Friday evening, November 30th, 2018 was a glorious night of song and spirituality at the Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, as the live music series for the Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul celebrated its grand finale.
Produced by, and under the artistic and musical direction of Dr. J. Donald Dumpson, the two hour program featured gospel, spirituals and secular songs that had the standing room only audience up on the feet and dancing in the aisles throughout the evening. Not a person who attended left without a smile on their face and some light in their heart.
The program featured all local performers including the legendary Sarah Dash of Labelle, The Henderson Sisters, The Gospel Blenders, The Philadelphia Heritage Chroale, the Gospel Music Preservation Alliance, along with soloists including Michael Covington, Charlene Holloway, Cali Graver, Cyrile Trawick, Paula Holloway, Annette Hardeman, Serena Blanco, Rodney Harris, Gregory Allen, Serena Blanco, Tomar Jackson, and Shirley Johnson-Cole.
The evening started off with a panel discussion moderated by WXPN Program Director Bruce Warren, about the influence of gospel music on secular music with three panelists, including Dr. Rollo A. Dilworth from Temple University, Linwood Heath of the Gospel Highway and Dyana Williams from WRNB.
Director of the house band for the evening, on keyboards was Austin Woodlin, with Aaron Childers on organ, Norwood “BJ” Long on bass, and drummer Rakim Harris.
After an intro and welcome by WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay, he welcomed Rev. Dr. Darron McKinney, the Senior Pastor Bright Hope Baptist Church, Dr. Dumpson led the band and soloists through a magnificent program. Check out select performances from the event below.
Michael Gilmore, Cyrile Trawick and The Philadelphia Heritage Chorale
“We Shall Overcome” & “Dere’s A Man Goin’ Round Takin’ Names”
Matthew Sheppherd – “I Wanna Know What Love Is”
Paula Holloway – “You Are My Friend”
Sarah Dash – “Walk Around Heaven All Day”
Sarah Dash – “Swing Down Sweet Chariot”
Paula Holloway, Serena Blanco, Rodney Harris, the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale and the Gospel Music Preservation Alliance “I Can Go To God In Prayer”
Rodney Harris, the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale and the Gospel Music Preservation Alliance – “What’s The Matter With Jesus” (Grand Finale)
This event was produced for WXPN’S GOSPEL ROOTS OF ROCK AND SOUL. GOSPEL ROOTS OF ROCK AND SOUL has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.