It was on 24th December 2013 in Washington. My friends and I were going to attend the long awaited music concert that was being hosted by Michael Whitaker Smith, American gospel musician who was born on October 7th, 1957 at Kenova that is west of Virginia. Michael Whitaker Smith specializes in Christian rock music and pop rock. He is also talented in song writing and song composition not forgetting his acting. He plays several instruments including piano keyboards, guitar and vocals. He started singing in 1983 and is doing it up-to date. In his career, he has sold over 13 million different albums.
One of the latest songs he has released to the market is “Glory”, and it was in the market on 22nd November, 2011. In September of 2010, he released album called Wonder. In October 2008 he released Hallelujah album. On approaching the theatre, there was evidence of a big event in town due to big banners across the streets. People were wearing t-shirt with printed photos of the popular musician. and were chanting the name of the musician. On reaching the entrance of the building, the security enhanced thorough inspection on everyone passing through the entrance. After entering the hall, many people sit curiously gazing at the door with expectation.
The hall had decorations with lights of different colors all over garnished with big screens making it vibrant. The screens made a prior preparation of our minds on the coming of our special guests because it was playing popular songs of Michael Whitaker Smith. The sound produced by the amplifiers made it look like a real event had commenced. I tried to look around and make a rough estimate of the number of people present in the hall, and I found out that there were approximately three thousand people. Some of the latest albums released were being displayed in the form of a list but never played. It created a sense of anxiety on us as we waited eagerly to hear them being played live on stage.
Suddenly the lights went off! So within a split second impulse, they were on again but at the stage alone. What we saw on stage made our hearts skip a beat: a group of people wearing dazzling white costumes with wings attached. From a far distance, they looked like the angels. In a few seconds, the star we were waiting for came from behind the group dressed in white from head gear to the shoes. On his arrival to the stage, spontaneously the music began.
The first song they played was New Hallelujah. The song is 5 minutes and 47 seconds long and it was sung by Michael Whitaker Smith and was featured by African children’s choir. Debbie Smith together with Paul baloche collaborated with Michael Whitaker Smith in ensuring that the song came out in quality form. In October of 2008, when the whole album was released, the song was a hit in the charts of gospel music, in America. Being heard repeatedly in the radios worldwide the song become very popular and it triggered the sale of the album.
It is a song sung to show joy of the children of freedom, because of the liberation they have, they are encouraging all the nations and races to sing a new hallelujah because they are free. They are further appealing to the nations to spread love among themselves and give hope to people coming from the grace of God who has given them freedom. Due to the act of freedom, they are encouraging the nations to make others get to know Him and cause Him to be famous. They are inspiring the church to arise and spread love to other places. They are further telling the church to be active and continue singing the song of love. They are also encouraging Africa to sing the new song of freedom. Every person with the freedom is inspired to spread the song to others, the song of hallelujah. They are encouraged the whole world to sing new hallelujah, not only in Africa but also in Australia and China. They have inspired New York and Brazil also not forgetting Houston. The whole song has a mixture of an aria and more than ten singers. The tempo of the song is andante, because it is slow. It brings about the mood of the song expected of worshiping. The shape of the melody is in conjunction from the start to the finale of the song. The notes of the song are like a wave flowing from the start to the finish. Looking at the texture, it is homophonic. There is evidence of background voice giving support to Michael Whitaker Smith and this gives the song harmony.
The first song ended in style, when all the people in white with the exemption of their leader Michael Whitaker Smith came out of the stage to where we were seated and each picked up one person from the congregation pursuing them to sing hallelujah together with him. They got hold of the hands of some of us and took us to the stage as we sung along with them. After the finale of the initial song, the city hall was full of joy and shouts as we returned to our seats. The moment we resumed our seats, the lights were switched off and in a short time, the lights came back on stage alone again and alas! The performers had changed to red costumes bearing the writings “mighty to save “on the front and the back.
Immediately the second song named as Mighty to Save began to blast from the speakers. It is a song written by Clawson, Rodney and sung by Michael Whitaker Smith. Being in the album of Hallelujah, it was received in the market in October 2008. It was because of one song that the others became popular in the album. The song is 7 minutes and 53 seconds long. It is a worship song. The entire song has a combination of an aria and more than ten singers. There is confirmation of background tone of voice giving support to Michael Whitaker Smith and this provides the song harmony. The tempo of the song is andante since of it is slow. It conveys the mood of worshiping thus giving the audience their expectation. The form of the melody is in conjunction from the start to the finale of the song (Taxidou 2004). The notes of the music are like a wave smooth from the beginning to the finish. Looking at the texture, it is homophonic.
The singers give the listeners the hope of raising their faith. They tell the audience that everybody should face the fact that they need compassion and love that lasts. They request mercy to fall on them and that everybody requires forgiveness together with the kindness from God whom they say is the hope for the nations. They explain how the Savior is mighty in that he can move mountains, they give hope to the audience that God can save and He is always a source of salvation. They go ahead and give evidence of His might in that He conquered the death. They show a sense of surrendering themselves to God with their weaknesses that included failures and also fears and they ask God to fill their life, to guide them to go by everything they believe in. They ask Jesus to shine His light for the whole globe to see. They tell the audience that their singing is for the King, He rose for Him to receive glory. As they continued to sing a song, everyone in the audience rose up and lifted their hands and their voices singing alongside with them. The song had repetitions of choruses that made the audience easily learn the song and sing with them. In the middle of the song as they asked God to take them the way they are despite their weaknesses, the front raw knelt down while the others lifted their hands up and that made the song more enjoyable. Towards the end of the song, as they asked God to shine light for it to be seen by the whole world, bright light shone at the audience and that made us hold our breaths. Due to the keen listening of the song, it was so much into us that we thought God had shone His light upon us. The song eventually ended and everyone was clapping their hands n appreciation. As we resumed our seats, there was a warning coming from the speakers that everybody should be silent (Ley 2006). The people obeyed the order and there followed a deafening silence. A few seconds later we were not surprised to see darkness all over because we were used to that break. Light came all over and simultaneously a high-pitched sounds of joy shouted through the speakers and on stage, performers wearing black costumes with the writings “God wants you to shout for Him” at the back. Consequently, the hall was filled with shouts of joy.
The beats of the third song started playing. The title of the song is Shout to God. The song was written by Joel Houston, together with Marty Sampson. The artist of the song is Michael Whitaker Smith. The song is a worship song in the album of Hallelujah and it was released in October of 2008. The song takes 4 minutes and 8 seconds from the start to the finish. It is gospel worship song with a soloist and a backup from the background, thus, there is implication of harmony in the song. The tempo of the music is andante since of it is slow. It brings about the atmosphere of worshiping, thus proving the audience with their expectation. The appearance of the melody is in conjunction from the start to the finale of the song. The notes of the music resemble a wave smooth from the start to the conclusion. Looking at the texture, it is homophonic.
The singers tell the audience that death has been defeated and could not hold Jesus down and they lift their voice because of being victorious. They are going to make the praises loud. It is a victorious song and the writer wrote it to pass the information that since Jesus defeated death, people have a reason to be sad about. They believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead and emerged victoriously. The singers tell the audience to shout with triumph to God as a show of victory. They say that they lift the Name of God up for defeating death. The song moved the emotions of everyone in the congregation that led us to shout loudly and repeat what the performers were singing. Michael Whitaker Smith came where the congregations were seated and guess what? I got lucky and sat next to him and had a long conversation with him. Several questions rolled in my brain traffic ready to come out of my mouth. He told me about his life history and the things that drove him in life in order to become a singer. There is this interesting story he told me about of his life since he was a kid, he told me that he was a rude boy when he was 10 years old. He used to insult his mother when she gave him instructions on how to do duties in the house. The rudeness was brought about by bad company that he used to associate himself with on the playground. Due to his rudeness, he was denied some of the delicious meals made for the whole family and that bothered him a lot in his young life. He was listening to every type of music, but gospel made him feel safe and accepted in the world even if he was feeling alienated from the family. He used to go to a nearby music shop and listen to gospel music whenever he felt down in emotions and the music used to provide him with hope and joy in his life. One of the bad days, when he had longer-heads with his mother, he heard one of his favorite songs being sung in the nearby church, the song magnetized him and he found himself inside the church dancing to the song. The pastor noticed how he was committed to the dance and introduced him to the dancing team in the church. One of the days of practice in singing and dancing, the leader of the group realized that he had a wonderful voice and gave him the chance to lead the service with worship songs. After some time, he gave his life to Christ and God gave him a favor to start writing song and at the same time singing. He made peace with his mother and was transformed to a humble man and quite obedient to instructions given.
The event seemed to be too short because of the excellent performance of the singers. After the concert everybody went home happy and fully entertained. I liked the spirit I saw in Michael Whitaker Smith in that despite his age he is pressing on and spreading the gospel through singing. His songs are cool with a slow tempo that makes the listening of the words be easy thus the entire song is comprehensible.