GLENSIDE -- "An Afternoon of Spirituals and Hymns" was presented recently by Joann Frasier Dasent, founder of Regenerating Our Offspring Through Stories, Inc., to bring her collegiate thesis "The Enduring Effects of The Negro Spiritual and How They Continue to Energize The Human Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" to life at the Castle halls at Arcadia University.
Audrey Nazulme, program director for the AARP Experience Corps, was Mistress Of Ceremonies.
Professor Randy J. Gibson, founder of Gibson Music School, serenaded arriving guests on the baby grand piano.
The featured artist for the afternoon was Joilet Harris. She was accompanied by Barry Sames, a graduate of Temple University’s Boyer College of Music, pianist, arranger and educator.
Harris' repertoire included a selection of songs from her grandmother’s hymn book, sharing memories of her elders in the South renewing their faith by singing in a method called "lining" a hymn. Within this musical prayer, a leader recites lyrics followed by the congregation repeating the lines acapella. Harris' engagement with the audience in lining an ancient hymn was one of the highlights of the afternoon.
Guests were further engaged by Harris' 91-year-old aunt and gospel legend, Thomasina Johnson James.
The afternoon’s program continued with testimony and awards to several caregivers for their care of the elderly. Clarice Spann accepted the awards on behalf of those not present. Mary Brownell was honored for her care of the elderly.
The oldest person at each table was given a centerpiece. Target, Michael Frasier, Giant and Shop Rite were thanked for their donations, and a group photo was taken on the stairs steps in the castle.