by Sheridan Cyr
The Ebony Choir has done it again; in their spring recital last Wednesday evening, they filled every inch of Welte Auditorium with faith, hope, confidence and joy through the spirit of God.
Billy Powell, emcee and gospel recording artist, started off the recital with a rap of his own. As the chorus came around, he had the whole room singing back to him, “Giving glory to our King.” Some even rose from their chairs and danced to his song.
Next, two girls under the name “The Freedom Dancers,” left an incredible impression with an interactive dance advocating for renewal, healing and self-power. They began with one girl on the ground surrounded by picture frames. Each frame had one hardship scrawled across in bold; alcoholism, drugs, depression. The grounded girl would show one at a time, while the other acted it out to the music. Mid-way, they fought over the frames and ended up throwing them to the ground, shattering them. Their message was to free yourself from your demons and of spirits that are not like God.
Jonathan Cunningham followed after the dance with his self-written song, “God’s Grace,” on the keyboard. He focused on second chances and freedom. “No matter what you’re going through, His grace is a vision for you.”
Powell took the stage again to introduce the Ebony Choir, “the baddest college choir in Connecticut!” he claimed.
Steven Wilson, director of the chorale, offered a message before beginning the recital: “Saying ‘yes’ to the Lord means you’ve got to give up some things. You will fall and make many, many mistakes, but if you say ‘Yes, Lord, I will try,’ He will guide you to where you should be.”
The choir enriched the audience’s faith with a number of deeply moving, provocative songs. They touched on many fears and insecurities that nearly every person faces.
One issue within Christianity is that many people do not feel that they deserve God’s love. Their song, “You are Worthy,” fought that idea, claiming that everyone deserves His love, no matter how wrong you may have been, or how far you have pulled away from God.
In the very energetic and upbeat song, “Yes, Lord,” Ebony Choir gave into God, promising to do anything for Him. The audience danced, clapped and shouted out praise and approval to the catchy beat.
One of their slower songs, sang by director Wilson, beckoned that “the power of sin is broken, Jesus overcame it all.” The song talked about Easter and Jesus’ death, only to rise again three days later. Wilson’s powerful voice alone was enough to send chills through the room.
Wilson led his choir through a song of confession and overwhelming compassion. They gave all of their love to God, repeating, “Lord I love you more than anything.”
Giving all to restore the faith of those broken in the room, Wilson said, “It’s a different kind of love with God. People walk in and out of our lives. They use us. They mistreat us. They disrespect us. God is always here. God only offers love, and He will never hurt you.”
The choir put on an exceptionally profound performance that evening. Their message was definitely received, and audience members walked out of the room with full hearts, renewed faith and peace.