This weekend, tune in for a Motown and Soul Concert LIVE from Love City! Sing St. John is revisiting the songs of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and many more classic artists of the Motown era on Saturday evening; much like they did four years ago in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Now, at the end of a very different type of disaster, this incredibly uplifting event will take to the world wide web so that everyone, far and near, can enjoy the performance.
In the Spring of 2018, the St. John Recovery Choir sang a concert of Motown and Soul music, and it made the singers (and audience members) feel so good that they begged choir director Kristen Carmichael-Bowers to do it again. This year, she agreed.
On Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m., the Recovery Choir will present their “Love City Soul” concert featuring songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gay and Tammy Terrell, Sam and Dave, and others.
This time around, with Zoom skills developed during the pandemic, the concert will be presented virtually on Zoom, and everyone is welcome to join in. Carmichael-Bowers would not let an international shut down and quarantine keep her and her choir members from singing and performing. She took on the task of learning how to cast these concerts out into the world with a passion that emulates “the show must go on.”
When she was planning the concert this fall, Carmichael-Bowers was keeping her fingers crossed that the choir would be able to perform live this spring. But then the omicron variant surged just as the choir was getting ready to rehearse in person.
In the spirit of island flexibility and with several Zoom format concerts now under their belts, the enthusiastic choir director and her exuberantly talented choir are excited for all of YOU to tune in for this weekend’s performance. For the off-island viewers, there is the obvious advantage of being able to have a fun night, tuned into Love City, from the comfort of your home surrounded by the sounds of Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. But, for those of us on island who want to watch, there are no parking hassles and no worries of what to wear. We all just tune in, pour ourselves a glass of wine and sing and dance the night away in our own living rooms 🙂
You’ll need to register on-line in advance in order to tune in on Saturday evening but it’s as easy as 1-2-3! Simply go to the Sing St. John website and click on the box for concert registration. Fill out the form, and you’ll receive an email with a link to tune in to the concert Saturday evening on April 23. Admission is free, but donations to defray the technology costs are gratefully accepted.
And for those who wonder whether there are enough good singers on St. John to bring back those iconic soul and Motown hits, never fear. There’s a lot of talent on St. John. Carmichael-Bowers has recruited some singers you might expect, like Eva Chinnery, who regularly performs throughout the island, and others you might not, like former fire chief Winifred Powell, senior center director Abigail Hendricks, bookkeeper Pam Gaffin, New Day Workshop founder Cynthia Smith and real estate agent and property manager Hannah Jones. I’m feeling a bit like an underachiever as I write this list…These folks work tirelessly, drive the Love City community and STILL find time to rehearse and perform. Bravo!
In March, when many COVID restrictions were lifted, the choir went back to live rehearsals, using special masks designed for singers. Members were so thrilled to be singing with each other again that Carmichael-Bowers decided to give St. John a live taste of the concert offerings. This week, “carolers” of the Motown variety hit the streets in Cruz Bay, sharing their talents for the community and our visitors to enjoy. It was truly uplifting!
Personally, I am SO excited about this weekend’s performance! What a great way to spend a Saturday night at home. Head on over to the Sing St. John website to get registered for the beautiful sounds of Motown and Soul, straight from Love City.
The Recovery Choir is one of seven community music initiatives under the umbrella of Sing St. John, a 501c3 non-profit corporation that is supported by the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the V.I. Lottery, Martha and Dana Robes, and many other local businesses and individuals.