and enjoy it.

“But from time to time we need the inspiration of hearing gospel music sung by experts. We can learn from them just by being physically present when they make their music. Higher Praise Gospel Choir sets about the highest standard we could reach for in their singing,” he said.

Funds raised for Haiti relief will be distributed by Episcopal Relief and Development to aid Haiti earthquake victims without regard to creed or religious affiliation.

Reserved seating is $35, general admission is $25 and youth tickets for those younger than 18 are $8. Tickets may be ordered in advance on the Down East Singers’ Web site, downeastsingers.org, or by calling 273-2471. Tickets also will be available at the door on a space-available basis.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.