Viewfinder: Amos Polk’s Voices of Hope entertains Natchez visitors
Published 12:08 am Tuesday, October 14, 2014
NATCHEZ — Tapping toes and swaying bodies are exactly what Edna B. Jones wants to see during each performance of the Amos Polk’s Voices of Hope concert.
“We come in and start singing what feels good,” said Jones, who is the choir director for the Fall Pilgrimage performance. “We start clapping and moving, and hopefully, the audience gets involved.”
Amos Polk started the choir in 1983. Their member’s ages range from 16 to 81.
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“We sing a little bit of everything, gospel, patriotic and contemporary,” Jones said.
No matter what the age or musical preference of the choir members is one thing is guaranteed at one of their shows — everyone participating has fun.
That same feeling is what keeps Tucson, Ariz., resident David Hodges coming back year after year.
This year’s concert made for Hodges’ third concert in three years.
“Oh, I’ll be back next year,” he said. “I love the music, I love the atmosphere.”
For Jones, the concerts never get old.
“We always have a great time,” she said. “And when the audience gets involved, it makes everything better.
Audience involvement, Jones said, is the biggest goal of the concerts because the members of the choir feed off each other.
Nearing the end of the concert, the singers headed into the audience and grabbed as many people as possible to come to the front of the crowd to sing a rendition of “Amazing Grace” and “I Can Feel the Spirit.”
The stage was packed with people after the singers were done collecting visitors. For some, it is best part of the show.
Gita Bodner, also of Tucson, said at first she was stiff, but began to loosen up as the gospel vibes flowed over her.
“I thought, I am up here, might as well enjoy it and make the most of it,” Bodner said.
And enjoy singing she did.
“It was a really nice way to blur the line between audience and performer,” she said. “It makes the whole thing seem so much more personal.”