Sunday, June 28, 2009

An Evening With The Harmonizing Stars of Boston

My roommate Christopher and I spent the evening in Stoughton, Massachusetts attending a concert that featured The Harmonizing Stars of Boston, a gospel group that was founded 40 years ago. This concert commemorated their anniversary.

I met these guys about a month ago. They were waiting for a train at Downtown Crossing on the Orange Line. I had a feeling things were going to get interesting. So I joined them in the subway car when the train arrived. They started, well, harmonizing. I heard a few bars of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" and identified it. They then sang it together on the train and continued singing until they departed at Roxbury Crossing to applause.

A few minutes later, another passenger discovered a small suitcase that had been left on the train. I immediately recognized it as belonging to the Harmonizing Stars. In the euphoria and excitement of the moment they had forgotten one of their belongings.

Fortunately, they had the foresight to give me their contact information. I said I would set things right. So after I got off at my stop I contacted them by phone and one of their members, Andre Wright, came over to collect the suitcase. In gratitude, he invited me to this show which took place tonight.

I haven't listened to a lot of African-American gospel. Sure there's "Oh Happy Day" by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. I've also watched some of it sung on TV. But hearing it in person is something else altogether. I now see why it makes people move because I was moving. Christopher was similarly moved.

Here's a taste of the Harmonizing Stars singing earlier this month at South Station. Andre sings high tenor and is in the back on the left. The other members of the group are Jonathan Bradshaw, James Bruce, Sr and Jonathan Bruce.

You can find additional information about the Harmonizing Stars here. They are all members of the Church of God and Saints of Christ in Dorchester, Massachusetts. In April, they were awarded Best Gospel at the 4th Annual New England Urban Music Awards Ceremony.

Life is much richer when one has experiences such as these.

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