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Gospel Fest ends in high spirits

Gospel Fest ends in high spirits

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Gospel Fest 2005 ended in high spirits Sunday.

This was a month-long festival of gospel arts of which sponsors and organizers would be proud. Sunday’s performances were a fitting demonstration of the heights attained during this festival and an indication that here, gospel entertainment is alive and well. {{more}}

The 2005 Digicel Gospel Festival began one month ago at the same venue -the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex- with a modest but enthusiastic crowd . Fidel Taylor, the current chairman of the Festival Committee was one of the opening night performers when he led a praise session. This Sunday he was back as a guest artiste, only that this time he was among some stellar company.

Among the performers wrapping up the festival was none other than Kiokya Cruickshank, the diminutive, unassuming songbird who has been thrilling television audiences in Barbados and the Windward Islands as a finalist in the Digicel Rising Star competition. She performed just one song with her regular band the New Generation and again demonstrated this amazing voice, at once melodious, controlled and powerful, as she interpreted the song “Carry On.” Need I say she wooed the crowd? And one song from this angel can never be enough.

But back to the main show. This was a mixed bag of dance, comedy and song, all along religious themes. Particularly outstanding was the male vocal sextet Eternity with their acapella performance of “If you ever needed the Lord before” and The KLT Dancers with their interpretation of “Hallelujah to the King”. But to point out individual performances on this night would be to diminish the quality of the many other excellent contribution to this night of gospel magic.

Anita Charles performed several songs from her latest CD and was well appreciated by the audience. Hers was an indication of the fire that was to come next.

Featured artiste Bernard Smith, a Dominican resident in St.Croix was totally on fire as he performed several popular medleys that had the venue on its feet in a glorious dance worship session. Beads of sweat rolled down his bald head and face as he belted out song after song, throwing in some testimony about his former druguse and trafficking, and being jailed three times but now saved to glorify the name of the Lord.

Culture Minister Rene Baptiste was exhilarated, on her feet and dancing, as did Pastor George Ferderick and several other pastors present. This was a performance that deserved to be experienced. One that had to end, unfortunately because after all, this was the end of Gospel Fest 05. The show just had to end. It did with a prayer.

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