Although it got off to a late start, the gospel concert which formed part of St. Lucy’s We Gatherin’ activities still delivered commendably. In addition to an hour-long delay, which saw the show finally beginning just after 5 p.m. on Sunday evening, patrons endured further disappointment after hearing that the scheduled Royal Barbados Police Band would no longer be making an appearance. Member of Parliament for St. Lucy Peter Phillips, promised the modest crowd in the auditorium of the Daryll Jordan Secondary school that the band would be hosted sometime in the future.
An up-tempo set by St Clements Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Hugh Griffith, lifted spirits and succeeded in transforming the mood in the school auditorium. The ever-popular Walk Holy by Sister Marshall formed part of the medley which also included I Am Alive, Ancient of Days and RPB’s Hallelujah. A portion of the 16-member complement of the St. Lucy Primary school’s boys’ choir followed and overcame their nervousness to deliver their musical selection, Happy.
Shane Lynton’s crisp, clear vocals offered Lord Set Me Free, an original piece from his soon-to-be-released EP album. Sandy Samuels was exceptional in her rendition of Way Maker. In addition, the Headley family and Leanna Yearwood also ministered in song in separate acts on the night.
The standout performance on the night came from Israel Allen. Robust in stature and voice, Allen wowed those present as he belted Shackles as well as the words to Michelle Williams’ When Jesus Say Yes. He got the small assembly up and rocking. The English resident, a former contestant of The Voice, has shared the stage with gospel greats such as Kirk Franklin. His two-song set was certainly not enough for the audience who were just warming up for more of his angelic voice.
An impactful performance by the Alexandria dancers received a round of applause which belied the small numbers in attendance. The piece was effective in depicting how Jesus could Break Every Chain, as placards highlighting scourges like cancer and gun violence were strewn to pieces and the dancers broke free of their costumed chains. In contrast, the Bethel Dancers delivered an upbeat piece to RPB’s I’m a Believer. The band New Connection brought the three-hour-long show to a close with a short set.
Considering the delay in start time, it would have served the organizers well to forgo the 20-minute intermission and allow the continuous flow of acts from start to finish. However, judging from the responses to those who graced the stage, the initial drawbacks did little to dampen the spirits of those in attendance and they seemed to have an enjoyable time. (STT)