My Brothers and Sisters,
Click on the link above to view the concert program (PDF) which took place on February 28, 2016. I am indebted to all of the artists who made this program possible: Shaw University Choir, Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church music ministry, and several local artists who donated their time and talent.
The program opened with the Shaw University Choir. It was absolutely stunning! The soloists, Vadahl Torrence and Preston Poole, were outstanding. The director, Dr. Loñieta Thompson Cornwall, drew a variety of vocal colors and textures from the ensemble, and created a performance that was tight, yet flexible and energetic.
I followed with four solo songs that ranged from humorous, to passionate. The call for justice for “Children At the Border” was answered in the world premiere of “Called To A Vision: Celtic Ngoma.” The theme of this anthem is that we are all sojourning spirits on an earthly journey; we need to see ourselves in each other, and support each other on our journey.
This number began with an soulful solo on Irish flute by Dr. Alison Arnold. After number of permutations of the Irish melody, “Be Thou My Vision” and the East African Hymn, Neno Lake Mungo, known in English as “Listen God is Calling,” the audience joined combined choirs singing the Irish melody to African rhythms to the following text:
Be Thou My Vision and help me to see
We are the branches, and You are the Tree.
One genealogy, one destiny.
Born of One Spirit: Ruah! One Eternity.
Mr. Tyler Johnson (Bodhran) Dr. Larry Abernathy (organ), James Linn (African Percussion) and young percussionists from the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, Justin Allen Natalie Espino, Michael Luttrell Trevor, Morf, Correy Williams and Kira Williams, all did a remarkable job.
The program ended with four additional choral numbers, all of which also involved audience participation. In the final number, “El Bautismo” (Baptism), everyone was standing, dancing, moving as able. Preston Poole, Maddie Lanphear and Day steed, additional soloists, lent us their youthful energy.
Mr.George hatcher, the Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, addressed the assembly on behalf of Shaw University.
The audience was enthusiastic. It was indeed an inter-generational, cross-cultural, urban-suburban, inter-racial, multilingual and interdenominational musical party with audience participation! Over $2500 was raised towards the purchase of the first concert grand piano to go to Tanzania. We are steadily moving forward to our goal of $35,000. We need your help! Please consider a tax deductible contribution to World House Music, with memo Tanzania, sent to PO. Box 170441, Milwaukee, WI 53217-8036, or donate on line at this site.