Gospel Song sang loudly at recent celebration

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Celebration of music featured Pasadena Tabernacle Corps and Torrance Corps.


The Pasadena (Calif.) Tabernacle was filled beyond capacity for the recent Celebration of Gospel Song, featuring five choirs from the Pasadena Tabernacle and Torrance corps.

The 594 attendees lined walls and aisles, even behind the stage, as an 11-member brass and rhythm group gave a “Rock Solid” introduction to the evening.

“The range of ages and races on the platform was remarkable,” said Jim Curnow, a renowned Salvation Army composer. “It was a true worship experience and wonderfully performed. The theme and ministry of the concert was certainly ‘Let all that has breath, praise the Lord.’”

The Tabernacle Youth Chorus, led by Barbara Allen and known for their gospel sound, performed three songs, including a Dreamgirls-like number featuring three soloists: Thandiwe Gregory, Sarai Henry-John and Shalini Henry-John.

The younger Tabernacle Singing Company, led by Thandiwe Gregory, also presented three songs, including “Fill In The Blanks!”—a fun song that prompted the names of Bible heroes, from Jonah to Jesus.

Visiting Torrance Corps Songsters, led by Kevin Larsson, sang three songs, including “Shine On Us,” demonstrating a beautifully balanced choral sound.

“It was wonderful to see the multi-generational musicians of the Salvation Army worshiping together. From the youngest member of singing company to the more experienced songsters, each praised the Lord with their gift of music,” said Larsson, also music director for the Southern California Division.

In four rows of over 85 children, ages 4-12, the Tabernacle Children’s Chorus, a community outreach group led by Barbara Allen, performed three songs, including “Goliath,” which featured enough choreography to leave the audience dazzled.

The Tabernacle Songsters, led by Martin Hunt, offered three songs, including a crowd silencing “Your Grace Still Amazes Me,” featuring soloists Barbara Allen and Matt Woods, with video images of Jesus’ life and amazing love.

Captain Edward Hill, Pasadena Tabernacle corps officer, reminded the audience of the incomprehensible breadth of God’s love for all.

In the huge finale, members of all five choirs—over 215 voices—united for “Sing for Joy,” “Look at the World” and “I’m Not Ashamed.”

“As we united together in worship and praise it was exciting to sense the power of God in our presence—the music was clearly given in celebration of what God has done for us,” said Hunt. “Many in the audience were new to the Army and it’s my prayer that they were challenged to get to know the Lord and our movement better.”

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