Gospel Choir Fall Concert

by John Cataldo, , March 3, 2011

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I was thoroughly surprised at what I saw at the cultural celebration. I was impressed, happy and rather enjoyed the entire performance. I had never been to a gathering like the one I attended on the 28th and didn't really know what to expect. Thankfully, what was introduced to me was a pleasure to listen to.

We started off with the Gospel Choir. Their opening song "How Much We Can Bear" was very touching for me. I was so surprised that a bunch of students on no scholarship could sound as good as they did. I believe it is good for people to have some kind of connection with some God somewhere. By listening to the words of that song I began to realize that God, in his infinite wisdom, will never give any of his children more than they can bear. This was kind of a reassuring idea for me. With all of the obstacles associated with transferring to a new school, being far away from home and having little to no friends in a 100 mile radius; I began to feel a little lonely and a little overwhelmed with the 17 credits I am taking this semester. Attending the Celebration made me step back and relax my mind for a few hours. I found myself reflecting in the voices and words of the choir, thinking of where I have been in recent years. I thought of the people that have walked in (and out) of my life, the places I've been and the things these eyes have seen. And in all honestly I was a bit taken back, because I haven't thought that in-depth about myself in a very long time. This intense thinking spilled over into the choir's next selection.

The next song "Faithful is Our God" was a song I had never heard before. It seemed to have fit the bill as far as Gospel songs go. It was very soft on the ears. "Bless His Holy Name" was a great song as well. I feel as though I've heard this selection before, or another song similar to it, and enjoyed it a lot. The choir overall was a very impressive spectacle.

Khalia Brown. What is there to say? Her beautiful voice speaks for itself. Now that is a woman with a boat load of talent. Her rendition of "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" was tastefully and handily done. She has a voice that requires no drum beating, string plucking or ivory tickling. She had me, as well as the rest of the room, with her first note.
I have to say my favorite part of the entire Celebration was the acapella group. "Wade In The Water", from the beginning of the song, gave me chills up and down my spine. From a young age, my mother taught me about harmony and the importance of being in tune. She explained that being in tune was not just about singing the right notes. She explained that harmony was about feeling the right notes with the people around you.

When a group comes together, and has an audience hanging on every note, they're doing something right. I don't know if the little girl in front was named Cassandra or Noelle, but wow was I blown away by the power behind her voice. The sweet sensual sounds rolling off of her lips effortlessly in front of hundreds amazed me. And of course "Amazing Grace" was patriotic and beautiful in its own right.

The greatest love of all was well sung. I think it's very difficult for a person to get up on a stage with just their voice and a piano. She did a great job and I commend Donna for how well she did. And the performance of "My Way" was great. I was very happy they had a solo piano piece.

The Africana Dance group was a shock for me because I didn't know what to expect. I thought they were colorful, elegant and full of life. I rather enjoyed the native dances and hope to see them again at the next performance.

Salsa is one of my favorite types of Latin dance. I have friends from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Belize that have all taught me how to dance Salsa, Bachata and Merengue. They're all beautiful, elegant and very difficult to learn. I enjoyed their selection because it reminded me of friends I used to dance and have a great time with. Chocolate Thunder had a great sound and could really rock I enjoyed their performance as well.

As for the Gospel Choir's closing performance, I liked "I'm Covered" and "Perfect Praise" but my favorite by far was "Oh Happy Day". Anybody that has seen Sister Act has heard the song "Oh Happy Day" and for me it strikes a chord from my child hood. I picture Mos Def belting it to a crowd sitting in awe of his raw, youthful talent. It's a great song that is meant to inspire youth the world over. I believe it did then, still does today in the wake of the disaster in Haiti, and will continue to do so in the future.

Music is art.

Music is timeless.

Music is powerful.

Music is love.

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