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BME Singers 'Still Have Joy'

The Black Music Ensemble rounded out the Homecoming weekend festivities with a concert that fogged up the windows at Union Church on Sunday afternoon.

The Black Music Ensemble rounded out the homecoming celebrations.

Many turned out for BME's fall concert, which brought together several different kinds of music lovers from the student body, church members and the surrounding community. Kim Wilson is directing the group this year while Dr. Kathy Bullock is away on sabbatical. The theme for this year's concert was "Still Have Joy," playing off of the final song on the set list as well as the feeling that as long as audience members still have God in their lives, they "still have joy."

Part one of the program consisted of six songs of a few different varieties. "Alpha & Omega," a very solemn and reverent song featuring soloist Lamont Hill, began after the opening prayer given by Minister Ronnie Farmer, a BC senior. Next came "High Praise," which also featured soloist Lamont Hill along with Djuan Trent. With the help of the duo's voices, the audience was brought to its feet, clapping along with the high energy of the song. Demetrius Russell stole the spotlight as the soloist in "You are So Awesome," which kept the audience on its feet as well. Two songs were featured in the Negro Spiritual medley: "Walk With Me" and "Lord I Know I've Been Changed." These two songs were helped along by Nicholas Gwyn and Joyce Layne, the soloists. "We Offer Praise" followed, with director Kim Wilson giving an explosive solo performance. To round out part one of the program, Ebony Walker led the group in the song, "I Will Bless the Lord."

During the intermission, mid-year graduates were honored. BME has two this semester: Melissa Engram and Hannah Haverkamp. As she handed the girls personalized plaques and extended her congratulations, Wilson emphasized, "The best is yet to come." Also during intermission, two very talented young men gave a mini-concert of several reverent pieces. Jeff and Cole are from Lexington and are working on a CD that will be released in the near future.

Before part two of the concert, Wilson informed the audience that BME will begin selling audio and video recordings of Sunday's performance within the next few months. She also took time to recognize the ensemble's talented accompanists, student directors, signers and Web page designers.

Part two of the concert started off with a bang, featuring a new addition to the group's repertoire, "Matthew 28." The anthem paid tribute to Christ's death, resurrection and his purpose here on earth. The piece combined contemporary and classical styles, and featured an energetic, erratic pace that kept the audience on its toes. It was definitely a big hit with the crowd.

After a resounding introduction by Wilson, student soloist Brian Taylor led the group in "Because of the Blood." Before the grand finale, Wilson introduced two students who testified to the joy they still felt after facing one hardship after another. BME jumped right into "Still Have Joy," which brought the audience to its feet once again, and sent several home feeling as though they did indeed "still have joy."

To view a list of BME's upcoming engagements, request a CD or schedule a performance, visit the groups new Web site listed below.

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