Yesterday was a very long day at National Quartet Convention, starting off nice and early with a chapel service with music by the Mark Trammell Quartet and Greater Vision, and a sermon by Mark. We also caught the Gaither Homecoming showcase and the NQC Awards, so we had already had our cup filled before the evening concerts started. We missed a few sets just because we wanted to eat and hang out some more in the exhibit hall, but I still caught everything I really came to see. Here are my highlights of my last night at NQC.
1. The Mark Trammell Quartet once again knocked the ball out of the park on their mainstage appearance. They started off with pure quartet fun on “Meet Me Over on the Other Side,” then moved into “Too Much to Gain to Lose,” which got a partial standing ovation. They really got the crowd going and on their feet with “Standing on the Solid Rock,” then got a big standing ovation for their closer, the “Golden City Tour Medley” from their new project. They had the most impressive sets of the week that I saw.
2. Triumphant Quartet once again brought great energy to the stage, but the best moment of their set was a quiet one. After telling the story of his baby Embry’s fight for life, Scott Inman sang an apparently off-the-cuff and a cappella rendition of “Only God Knows,” to a standing ovation. They closed her down with “Old White Flag,” to its usual raucous response.
3. The best moment of the 90-minute long Gaither segment was the Nelons electrifying the crowd with “I’m Going Home with Jesus”. This is a great song that seems to get a big response whoever sings it. The Gaither Vocal Band was very strong, as you would expect, and they sang, by my count, six songs from their new project. “Glorious Freedom” is clearly now their big go-to song. It was great, but the reaction may have been dampened because it was the third time in the last 36 hours we had heard it sung.
4. I hope Tribute Quartet really put some buzz in the minds of the fans at NQC this week, because they did a great job Thursday and Friday nights, and they deserve to be heard. Their set was highlighted by a repeat performance of “Good New From Jerusalem” and a very strong performance of “Song of Heaven”.