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VIENNA, Va. – Singing has always been part of Stevie Tibbs’ life, mostly in his church choir. Now at 26, the audio visual technician for Navy FCU is using the recording studio to share his love of gospel music with people. These days, Tibbs sings with a group of men ages 27-32 called the Youthful Spirits that features four lead male singers – a soprano (the oldest) – two altos (Tibbs is one) and a tenor – as well as various instrumentalists. An employee of Navy since 1996 – he was formerly a collections officer – Tibbs joined the group in 1995. The group sings mostly gospel songs that are written by members of the Youthful Spirits. They perform in a variety of venues beside church such as various basketball games and other sporting events. Tibbs has also performed with Aaron Neville and the Neville brothers in 2003 at one of the group’s concerts. “When we sing we want to convey the message that we’re not perfect, but we do the best we can to live right,” he says. In 1996, the Youthful Spirit branched out and recorded their first CD – “Look Within Your Heart.” They’ve since followed that with a second one in 1998 called “YS for Life,” and another in 2000 called “The Music, the Ministry, the Mission.” Tibbs says the group is in the studio now putting the finishing touches on their latest CD which is expected to be out in the Spring 2006. The CDs are sold at Tower Records stores as well as in Christian bookstores. “We consider ourselves role models for young men and women. At most of our concerts, many young men and women come up to us and talk about personal situations they’re going through, and they want our advice. Since we come from the same backgrounds as many of them do, we can relate to them. But each situation is different, and you have to try to see things through their eyes,” Tibbs says. -

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