Arts & Culture Blog
The Harlem Gospel Choir Gives Praise in Carmel
April 9, 2012
As the Harlem Gospel Choir took the stage, the audience’s whispers evaporated, replaced with silent anticipation. The lights dimmed, the backdrop shifted from creamy white to a crisp orange, giving the name of the venue a pleasantly literal feel. Piano keys and drums quickly gathered momentum.
Nine singers emerged wearing all black beneath vests made out of vivid yellow and orange prints and providing an array of color to match the enthusiasm soon exhibited by the choir.
After opening up with an upbeat and soulful rendition of “Bless the Lord with Me,” the choir informed the crowd of their single rule: Everyone must have fun.
Although they remained sitting down for the first portion of the show, many people began clapping along to the music. When the music slowed down, the crowd let down their guard and began to sing along. By the end of the night, the Sunset Center was filled with people of all ages standing up to sing and dance along, with a good 30 people joining the choir on the stage for the final song.
During the first half of the show, “Total Praise” and “Hallelujah,” two intimate ballads, showcased the choir’s ability to transition from melodious harmonies to riveting solos seamlessly. Along with singing traditional hymns and ballads, the group also paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston with songs such as “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You.”
After the show, a choir member shared the message she wanted the audience to take home.
“God is love and he loves everyone,” she said, “and that through our music we would be able to come together as one.”