Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Total Experience Gospel Choir: Founder/Director Bio

Pastor Patrinell Wright - Founder/Director

Pastor Patrinell “Pat” Wright was born in Carthage, Texas to a Baptist preacher dad and a school teacher mom. She is one of seven siblings. Being introduced to music early, she sang her first solo at the age of 3. By the time of her 14th birthday, she had taught herself to play the piano and was directing two choirs in her father’s church.

Patrinell attended Turner High School in Carthage where she graduated as valedictorian of her class. She went on to attend college at Prairie View A & M in Hempstead, Texas. In 1964, Pat moved to Seattle, Washington.

Her music career is quite extensive and in 1973 she founded Total Experience Gospel Choir. The choir is very well known and has traveled and performed in 38 states, on 5 continents and 22 countries. The choir consists of persons ages 7– 72. The choir has to its credits numerous awards and 7 recordings.

Not only does, Patrinell perform and direct the choir, she has released her first solo CD entitled “I’m So Glad! A Spiritual Reunion of Drums & Voice”.

Over her long musical history, she has received numerous awards and citations. Just to mention a few:
Washington State Governors Ethnic Heritage Award – for helping to preserve Black Gospel music in the State of Washington
Women in Communication Award
Jefferson Award - awarded annually by Seattle’s Post Intellinger Newspaper/Boeing Aircraft Company - for Outstanding Community Service. She was nominated again for this award in 2005.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award
Edwin T. Pratt Award from the Urban League of Greater Seattle
She was selected as SeaFair Queen in 2002.
On February 20, 2005 – the first Living Legend Award from Seattle Center – home of the 1962 World’s Fair.
Recent recognitions include:
Community Mentoring and Legacy Award presented by Women of Color Empowered, September 2007.
Guiding Lights Weekend Luminary for Mentoring, 2007 and 2008; University Womens Club "Brava Award" for outstanding community service, April 2008 Representative for the American Heart Association - Pacific Mountain Affiliate, 2006, 2007, 2008.
In December 2008, Pastor Wright was selected as one of the "50 Most Influential Musicians" in the Pacific Northwest over the past 100 years via the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine.
April 2009 - Appreciation Award from African American-Jewish Coalition for Justice.
December 2009 - One of 16 women honored as "Women of Influence" from the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Recognizing a few of her musical achievements, she has performed on the same billing with the following: Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Take Six, The Winans, Charlie Daniel, Chuck Mangione, Steely Dan, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Dionne Warwick, Melba Moore, Olympia Dukakis, Pete Seeger, Michael Bolton, The Judds. Foreigner and NUMEROUS gospel artists. She and Total Experience Gospel Choir are featured artists on Dave Matthews’ CD entitled “Same Devil” on the song “Save Me”. Her latest credit is on the soundtrack of the movie “Because of Winn-Dixie” on the song “Glory, Glory”.

In 1997, Patrinell Wright co-founded and pastored the Oneness Christian Center. The church was a spiritual refuge for those who have been hit by some of life’s hardest challenges. Due to financial struggles, this particular came to an end in 2007. Although the four walls have closed, the pastoral ministry will continue forever!

Since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Areas of Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2005, Pastor Wright has dedicated many hours for hurricane relief work. She and Total Experience Gospel Choir visited the areas in August 2006 helping with rebuilding lives and property. Pastor Wright returned to the area in April 2007 to aid and assist in providing three organizations that had been identified during the 2006 visit with finances and a pickup truck. The truck was driven cross country from Seattle and left in Mississippi for use in the hurricane stricken areas. Pastor Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir returned from the Gulf Coast of MS in March 2008. While there, they were featured on local television as they dedicated a new home to hurricane survivors. The choir returned in August 2008 to present keys to a home that they have been personally involved with in many fundraisers to rebuild. Total Experience Gospel Choir and Pastor Wright returned to the Gulf Coast in late March 2009 to complete their mission on this rebuilt home and to finish the landscape and furnishings.

At present, Pastor Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir work untiringly in helping the people of Ishinomaki, Japan. To date, they have raised and sent DIRECTLY to Ishimomaki, several thousand dollars to aid and assist Monk Higuchi in his continued work to feed, clothe and minister to several hundreds in the refugee camps.
In May 2012, Pastor Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir will travel to Japan to work in the camps and bring musical ministries wherever they go!

For Pastor Wright's efforts, ABC News World News Tonight named her "Person of the Week" in May 2007. She, along with Total Experience Gospel Choir, returned to Mississippi and New Orleans in August 2007 for the commemoration of the 2-year anniversary of the hurricane.
Later Pastor Pat was again contacted by ABC News and was selected as one of the "Persons of the Year" on a broadcast aired December 27, 2007. See related links on the website.
DirectTV on April 9, 2008 aired their special entitled "Hometown Heroes" where Pastor Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir were honored for their work on the Gulf Coast of MS as well.
SCAN TV honored Pastor Wright in February 2008 on local television in their Black History programming where she, along with other local community members, were lauded for their contributions to Black History in the Pacific Northwest.

In October 2007, Pastor Wright and members of Total Experience Gospel Choir traveled to Busan, South Korea where they competed in the Busan International Choral Festival and Competition. The choir placed "second" and won the Silver Medal in "Ethnic" and "Pop" categories. There were 36 choirs from 11 countries in the competition. They plan to return to shoot for the first place medal in the near future. Congratulation to Total Experience Gospel Choir!

Pastor Patrinell Wright is married to Reverend Benny Wright. They have two grown children, four grandsons and one granddaughter.