Community Outreach: Louisiana Gospel Psalmists Performs at Baton Rouge Healthcare CenterOctober 2, 2016 / No Comments
The multi-purpose activity room at Baton Rouge Healthcare Center was filled with anticipation as the Louisiana Gospel Psalmists set up their portable sound system and musical instruments. The six-member female ensemble’s performance included original compositions as well as classic hymns, worship songs, and negro spirituals. As the group sang a contemporary arrangement of “Wade In The Water”, many sang along and applauded as lead singer Alice Dixon showcased her range of high notes effortlessly. Their repetoire also included “Come Together In Christ” lead by Melodie Landry, whose improvisational skills maintained the audience attention as she weaved through the tables where they sat.
The one-hour concert included spontaneity and several opportunities for audience participation. The group’s founder, Carolyn Shield engaged the audience between songs, allowing participants to “testify” of things for which they were thankful. Responding to her invitation to share a song, one of the residents sang “Let Jesus Fix It For You” while the other senior citizens and Louisiana Gospel Psalmists cheered in support.
Thoughout the concert, gifts bags were handed out acknowledging the elderly birthdays, the oldest senior, veterans, “the praisers”, and so on, until everyone had a gift. “We always come to be a blessing to the seniors, so we never come empty-handed”, Shield commented.
The last song, lead by Celeste Payne, was an arrangement of Lionel Richie’s “Jesus Is Love”. And indeed love was evident between the female gospel ensemble and their “adopted family”, the Baton Rouge Healthcare Center residents through the abundance of songs, sharing, hugs, and handshakes.