Yesterday Parroquia San Cristóbal celebrated her patronal festival with a bilingual service. The Coro de Jovenes joined the Adult Choir in procession. El Coro de Jovenes sang Dona Nobis Pacem, their first attempt at a canon, and it went well. The Lovely Mona and I sang with el coro.
We had visitors from St. Alban's Episcopal Church of Augusta, Georgia, and visitors from Houston, Texas and Sacramento, California, too. It was great to share our celebration with so many visitors. And, although we didn't get any photos of this, it was also Ricky and Marion Staple's 45th Wedding Anniversary, and they received a special blessing.
We also honored a few members of the parish for the good work they do. We honored Ms. Laura Walker, Ms. Margaret Bramwell, Ms. Teresa Brathwaite, Mr. Victor Skeete, Mr. Alfred (Tom) Lowe, and two of our young people: Ms. Crysthal Thomas, and Mr. Peter Wright. After the dismissal we all congregated on the patio for a Festive Coffee Hour with lots of good stuff to eat!
Here are the photos:
Chancel and Altar
Waiting for the procession
Censing the altar
Dona Nobis Pacem
Mr. Ruben McQueen, representing St. Christopher's Men's Fellowship, says nice things about Victor Skeet.
Barbara Smith, president of the ECW, Victor Skeet, Tom Lowe, Ruben McQueen, Clara Edwards
Ms. Margaret Bramwell
Teresa's nieta came forward and hollered "¡Abuela!" with a gift
Profesora Priscilla McQueen
Mrs. Adica Moore
In the afternoon the Lovely Mona and I attended the Methodist Church of Central America Panama Circuit Men's Commission presentation of the All Male Extravaganza. This is an ecumenical men's choir, originally started by the Methodists, but now has members from the following churches: First Baptist Church of Paraíso, National Baptist Church, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, St. Christopher's Parish, St. Paul's Parish, the Nazarene Evangelical Christian Church, Paraíso Methodist Church, Río Abájo Methodist Church, Wesley Methodist Church, several Seven Day Adventist churches, First Isthmian Baptist Church, Emanuel Baptist Church, Christ Church By-The-Sea (Episcopal), St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, and Trinity Methodist Church. It is a great choir, and I've sung with them in the past, and I've suggested that they change the name, maybe to something which doesn't make those of us from the SF Bay Area giggle, but they've been the All Male Extravaganza for fifteen years and I don't think they are going to change the name. Bernie Murray, our organist at La Misa a las 10:30 am, is the director and does a wonderful job. Several members of our parish are in the choir, and Rupert Neblett sang several solos, and Peter Wright as joined the choir, too. There were several special guests performing, too: Mr. Ricardo Dixon, an incredible Gospel singer, our friend Alfonso Lewis, who also played in the band, Mr. Leopoldo Magallon on the harp, and our dear friend Moises Castillo, an amazing male soprano with whom the Lovely Mona and I have sang in various choirs over the years. The Lovely Mona and Moises studied with the same voice teacher at Bella Artes de Universidad de Panamá. Alfonso Lewis plays many instruments, and you've seen photos of him playing at San Cristóbal and with El Gran Combo de San Cristóbal. Leopoldo Magallon plays what I call "Rock and Roll Harp." He plays in a very rhythmic style and the harp is electronically amplified. He and Alphonso were jamming, with Alphonso on the flute; it was kinda Herbie Mann meets Rock 'n Roll Harp. As usual, a couple of my friends and folks with whom I've played in the past are in the band: Prof. Abdiel Goddard on piano and Marcos Gilkes on drums. I don't know the bassist and guitarist: Hector Bolañios and José Ruíz, but they were very good, too. It was a great show! Photos!
The Bishop Clarence Hayes Gymnatorium begins to fill
The All Male Extravaganza, Bernardo Murray, Director
Mr. Carl Scotland of St. Christopher's announces the next piece
Horn section hiding
Ricardo Dixon got the audience on their feet singin' and clappin'
The Christian Brothers. Members of the All Male Extravaganza who sing West Indian inspired hymns. I told them that, where I come from, Christian Brothers make wine.
That's Bernie on the far left
Leopoldo and Alfonso jamming