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Soulful Sounds: Black History Month celebrated in music

Soulful Sounds: Black History Month celebrated in music

February 11th, 2019 by Greg Bischof in Texarkana Region

Members of the Texarkana Regional Orchestra, above, play "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by J. Rosamond Johnson, arranged by Roland Carter, at Sunday's SoulFest at the Sullivan Performing Arts Center in Texarkana, Texas. SoulFest is a concert that is part of February's Black History month celebration. Below, the orchestra plays and the choir sings "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho," arranged by John Rutter, while being directed by Marc-André Bougie.

Photo by Hunt Mercier /Texarkana Gazette.

For hundreds of Texarkana residents, listening to powerful spiritual hymns didn't stop with the end of morning church services Sunday.

The Twin Cities received a sweet treat of late afternoon soulful regalement as at least 123 singers came together to celebrate meaningful music written by African-Americans at a free SoulFest concert, held at the Sullivan Performing Arts Center.

Spiritual, gospel and soul music flowed refreshingly throughout the center as singers from the Texarkana Regional Chorale, Grambling State University Concert Choir and the Liberty Eylau Varsity Choir, coupled with the Chorale Orchestra, all pitched in their talent to deliver a heart stirring songs.

Leading off with "The Star-Spangle Banner" followed by "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Music Director and Conductor Marc-Andrea Bougie guided the performance crisp rendition of "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho," before handing music's conduction off to the very able hands of Grambling States' Music Director Natorshau Davis.

For her part, Davis lead her choir in a soothing a cappella delivery of "In Bright Mansions Above" before leadership traded back to Bougie for an concentrated effort by Grambling Soprano Deedra Johnson on "Every Time I feel the Spirit," followed by powerful run of "Ride On, King Jesus," featuring Soprano Haley Patillo.

The combined choirs then kicked in with striding beat of "When the Saints Go Marching In rockin soul ending that with "I Can Go to God in Prayer."

Before closing the event Bougie announced that the three choirs will be aiming for a joint performance in Paris, France, in June of 2020.

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