The 2017 Christmas edition of Mahalia’s Corner was an absolute hit last weekend at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The four-hour-long production got underway with the resident 2 Mile Hill band playing traditional seasonal favourites like Do You Hear What I Hear with a twist. The skillful violinist Wesley Morris would later join the band on stage for their original We Don’t Have Snow and it would be the perfect harmony.
Mahalia’s Corner open mic segment is known for uncovering hidden talent and last Sunday was no different. Daianna Price would hit the stage and give a soulful rendition of Emeli Sande’s Read All About It. She quickly become a crowd favorite, causing the full house to rise to their feet.
Yomi opened the segment with Mary Did You Know, followed by the one and only poet, Marsha Branch, with her poem I can see me, a thought-provoking piece. Brian Lashley would give a lighter version of God Rest Ye, before duet Amanda and Matthew would bring another traditional song Oh Come, Oh Come.
Reniece Bonnett and Deah Bowen brought the rhythm and blues with their rendition of Alicia Keys’ Diary. The grinch of the night, Duval, tried to steal the Christmas cheer. Guitar in hand, he sang Yule Shoot Your Eye Out bringing laughter and lightheartedness to the audience.
Featured artiste, John Yarde, did not disappoint. The pastor, singer, songwriter and musician took the audience to church with his original song Here Right Now, accompanied by the orange-haired songbird, Nikita, and Mahalia herself. The soulful performance got the audience’s arms raised high for an impromptu worship session mid-set that was well received.
But it would be Yarde’s rendition of We Three Kings with Alix Cage and Raphael Saul that brought the audience to their feet to give a standing ovation for the trio’s thrilling performance.
Yarde also performed for the audience classic Christmas songs like This Christmas, Oh Come Let Us Adore Him, Little Drummer Boy, even dropping the mic to beat the drums with 2 Mile Hill drummer Chadd Ifill.
Yarde wished Mahalia’s Corner a Merry Christmas in song, as he debuted another original song, Caribbean Christmas, embodying everything Caribbean about the festive season, and describing Christmas in the Caribbean islands as the best. The crowd would absolutely love it, singing along the chorus with him.
Mahalia would join Yarde once again on stage for a heartfelt rendition of This is My Christmas Prayer before the local artiste closed out the show with Give Love On Christmas Day, encouraging Barbadians to remember the reason for the season.