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Mcdonalds Gospelfest 2009 Wow!!!
Magnificent, Glorious and oh so funny are just some of the expletives that describe this year’s McDonald’s Gospel fest that took place on June 13, 2009 at the Prudential Center in Newark NJ.
McDonald’s Gospelfest began in1983 under the auspices of the McDonald’s Corporation and the McDonald’s Tri-State Owner Association. Today twenty-six years later it has become the nation’s preeminent Gospel event.
If you were not there then you most likely missed an opportunity to experience a special moment in the history of the Gospel fest. Not only was it the first time that Patty Labelle who released a gospel album, "The Gospel According To Patti LaBelle," in 2006, and Regina Bell (who releasing her first gospel album, "Love Forever Shines," in 2008 performed at this event. But Vickie Winans who was also a featured gospel artist (and a veteran of the event), was at her comedic best, dishing out squeaky clean side splitting comments about politics, weight loss, the love of eating and her own personal plug for her entrepreneur-
Even the lovely Patty Labelle who blessed us with her undeniable God given vocal talent gave us a laugh when she told us that she seriously could not get up off her knees after literally getting down with her song. She was wonderful and graceful even at a moment that would have been embarrassing for most artists. The other performers were wonderful as well, the other regular and guest song ministers for the evening included regulars such as Pastor Donny McClurklin, Cissy Huston, Hezekiah Walker and guest, J Moss, CeCe Winans who was briefly accompanied by BeBe Winans to perform their new single.
This was also a special night because it marked the tenth anniversary of Curtis Farrow producing the event. He has done such a phenomenal job with the McDonald’s Gospel Fest for so many years that some were hoping to give him a surprise celebrate for his work with the Gospel Fest during the event but due to time restraints they were unable to follow through. But no doubt the well deserved blessing is coming.
His co-host MY 9’s Brenda Blackmen gets kudos for just keep up with him. Her charm and grace and her obvious love for the children was evident throughout the event.
Curtis Farrow, Associate Producer was as usual behind the scene making sure that things ran smoothly. When I asked him if he was stressed by all the activity he replied “No, not at all, I’m fine”. And indeed he was and he stayed at it all night doing an amazing job with the help of Camille Bonds and others who were helpful as well as courteous even under pressured of a very busy climate.
Mayor of Newark NJ, Cory Booker made it clear that while the Devils hockey team played there at the arena during the week, “the angles were having their way tonight”.
But the night belonged to the young people, the children who came from near and far ready to do their thing for Jesus. And do their thing they did, praise dancing, stomping, the spoken word (gospel poetry), gospel rap, for the first time gospel comedy and a whole lot of singing, they lit up the Prudential Center with their voices and performance skills. During the children’s solo performances several got their shouts on while Ronald McDonald clapped his hands and looked on. I have to admit that I was hoping that the Spirit would fall on him and really give the secular press something to write about.
There was just so much talent there in the Prudential Center that I was so glad that I was not one of the judges for the evening.
Those charged with the difficult task of Judging the competition were: Sarah Dash (of the group LaBelle) Singer Roberta Flack, Maurice Hines, Darlene Love.
The event spanned over eight hours with the competition running from late afternoon to early evening and the supporting gospel artist performances following.
At the end of the day out of more than some 80,000 entries 14 winners were chosen from the various categories.
2009 McDonald’s Gospelfest Winners
1. Praise Dance Group Uptown Praise Dance Academy New York, NY
2. Praise Dance Solo-Trio Nadia Torres Bronx, NY
3. Gospel Rap Brother Remixx Neptune, NJ
4. Gospel Comedian F.U.D.G.E. Long Island, NY
5. Gospel Poetry Trini the Professor Montclair, NJ
6. Step Poughkeepsie Steppers with Class Poughkeepsie, NY
7. Adult Choir St. Phillips Inspirational Choir Staten Island, NY
8. Group Soul Tempo Hamden, CT
9. Contemporary Christian Soloist Christine Sinclair Stamford, CT
10. Spanish Language Soloist Helen Rodriguez Hillside, NJ
11. Teen Soloist Najiyah Threatt New York, NY
12. Gospel Soloist Samira Gibson
13. Youth Choir Heritage Show Choir Plainfield, NJ
14. Out-of-Town Choir Youth With Vision Belzoni, MS
The proceeds from the event will go to African American Future Achievers Scholarships Fund.
The New York Christian Times
1061 Atlantic Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238
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Page Updated Last on: Jun 30, 2009