Gospel music fills library

Michael Tortorich
Earl Taylor conducts the Messengers of Music 2nd Edition Tuesday night during a gospel music performance at the Ascension Parish Library in Galvez.

GALVEZ – The Messengers of Music 2nd Edition performed a rousing concert of gospel music Tuesday night at the Ascension Parish Library.

The evening of music marked the celebration of Black History Month. As many of the songs are traditional gospel standards, the historical context of each was presented.

Conductor Earl Taylor led the 14-member choir, along with Eileen Kennedy on keyboard and narration by Mary Wells.

“We intend to galvanize you in such a way that you won’t be the same,” Taylor said prior to the performance.

He explained the songs were derived from works songs and spirituals during times of oppression.

Over time, religious lyrics began to arise in the songs. Many included references from the Bible. Lyrics also held political significance, and sometimes, included secret codes.

The call and response style was popular in the songs. An example of the style was demonstarted when the choir sang “Certainly Lord.” The song mechanism became popular since many were unable to read. It allowed them to repeat a line after simply hearing it. The influences eventually spread to other genres.

At times Taylor and the choir had the crowd clapping and singing along to the call and response songs.

“If you don’t sing, you can sing it solo,” Taylor joked.

The choir closed the concert with an inspired performance of “Soon I Will Be Done” by William L. Dawson.

“We hope we have met your expectations,” Taylor said to the crowd, which gave the choir a standing ovation.