The vision of “Peace Through Music” with its September Concert, commemorating the tragedy of 9/11, was accomplished through a solidly united community here at Callaway Auditorium on this 14th anniversary and ninth year of local participation. The concert was sponsored by L.I.F.E. (LaGrange International Friendship Exchange), affiliated with Sister Cities within the United States and world-wide.
Nowhere in the world could there have been a more enthusiastic local and international volunteer participation and audience response than here in “America’s Greatest Little City!” This year’s presentations on stage included a syncopated mix of movement through visual, vocal and instrumental highlights.
The patriotic grand opening of “God Bless America” by the Shoal Creek Quartet was followed by Amy Orr’s LSPA expressive ballerinas with their perfect group rendition of “Lost Boys” and an exquisite toe-dancing sampling of the classic “Sleeping Beauty,” both in sparking costumes for more “wow moments” together!
The Troup County Community Choir came next to inspire us all in their stately robes and powerful praising Jesus rhythms, co-conducted by the youngest little choirboy becoming the darling of the cheering crowd. What a treat!
The Korean New Heaven Baptist Choir included more than a dozen children singing their hearts out with other adults in their attractive uniforms, responding to the elegant female conductor with melodic piano and three flutist accompaniment! How moving to listen to them in their own distinct language, so expressive and full of life!
Nowhere else would we all have had the privilege of connecting to their far away country through these beautiful young voices! The “Bravos” continued for the charmingly costumed dancers of the Veracruz Mexican “La Bamba” via Miriam Oropeza’s Petit Ballet and the surprise storytelling dance formation at the end, bringing laughter in response from the delighted audience.
The beloved full male choir of The Sons of Lafayette continued to keep the spiritual inspiration going deeper with their powerful message in soft and big pleading sounds of “Lord, Listen to your Children,” as well as their “Song for the Unsung Hero,” as the audience continued to respond with enthusiastic applause of appreciation.
This enthusiasm was echoed also throughout the next rendition of the young LHS singers, featuring their Black History Ensemble with “Smile,” accompanied by their mentor Kenneth Redding at the piano. Spontaneous clapping and singing to their contagious refrain was enjoyed by everyone, becoming part of their positive message of encouragement, no matter how bad the times!
The excitement continued to build with the Chattahoochee Rhythm Keepers and their “African Drum Circle,” challenging the audience to keep up with their exhilarating beat, with even faster hand clapping in response to their drumming mastery! Way to go!
Freedom Sound, the electrifying Oropeza-Hernandez-Mexican band, performed in English as well as in Spanish and had the audience rising to their feet clapping and singing along with “Friend of God” and “Better than Life!”
Kevin Dunn had the entire audience back on its feet again with a most rousing triumphant “God Bless the USA,” followed by the “Irish Blessing,” prayer song of the Shoal Creek Quartet, and the “How Amazing is our God,” praise song at the piano by Kenneth and Laneeda Redding. The hearty singing by all, “Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me!” ushered in the finale of this finest hour and a half of community togetherness!
We are so grateful to every dedicated participant! Come join our L.I.F.E., LaGrange International Friendship Exchange, to help make a difference in our town and world-wide!
More information at LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, 706-884-8571.
LaGrange International Friendship Exchange