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Meet Seattle's 'Queen Of Gospel'

Courtesy of Eula Scott Bynoe
From left to right: Eula Scott Bynoe from Hella Black Hella Seattle, Pastor Pat Wright, and Sound Effect producer Kevin Kniestedt.

This story originally aired on February 4, 2017.

Pastor Pat Wright can't read music, but she made a hit single as a solo R&B singer, performed for three U.S. presidents including Barack Obama, and sang at Jimi Hendrix's funeral.  

Wright began and continues to direct Seattle's renowned Total Experience Choir. Founded in 1973, the choir has performed for presidents, and toured in 28 countries and 33 states.

She attributes its success to the type of music they perform.

"You can't make old folks out of young people ... your music director has to find music they can identify with," says Wright.

She says if it weren't for the choir, many students would have ended up on the streets.

"I'm glad I'm out of the schools," Wright says, "We had so many parents complaining because it was gospel music, but they should have let their kids stay in because some of them would probably be still living today, 'cuz they got into a lot of junk out there."

Wright talked with "Hella Black Hella" Seattle co-host Eula Scott Bynoe about her career and the impact of the Total Experience Choir on the Northwest community.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.