At the end of a long snowy weekend, amidst cancellations and parking bans, DCD families and friends filled the Lowell Center to enjoy the warmth and spirit of a gospel music concert presented by DCD parent David Coleman on Sunday, February 10, 2013.
Members of the Tufts University Third Day Gospel Choir and Mr. Coleman’s own seven-member ensemble Confirmation treated those who braved snowbound streets to a moving and uplifting performance of traditional and contemporary gospel songs.
Mr. Coleman spoke at length about the roots of gospel, explaining the background of Spirituals and engaging the audience in what he termed “call and response” as everyone joined in singing “Wade in the Water” together.
He shared fascinating background information about the meaning behind gospel lyrics, explaining they were often written in code as a signal to slaves about where to meet, for example, “Wade in the Water indicating a meeting place along a river.
Until recently, the only way to hear gospel music was to attend a service in an African-American church. His hope is to spread gospel music beyond the churches into the larger society.
Among the songs performed was an original composition by Mr. Coleman, “Praise Him,” sung by Confirmation.
Members of DCD’s Lower School and Middle School Choruses joined the combined choirs for a performance of “I Need You to Survive.”
Mr. Coleman is Director of Choral Music at Dana Hall School and a Lecturer of Music at Tufts University. Confirmation, which he founded in 1999, has recorded five CDs of his original work and performed abroad as well as at home at the House of Blues, the Wang Center, and Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops. The Boston-based group has appeared in many churches and schools and is also active in prison ministry.
The Tufts University Third Day Gospel Choir, which is part of the Tufts Music Department, is composed of 225 young people from different cultures and faith, who perform together under Mr. Coleman’s direction. In 2010, they were featured in a story on BBC World News America, “A Choir of Many Faiths.”