Sunday, May 1, The Nashville Choir honored the rich musical history of Bill and Gloria Gaither. Who better to celebrate at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center than the ASCAP named Christian Songwriters of the Century – Bill and Gloria!
The event was filled with music arranged specifically for the night played flawlessly by the orchestra. This sold-out performance honored Bill and Gloria while simultaneously contributing to The Gospel Music Trust Fund and the non-profit activities of TNC.
It is wild to think that one year ago today the May flooding changed the history of the Schermerhorn. News Channel 5 points out, “It’s hard to forget more than 20 feet of water covered the lower level of that building, destroying pianos and other musical equipment. The Schermerhorn re-opened eight months later on New Year’s Eve (2010).” The musical community of Nashville is relieved to know that the legacy and music of the symphony will live on!
Joining the voices of the Nashville Choir was a heavenly mix of Christian recording artists. The list of vocalists included The Isaacs, Mark Lowry, Larnelle Harris, Sandi Patty, Michael W. Smith, The Gaither Vocal Band, Buddy Greene, Sheila Walsh, David Phelps, and Steve Green. Gordon Mote spent most of the night blessing the crowd with his talents at the piano.
This once-in-a-lifetime tribute to the Grammy and Dove Award Winning songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither featured the following list of their beloved songs:
- “There’s Something About That Name”
- “Something Beautiful”
- “This Is The Time I Must Sing”
- “Because He Lives”
- “I Don’t Belong”
- “He Touched Me”
- “Anthem For Christmas”
- “I’ve Just Seen Jesus”
- “Gentle Shepherd”
- “I Then Shall Live”
- PLUS MORE!!!!
In reference to the Gaither Tribute, the director of the Nashville Choir, John Coates, says, “We are overjoyed to share this evening with Bill and Gloria, celebrating 50 years of the impact of their music. The fruit of their life’s work is a body of songs recognized and loved by people all over the world.”
John goes on to mention, “A highlight of this grand event has been the opportunity to work once more with the life-long friend and mentor Ronn Huff. His level of musical excellence and dedication to his craft and to his Creator cannot be fully comprehended, only deeply appreciated.” Pictured to the left, Ronn goes over details of the night’s event with John as the choir and all involved participants do one last run through of the concert.
The Nashville Choir certainly delivered a treat to the attendees of last night’s memorable evening. After the garden of lyrics mixed with the mind-blowing vocal ability married the talent of the orchestra, Bill and Gloria were met with thunderous applause when they took the stage to reflect on the lifetime of memories the music had brought to mind.
As Bill shared stories from their journey, Mark Lowry managed to throw a few jokes in to get people smiling from ear to ear. Bill joined The Gaither Vocal Band, the Nashville Choir, and the crowd in song and inspired the room with a few of his favorites. Gloria wrapped up the evening before the final song as she poignantly gave the back story to “I Then Shall Live.” She explained how it was in response to the Francis Schaeffer book, “How Should We Then Live?”
Shelia Walsh, the host of the evening, said it best when she noted that Bill and Gloria write songs with fruit on all the branches. Some songs are like the fruit on the lowest branch so that a child can reach (understand) them. Other songs meet the listener at eye level helping us to see life exactly where we are. Then there are songs that are on the highest branches of the tree – these songs help us to look up and long for heaven.
The words of “I Then Shall Live” mirror that tree analogy. It not only points to how we are to live while we are here on earth, but verse three notes the coming of a kingdom and gives the listener hope for a better day. Bill and Gloria – thank you for sharing your love of music, lyrical ability, and most of all your heart with the world. This evening was a delight!
I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child and I am not afraid.
So, greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive my brother;
The law of love I gladly will obey.
I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion.
I’ve been so loved, that I’ll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I’ll dare to see another’s point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I’ll be there to care and follow through.
Your Kingdom come around and through and in me;
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.
Your Hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.