Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Petula Backles, Dr. Sabrina Prieur
Series Code: MGNH
Program Code: MGNH000025
00:01 Magnify the Lord with me
00:04 Magnify the Lord
00:08 Jesus alone He is worthy
00:11 Magnify Him
00:15 Hello, and welcome to "Magnify Him."
00:18 My name is Yvonne Lewis.
00:19 Thank you so much for tuning in.
00:22 Today we have two anointed young women with unique styles
00:26 and they're going to minister to you in song.
00:28 That's the operative word, minister.
00:31 So kick back as we magnify Him together.
00:36 Magnify the Lord with me
00:39 Magnify Him
00:44 I'd like to welcome Petula Beckles
00:46 to "Magnify Him."
00:48 Welcome. Thank you so much.
00:50 It's so great to have you.
00:51 I was listening to you earlier
00:53 and your voice is just so mellow and it just flows,
00:58 have you always been a singer?
01:00 I have. I was born into a, you know, singing family.
01:03 We were Seventh-day Adventist
01:04 from back in Trinidad and Tobago.
01:07 I have six older brothers. Oh, wow.
01:10 My mother's side of the family, they were just--
01:12 I would say life for experiential singers,
01:14 they will sing whenever they're happy, sad, angry,
01:16 whatever it is, you know, how they're feeling
01:19 based on the energy that was in their vocals.
01:22 My father's side of the family, you know,
01:24 they're all musicians, teachers and, you know, vocalists
01:27 and, you know, organists and such so,
01:30 you know, we grew up singing.
01:31 So music's in your DNA. Absolutely.
01:33 Oh, that's incredible.
01:35 So at what point did you realize
01:36 that you wanted to sing for Jesus?
01:39 Well, I always wanted to sing for Jesus,
01:40 I think I was always a bit shy, I think because my brothers,
01:44 they had enough vocals for me so, you know what I mean?
01:47 And I was kind of--
01:48 Did they pick on you?
01:50 No, actually they didn't, they didn't.
01:52 We got along for the most part.
01:55 But I think it was in my teenage years,
02:00 in the high school, straight out of the high school
02:01 my first job was a karaoke singer on the island
02:06 so that was just like, oh, wow, you know,
02:08 I can actually sing and they appreciate it,
02:10 and I go, why not, you know, do it for Christ?
02:14 I mean, it's all about Christ,
02:16 you know, His love, He died for us
02:17 and this is our purpose here.
02:19 So I came to the US, I went to school in Texas
02:23 and I got a full scholarship for the chamber in Corral,
02:27 a chamber choir in Corral in the college.
02:30 And so straight out of school, you know, I moved to Florida
02:34 and it was a lot of journey but the first song
02:37 that I wrote pretty much set--
02:40 good friend of mine, Mark Prentice,
02:41 who I think has been your guest.
02:43 Yes, he's been here, yes.
02:44 Yes, he and I would worship together on Fridays
02:46 and one Friday he said to me, "I'm coming next Sabbath
02:50 and when I come back I want to see your finished song"
02:52 and that was that.
02:55 Wow. What was the finished song?
02:56 "Today I will shout," that was my first song ever written.
02:59 Oh, wow and how old were you when you wrote it?
03:01 Um, I was about 26 or 27.
03:06 Wow, you don't look older than that now
03:08 so I'm not even going to go there.
03:10 Thank you.
03:12 That's wonderful so when he went back, you had a song...
03:16 Finished song, I had just purchased a guitar
03:18 and I didn't know how to play it
03:20 but I would pick things out of the guitar
03:22 and we'd just, from there I wrote the song.
03:24 Oh, wow, that's incredible.
03:26 So now what are you doing musically?
03:29 What's your ministry now?
03:31 Um, I'm just, I'm writing and I'm singing a lot.
03:35 I am a street musician, Music Under New York Program,
03:38 I'm-- Oh, tell us about that.
03:39 Well, in-- when I initially came to the US,
03:43 I would go through New York City
03:45 and, you know, through the subway system,
03:47 you'll see these musicians playing on the side
03:49 but everybody will do their,
03:51 you know, whatever their genre was
03:52 but I'm like, oh, this is a great way to do ministry,
03:56 why not get into this?
03:57 And so I, uh, straight out of my tour last year,
04:00 I went and auditioned, they sent me an invitation
04:03 that I'd been accepted for the audition and I went.
04:07 I think that morning we drove in,
04:09 and that same morning I had to rush to Grand Central Station
04:12 to do the audition and I did and two weeks later,
04:15 they're like, you're accepted
04:16 and I'm like, oh, this is like
04:18 out of a list of like 600 and something musicians
04:21 and I was able to,
04:23 you know, God really did His thing.
04:25 That's tremendous. Amen.
04:26 You know, a lot of people might not realize
04:28 what a subway musician does,
04:31 but in going, you know, back and forth in New York,
04:36 I would see people singing or playing
04:38 or something, personally, I'm just so--
04:41 I'm shy, I'm too shy to do that,
04:43 I think it takes a certain--
04:45 I don't know, I guess a certain anointing to do that
04:48 because that's like,
04:50 that's such a blessing to be able to minister that way.
04:52 It is--
04:53 And they're not worried about who's walking by
04:56 and thinking anything or whatever.
04:58 It gets-- sometimes it gets a little bit tricky.
05:00 Initially when I had-- 'cause it's a three hour slot.
05:03 I have to sing for three hours continuously.
05:06 And so it's a lot, the first time,
05:08 you know, I went, I was like, oh, yeah, I can do this
05:10 and I sang, I think after half hour I was just like...
05:14 I'm done but, you know,
05:17 just kind of moving on and going along.
05:21 Sometime it feels a little bit weird when, you know,
05:23 folks are passing and it's like, they come in
05:26 because they hear, you know, the vocals
05:27 but then they stand for a second
05:29 and they realize, wait, no, it's gospel
05:31 and you can see them fighting themselves like,
05:34 should I stand up?
05:35 Should I walk away?
05:36 Sometimes they'll walk away and they come back
05:37 and they're like, wait, this is good but it's gospel.
05:40 And so it reminded me because one of my aim was--
05:45 is to be that girl to take the gospel message
05:48 the last heir that needs to hear it before Christ comes
05:51 and I'm like, well, I don't really need to go
05:53 to the ends of the world to do that
05:54 because the ends of the world are coming
05:55 through the subway system right here.
05:57 Come on, come on.
05:58 So, you know, I'm like, God is putting me wherever,
06:02 you know, this is where He's putting me
06:03 so I'm like, hey, Lord, do Your thing, just use me.
06:06 That is so wonderful. Amen.
06:09 God has His ways of using us wherever we are.
06:15 Listen to Petula as she ministers to you in song.
06:35 When all my labors and trials are o'er
06:43 And I am safe on that beautiful shore
06:49 Just to be near the dear Lord I adore
06:55 Will through the ages be glory for me
07:05 O that will be glory for me
07:13 Glory for me, glory for me
07:20 When by His grace I shall look on His face
07:30 That will be glory, be glory for me
07:57 Friends will be there, I have loved long ago
08:03 Joy like a river around me will flow
08:10 And just a smile from my Savior, I know
08:15 Will through the ages be glory for me
08:24 O that will be glory for me
08:31 Glory for me, glory for me
08:36 When by His grace I shall look on His face
08:46 That will be glory That will be glory
08:54 O that will be glory for me
09:19 Well, this next song is just a reminder of
09:21 how much I'm dependent on Jesus Christ.
09:24 Without Him I am nothing.
09:25 And with this song I just want to invite you
09:27 to have Him come into your heart
09:29 and have Him walk with you every step of the way.
09:58 I want Jesus to walk with me
10:11 I want Jesus to walk with me
10:24 All along my pilgrim journey
10:37 I want Jesus to walk with me
10:50 In my trials, Lord, walk with me
11:02 In my trials, Lord, walk with me
11:15 When the shades of life are falling
11:28 I want Jesus to walk with me.
11:41 In my sorrow, Lord, walk with me
11:49 I want You to walk with me
11:53 In my sorrows, Lord, walk with me
12:06 When the shades of life are falling
12:18 I want Jesus to walk with me.
12:31 Walk with me, Lord, please walk with me
12:39 I want You to walk with me
12:43 Walk with me, Lord, please walk with me
12:53 When my heart within
13:01 When my heart within is aching, is breaking
13:08 I want Jesus to walk with me
13:36 Magnify the Lord with me
13:39 Magnify Him
13:44 Sabrina Prieur is a multifaceted woman.
13:47 She's actually Dr. Sabrina Prieur,
13:50 welcome to "Magnify Him."
13:51 Thank you, very happy to be here.
13:53 You know, your tone on the flute is just so beautiful.
13:58 Thank you. It's so pure and clear.
14:01 Tell us how long have you been playing.
14:03 Well, I've started just like probably a thousand musicians,
14:07 in elementary school when they had a band program
14:09 and going up to those ranks and then of course
14:13 I don't think I really got serious about playing
14:15 until I went to Oakwood.
14:16 Ah, Oakwood. Let's hear it for the Oaks.
14:18 Of course, that's right, Oakwood.
14:20 And a lot of people,
14:22 they think of Oakwood as a theology school
14:24 but it's really an undercover performing arts school
14:26 and so...
14:28 It is so true, you know, when I went to Oakwood,
14:30 which we won't say when, but when I went there,
14:33 it's like everybody does something,
14:35 everybody sings or plays a piano
14:38 or plays an instrument or something,
14:39 there's so much talent there.
14:41 That's right.
14:42 So you started in elementary school
14:44 but then at Oakwood, did you kind of blossom or--
14:47 I did, I did and I learnt to--
14:50 I was already a musician who can play by ear
14:52 which is great because it doesn't limit you
14:54 to the type of music you can play
14:56 but when you get to Oakwood,
14:57 there are so many different people
14:59 who are really masters of their crafts at such a young age.
15:03 It forces you to really become more well-rounded
15:08 in what you can do with your technique,
15:09 with your tone, with the types of music you can play,
15:12 not just playing in the standard church keys,
15:15 you know, D-flat, you know,
15:16 you could play in some of the other ones too
15:18 but just by listening and being around
15:21 so many awesome musicians.
15:22 I played with eLDee I played with Sheila Frazier
15:26 then the Stephen Mackey's and Xavier O'Connor's,
15:28 the Eric Griggs,
15:30 all people now who are making money doing music.
15:34 Those are the people who I got to hang around
15:36 and hone my craft around at their expense of their ears
15:39 and their studio time.
15:42 I'm sure they might say the same about you,
15:43 you know, that they got to hang with you
15:46 and kind of hone their craft as well.
15:48 But that's what happens at Oakwood.
15:51 I mean, you have the best singers
15:53 anywhere to me, are there.
15:55 I think part of it is, you know,
15:59 just the place, the spirituality, you know,
16:02 everybody is coming together from all over the country
16:05 and actually all over the world.
16:07 That's right.
16:08 And you just get the best,
16:09 you get the cream with the crops so...
16:10 There's, you know, a lot of Caribbeans there,
16:12 people from Bermuda.
16:14 And you have all these cultures mixing in
16:16 so you really get to play any and everything there
16:19 and it's just, it's a great way to really develop as a musician
16:24 so now when people go out, when you go out back home to--
16:26 I'm from California so...
16:29 We go back home, people know
16:31 that if you went to Oakwood, oh, she's okay.
16:33 Yeah, yeah. Kind of gives you clearance, right?
16:36 Yeah, it's almost like a free pass.
16:38 Everybody that didn't go to Oakwood,
16:39 don't feel badly because if you go there and visit,
16:42 maybe you can get like an honorary Oakwood pass
16:44 or something, no,
16:46 but Oakwood really was a blessing for me as well.
16:49 That's right. As well it was for me.
16:51 So after you left,
16:52 what did you do in music after you left college?
16:55 After I left Oakwood, I went back home to California
16:58 and there I play a lot in the churches
17:00 down there in the bay area and northern California
17:03 and I also, later on, I started choir directing
17:06 which I really enjoy it
17:07 because now I get to kind of do what I want.
17:11 But I enjoy that because when I was about 14 or 15,
17:15 we had-- my foster mother actually,
17:18 she took over the choir which sounded...
17:21 not very good.
17:23 It's quite painful, and she took over that choir
17:26 and it really blossomed
17:27 and so that had a lasting effect on me
17:29 because I'm not a vocalist but I do very well as a backup.
17:34 Backup, backup, I'm not a vocalist.
17:37 So now I can take those same skills
17:39 and help other people to really--
17:41 who aren't necessarily going to be up there
17:43 for a 11 o'clock service but they like to sing
17:46 and I can use those skills to help them in an area
17:49 where they could be successful
17:50 and sound good and enjoy their ministry
17:52 so I really enjoy choir directing.
17:54 That's so good, you know, it's so amazing what God does
17:57 because even though this is not what you do for living,
18:00 you could because you're talented enough
18:02 but it's not what you do for living
18:04 and yet God has planted you somewhere
18:06 where you can just again, blossom and grow
18:09 and help others to blossom and grow as well.
18:12 So that is really, really great.
18:15 What do you do for living?
18:16 Tell us what you do with your day job?
18:19 My day job-- because it's very difficult
18:22 to make a living as a musician but in the daytime I teach--
18:26 I'm actually at a small HBCU college down in Alabama
18:29 and I teach kinesiology and,
18:32 which is a fancy word for the study of movement.
18:35 And thesis writing courses, a couple different classes
18:38 and I also work in the athletic department
18:39 which is probably more of my favorite part of the job,
18:44 is working with athletics because I was a phys-Ed major,
18:46 I was a multi-sport athlete so I love working with people
18:49 and it actually, is what I think I was called to do
18:54 because it's the health ministry with an athletic
18:57 so it's a great way to promote health
19:01 and well being through a competitive sport forum.
19:04 That's great.
19:05 Well, we're gonna listen to Sabrina minister
19:08 to us in music.
23:39 The next I'm going to be playing is an old
23:42 but favorite song for me
23:44 and it's called "Speak to My Heart."
27:44 Magnify Him
27:48 Thank you so much for joining us.
27:50 Tune in next time and be blessed.