ST JOSEPH’S Convent fund-raising concert Believe: The Songs of Hope on Sunday night presented an extremely talented line-up, an inspiring and entertaining mix of gospel music and dazzling lighting, costuming and set design. But numerous audio problems and the logistic issues of hosting a concert at a church somewhat dampened the overall experience.
The concert, held at Church of the Assumption in Maraval, was held as the school’s choir raises funds to subsidise travel and accommodation expenses to perform abroad at Disney World. The Palm Sunday event was under the patronage of Archbishop of Port of Spain Jason Gordon who was in attendance.
The St Joseph Convent Choir, The Eastern Chorale, The Symphony of Saints (CIC) and The Scholastic Academy Chorale joined with a host of artistes including Denyse Plummer, operatic tenor John Thomas, child prodigy soprano Clarice Beeput, violinist David Frank, Debbie Nahous, Nakita Gadsby, Alicia Jaggasar, Cecilia Salazar (doing monologues), pianist Johanna Chuckaree Lohmeyer, Nicole Wong Chong, Kevon Carter, Tricia Lee Kelshall (via music video), The St Hillaire Brothers, Jake Salloum, Justin Zephyrine, Mahalia Pierre, Mya Scott, Danielle Williams, Stephen Roach, Aurora Tardieu and Kyle Richardson.
The stage at the front of the church featured grand, inventive set design and animated lighting work representing the various moods of the pieces. There was no programme which would have assisted in identifying the more than 100 performers and various pieces that included rap, pop, opera, soul and Latin.
The concert kicked off with a dramatic violin solo and then young performers in cream and gold entered waving palms as a couple of dancers performed.
Plummer then came on stage and gave a lusty performance of Make me a Channel of your Peace. It was at this point the audio issues began and they continued to plague performances throughout the night, with some microphones cutting out, distorting or apparently not working at all.
“This is ridiculous,” one woman commented.
At one point a male performer had to ask twice for a monitor to be turned up.
This was followed by a grand performance of Our Father which had attendees commenting “excellent” and “that was awesome.” The night continued with He’s got the Whole World in his Hands, the operatic Ave Maria and strong male voices singing Oh Jerusalem.
One of the highlights of the night was the choir, all dressed in nun habits, giving an energetic, Sister Act 2-inspired performance of Ain’t no Mountain High Enough and an old-time gospel medley that included Sign my Name with a Golden Pen, Jesus name so Sweet, Move Satan move, let me Pass and What a mighty God we Serve.
For the finale all the performers came on stage for Carry your Candle bringing the lights down on an entertaining but logistically flawed night of gospel music.