by Emmanuel Joseph
A breath of fresh air.
That was what two vocal groups from the Seventh Day Adventist Church last night brought to the otherwise “same old, same old” type of gospel concerts which have been held in Barbados in recent years.
The Garden Girls, a trio and the 15-member Endless Praise, directed by sensational saxophonist, Ricky Niles, were part of a line up of artistes who performed at the Coleridge and Parry School auditorium when Super Gospel 2012, climaxed two days of musical praise and worship.
At the core of the groups’ freshness, was their mesmerising harmonies of crystal clear vocal timbre and angelic quality. Patrons appeared to be spell bound.
The Endless Praise’s first rendition was a delightful dose of pure a capella, under the baton of Niles, followed by a sound track-assisted piece of majestic vocalising harmonies. The group then completed its set by wrapping the melodies of its final song around the live sounds of Niles’ saxaphone.
The Garden Girls, whose members were also drawn from Endless Praise, took their audience on a musical Cloud Nine, with voices and harmonies so rich and engaging, that when the song was ended, a lot of worshippers still seemed to be in a different space and time. It was like, oops, it’s time for applause.
Then to put the icing on the proverbial cake, Niles went solo and made his instrument “talk” in such beautiful language, that the attendees were almost sitting at the edge of their seats, “consuming” every soothing note. Patrons watched and listened in disbelief as this incredible saxophonist, sustained his final note of the popular composition Holy, to such an extent, that worshippers were buzzing in wonderment on how he was able hold his breath so long.
To my mind, that musical ministry coming from the SDA Church was the most enjoyable and endearing.
Another act that also took Super Gospel 2012 to another top draw level, was the dynamic Family Church Levitical Singers based at the Christ Is The Answer branch in St. Peter. The seven year old choir, featuring the powerfully delicious voice of Mark Welch, who delivered Amazed and group director/singer Fabian White, who sang Fill This House, raised the standard during the pre-intermission session.
Other artistes who gave creditable accounts of themselves last night were six-year-old Eden Lodge Primary School student, Rihanna Reeves, the Alexandra Beacons, directed by Shernelle Clarke, Sister Margreta Marshall, whose trade mark song Walk Holy, brought the CP auditorium to its feet, the hosts, The Silvertones of Barbados and headliner from the US, Bridget Blucher. The Double Laugh Theatre of Jennifer Walker and Yolanda Holder “cracked” up their audience and brought the house down. [email protected]