Together As One Hymn Choir
Live! Volume 3

The strains of acappella church singing flow from this one-of-a-kind live recording that comes straight out of the unassuming pews of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The project is a joint collaboration by the Southeastern Archives for Vocal & Endangered Music and Crusader Broadcasting Ministry, and features the Together As One Hymn Choir, a large multi-demonimational choir from over twenty churches in the Carolinas.

 CD Itís fourteen hymns that come deep from the musical traditions of the Baptist Church, pulled from the familiar Baptist hymnals or from oral tradition —the spirituals and metered hymns.

The hymns are guided by an individual leader, with congregation echoing or following the cue. And like all congregational hymn sings, this is true, all-inclusive corporate worship, for individual voices can be heard from within the group. And while the harmony is unstructured and sometimes undefined, it is certainly there, with the unity of the whole is clearly evident.

Songs such as "Let us Praise The Lord", lead by Deacon Eddie Barber, have a nearly undefinable groove, distinguished by occasional ad lib entries and rhythmic but never obtrusive hand-clapping.

The uplifting "I Feel Good" is led by Sister Joann McCrorey, and the congregational choirís joy is unrestrained. Brother Rondell Ware guides the singing of "Jesus Will Pick You Up", one of the many hymns that is accompanied by audible foot stomping.

The eschatological Isaac Watts hymn "That Awful Day Will Surely Come" and Charles Wesleyís "How Happy Every Child of Grace" are included, as are several lesser-known gems such as "A Clean Hand & A Pure Heart"

If ever you really wanted to get back to old-fashioned church, then this would be your ticket.

Producer: Steve Sweeney, Timothy Pecararo
album release date: January, 2003
Crusader Broadcasting Ministry / Southeastern Archives for Vocal & Endangered Music

— review by Stan North

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