“Who’s ready to make a joyful noise to the Lord?”
It was more of command than a question, and it was issued by Sheldon Neil, the MC for SHOUT! In the House, Redeemer University College’s roof-raising night of music and monologues in recognition and celebration of Black History Month on Saturday, February 16.
Zakiya Toby presenting the Aretha Franklin monologue
And a joyful noise was exactly what was made that night as the several hundred people in Redeemer’s Auditorium sang and danced along with artists that performed a range of gospel and worship songs.
The concert was produced in association with Redeeming Music, a promotion company from Toronto and featured artists such as Sean Gibson, Samantha Whitney, Christopher Samuels, Heaven Sound, Sheldon Neil and The Way, and Victory International Worship, all backed by a 7-member band that kept things rocking throughout the show.
Sheldon Neil (MC) and The Way back stage
Interspersed among the acts was a series of monologues and speeches. Rosa Parks, portrayed by Taniesha Chambers, shared how her one act of civil disobedience – refusing to give up her seat on bus to a white man – led to a major turning point in the fight for equality in Alabama. Zakiya Toby voiced and adapted for the event reflections on the experiences of African Americans such as Mahalia Jackson, Maya Angelou and Aretha Franklin, each time coming out with a different costume for the character.
The event also gave Redeemer a chance to demonstrate its commitment to supporting diversity. Some of the proceeds from ticket and CD sales will be used to create a bursary to an incoming student of African or Caribbean heritage who demonstrates financial need. Several people also made donations to the bursary fund after the concert.
Heaven Sound (one of the bands performing that night)
“This was a fabulous night,” noted Redeeming Music’s Colvin Chambers. “It was wonderful to play for such a great crowd and for such a great cause. It was as inspirational as it was fun!”
“We are really excited that we could host SHOUT!”, says Doriel Moulton, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Recruitment at Redeemer (and featured soloist for Victory International Worship. “Our community of African-Canadian students at Redeemer is small but vibrant, and we are pumped to celebrate with them this aspect of their heritage. It was so great to see so many people, from so many different backgrounds, join us for a great night of music that celebrated our community’s diversity through gospel music.”
This was the first time that Redeemer had held an event like this, which turned out to be one of the few Black History Month events in Hamilton. Black history month events have in the past been hosted by Redeemer students but never a production by Redeemer itself. The event garnered media attention from across the region, including a feature on Mohawk College TV, CHCH’s Morning Live and Cable 14. The event was a great success, even though it had to be rescheduled because of a snow storm the week before. “We’ll be back next year,” says Ms. Moulton, “with an even bigger event – and a snow date.”
On Facebook, we have an album of photos from SHOUT! In the House. Check out the pictures!
For video and other information on the event, please visit www.redeemer.ca/shout.