Celebration of gospel song

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Pasadena Tabernacle Corps hosts an evening of praise and worship.

by Meredith N. Flinn and William B. Flinn –

A variety of singing groups share the stage at the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps.

A capacity crowd assembled at California’s Pasadena Tabernacle Corps for its Celebration of Gospel Song—an evening of praise and worship—organized by the Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters and hosted by Songster Leader Martin Hunt. The songsters began with “This is the Day,” followed by “Worthy is the Lamb,” featuring soloist Shalini Henry-John.

The Tabernacle Singing Company (Thandiwe Gregory, leader) presented three numbers, including a choreographed version of “This Little Light of Mine.” The Tab’s Redemption Band, comprised of high school and college students, then led the congregation in songs of praise.

The Tabernacle Youth Chorus (Barbara Allen, leader), known for its spirited musical presentations, offered “The Presence of the Lord is Here” in true gospel style. The chorus also presented the meditative “The Lord is my Shepherd,” complemented by an interpretive guitar solo by Israel Doria. Their song, “If I tell God,” featured a variety of percussion instruments and involved audience members, including divisional and territorial leaders.

A Southern California “Big Band” (Kevin Larsson, bandmaster) included four trumpets, four trombones, electric bass, drums and piano. The band performed “Joshua Fit the Battle” and “Joy, Joy, Joy,” arrangements by William Gordon and featuring John Docter on trumpet and Anthony Begonia on piano.

The Tabernacle Children’s Chorus (Barbara Allen, leader) sang an arrangement of “Old Dan Tucker.” Soloists Madison Stirrett and Bethany Yew were featured in “The Ordinary Miracle” from Charlotte’s Web. James Allen then presented a piano solo, “The Flight of the Bumble Bee.”

Time for reflection

In her testimony, Julie Jennings reflected that the Lord is waiting for us to reach out to him in both good and difficult times. The women’s voices (Barbara Allen, Divisional Songsters leader) set the tone for Corps Officer Major Ron Toy’s devotional on “Champions” by singing “Don’t Doubt Him Now.” The songsters presented Isaac Watts’s hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”; the choral sound, with the use of video, clearly communicated the hymn’s meaning.

The evening culminated with all 180 participants singing “Abba’s Child” and “Total Praise.” Scott Hassel shared Scripture and recounted the story of Olympian Derek Redmond, who refused to quit during his race in 1992 despite a serious leg injury. A video clip showed how his father came out of the crowd, and together they crossed the finish line. We, too, have the assurance that our heavenly Father will be alongside to guide and encourage us as we run the race of life.

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