MMTS delegates inspire in Gospel Concert
From all reports from the dozens of patrons, sponsors and proposed sponsors who made it a family affair at the Anchorage Hotel, the MMTS Gospel concert was one to remember. It has been a long time that Dominica has experienced so much talent and uplifting and varying styles of Gospel music in one night.
Well, just about a week and a half ago the Models, Music and Talent Showcase Bahamas staged an inspiring Gospel concert at the Anchorage Hotel. These artistes have been selected to demonstrate their talent to a group of international talent scouts in July 2015 in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Gospel Concert represented the second effort by this group of delegates headed by Anchorage's Carla Armour Thomas. Remember that Carla successfully groomed and managed Queen Leslassa Shillingford into one of Dominica's most successful representatives not just regionally but internationally. With very little financial resources but with commitment and perseverance and assistance with sound from popular DJ Mr Mixx, Arden Lights, LIME tents, and with the ambience of the Anchorage, the show began.
Petit model Shivaughn Johnson served as Master of Ceremonies, while spokes-model Nawana Shillingford and super model Lena Bontiff, all delegates took care of patrons at the front desk. After the National Anthem by Delegate # 1 (Shalina Samuel), Delegate # 3 (Janae Jackson) blessed the proceedings with a prayer.
Shalina Samuel began with "Hold me in your arms", followed by "Take control of my life" and finally "The promise". By then the patrons were glued and taste buds ready to consume probably Dominica's youngest and most explosive singer Casim Birmingham. What power he exhibited in "Power of love" and "Give myself away!"
He received two standing ovations and patrons who took leave from the food at their tables could not get enough. In fact the dynamism continued as Janae Jackson was introduced and confirmed and convinced all in "My Redeemer lives" and "When I call on Jesus" with her expressiveness and wide vocal range.
Then it was time for the soothing voice of the artist Elaina Joseph stage-named Lyrique. She represented a different style and range than that of a Casim or Janae, but was controlled and soulful in "Indescribable" and "Here we go again". By this time the band was augmented with flutist Kitwani Carbon and versatile musician Mekhel Lee joined singer/songwriter Lyrique in presenting her original piece "Hallelujah". It was well received and her guitarist transferred to the keys to help her deliver "Alabaster box."
Jervonne Christopher captivated with his stage antics as a dancer / performer with "Worthy is the Lamb" and "Running back to you." Like the previous artistes he captivated his audience; a warm up for what was to be an explosive second appearance.
Meanwhile, it was time to get up, clap hands and dance to gospel music, Caribbean style and it was none other than Nathalie Marshall-Joseph who graced the stage as the first guest artiste. She also took the opportunity to minister the goodness of God not just in song but by her utterances, reaching across in close proximity to tables, as she came down from the stage.
Dominica's greatest Gospel artiste of all time and one of the region's best, followed. Jerry "Lemme go" Lloyd, with some 9 albums to his credit chose three from his inexhaustible repertoire and favored the audience with a song from his latest project. Both Nathalie and Jerry added a new dimension and experience and gave their talents free in support of the young delegates.
When patrons thought it could not get better, Jervonne returned this time with all the dance moves aka Chris Brown, with an infectious gospel number entitled "Praise is what I do". Tables and chairs creaked as everyone was moving and clapping their hands.
Lyrique followed with the popular "You are God alone" and "Does anybody hear her?" Well they did even while Janae and Casim followed, intrigued and inspired with "God of the mountain" and "Break every chain" respectively. Four of the five delegates returned to do a most appropriate closing number "You lift me up" where the blend of voices were distinctive, exilliarating and professionally executed and so was the backing-group MSV Band. Indeed patrons confessed as they exited the Anchorage that they had truly been blessed at this Thursday night Word Sound and Power edition.
Despite the stunning performances witnessed, the success of this venture will only be truly realized if sponsors and various organizations come on board to assist in raising the required funds to provide a chance to our young talents to get signed, contracted to move to another level. Meanwhile the group intends to restage this event on Holy Thursday evening at the Arawak. Look out for some four more public appearances, as well as a music video entitled "Rendezvous". I call on the nation to rally around MMTS Delegates Dominica' and their Nassau- Bahamas mission.