July was a busy month for Jim Thomas and the Spirituals Choir! Undaunted by relentless heat and humidity, the choir continued to rehearse every Wednesday. The hard work culminated in three successful performances.
On Saturday, July 20, we sang our annual full-length concert at Union Chapel to a very appreciative audience with many new faces in it. We were joined by guest organist Lavert Stuart.
The very next morning, we were featured at the Unitarian Universalist Society’s Sunday service. The theme was “From Africa to the Underground Railroad,” and again Lavert Stuart was at the organ.
Maybe because it built on the previous evening, maybe because so many of us had the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial on our minds, maybe because the congregation and the choir raised our voices together in several songs — whatever the reasons, this was one powerful event.
To conclude the service, we all rose together to sing “America the Beautiful.” Before we finished the first verse, I was so choked up I could barely sing. Turns out the same thing was happening to a lot of other people. At the end many eyes were shining with tears and hope.
On Sunday, July 28, Della Hardman Day, we returned to East Chop Lighthouse to help celebrate the life and creative powers of the late Della Hardman. The sun was in hiding so we saw no sunset, but the rain held off and we sang well.
Our summer season is beginning to wind down, but it’s not over yet. On August 8, we’ll be singing at the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging, to thank the town’s seniors for letting us rehearse in their space. Then on August 18, we’ll be part of the service at West Tisbury’s First Congregational Church. It’s our first time there, and we’ll be joined by guest soloist Elizabeth Ross.
In early September the choir will participate in a fundraiser for Windemere at the Tabernacle.