I covered my highlights of the evening concerts from last week, but some of the best music I heard was during the day at various showcases. Here are some of the highlights of things I saw in the mornings and afternoons!
Gaither Vocal Band Reunion – Thursday Afternoon
- It was a treat to see some of the great voices in the history of gospel music, including Larnelle Harris, Russ Taff, Steve Green, Buddy Mullins, and Guy Penrod all on stage at one time.
- The rollicking numbers like “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor” and “Heartbreak Ridge and New Hope Road” seemed to go over the best with the crowd
- Perhaps the most poignant moment was Steve Green’s testimony and performance of “Find Us Faithful”
- I thought they might close out with “Let Freedom Ring,” but “Glorious Freedom” from their new album appears to be the Vocal Band closer now. This was the first of three times we heard it this week, so it got the best response here.
Friday Morning Chapel with Mark Trammell Quartet and Greater Vision
- Mark Trammell Quartet kicked things off bright and early at 8:30 AM with a set of five songs. It’s the only time this week that I heard them do much of their piano/bass stuff, including “Hallelujah I’m Going Home”, “How Big Is God” and “Echoes From the Burning Bush”.
- Mark got Dustin Sweatman up to sing “Testimony,” which is the only time this week I heard him sing, on his last week with the quartet.
- It’s never too early to get the crowd on their feet, and they did that by closing with “It’s Almost Over”.
- Mark then preached a great message from the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Many people probably brushed up against the Lord that day, but she was healed because, with everything she had, she pursued the source of her remedy. The others were “so close, yet so far away”.
- Greater Vision did about an hour, including a lot of their standard fare: “I Could Never Praise Him Enough,” “He’d Still Been God,” “Hallelujah Square,” “Common Garments,” and “My Name Is Lazarus”.
- I always love hearing material from their Hymns of the Ages project, and they did two of the best: “Redeemed Medley” and “I Know He Heard My Prayer”.
- Stan Whitmire was helping out on piano, and Gerald had him do a solo of “I’ve Got That Old-Time Religion”.
Gaither Homecoming Sing-along – Friday Afternoon
- It was cool to see a lot of artists on the stage that aren’t normally a part of the Gaither Homecomings. Most of the major groups present at NQC were represented, thought most of the ones featured were more common Homecoming artists.
- Probably the biggest highlight for me was seeing Pat Barker brought up to do the second verse of “He Pilots My Ship”. He totally nailed it, to a great response. Bill Gaither had to ask Gerald Wolfe who that bass singer was. I hope he remembers.
- The most memorable moment was “Can’t Keep It to Myself,” featuring Angie Primm. It got everyone on their feet, and moving. It was encored several times.
NQC Music Awards – Friday Afternoon
- Overall, I thought it was a classy program and organized well. The hosting seemed a little awkward and cheesy at times, but the awards presentations themselves, acceptance speeches, and performances were well-executed. I thought it was really nice to hear (almost) all of the nominees for Song of the Year performed throughout the program.
- Dianne Wilkinson was the first one on the stage, taking home Songwriter of the Year. Congratulations, Mrs. Dianne!
- A lot of the ones you would expect to win (from the Booth Brothers and Triumphant) did win. Some of the surprises: Mixed Group (Collingsworth Family) and Tenor (David Phelps).
- A 40 year-old song won Song of the Year, and it was well deserved – “I Know a Man Who Can” by Greater Vision