Christ Church Cathedral Coffee morning Concerts have given great value and enjoyment this year and none more so than the visit of Tramore Gospel Singers, a thirty strong community group that love singing and that love shines out with exuberance and happiness from Waterford, city and county, Nigeria, Germany and the Phillipines.
Under the direction of Jane O’Brien-Moran and with Damien O’Brien on keyboards, there is an infectious happy spirit that added much to a sunny, crisp, autumnal Sunday. The fine group of men, dressed in black and the ladies in black with red scarves, they were balm to the soul and brightness to the spirit.
Opening with the popular O Brother Where Art Thou song Down In The River To Pray, they staked out their claim enjoyment. June Kavanagh led off on Bob Marley’s One Love (voted the BBC Song of the Millennium in 1999). You could feel the warm, let’s get together and feel alright.
They followed with a set of Slavery Spirituals, with some great male bass lines. In a Wailer’s mood, I was reminded of Marley’s fine Slave Driver – today we see we are free, only to be chained here in poverty.
A contemporary song Total Praise from Richard Smallwood, segued into the Soweto song, What The Lord Has Done To Me and the impact of the 1949 classic, Touch Me Lord Jesus, showed the pre-Do Wop and roll influences of Woo Hoo choruses.
The rich male tones of Nobody But You was beautiful and Pat O’Mahony led off another contemporary song, Holy Is The Lord. The ladies swayed and wowed the audience with a glorious Mary Don’t You Weep (a civil rights song).
Closing with a splendid Oh Happy Day, the Edwin Hawkins version, the congregation was alive with the shared spirit of singing and in Tramore fashion, they encored with a Train song.