By Mr. Sidney Harris (IMCOM)December 17, 2013
SCHWEINFURT, Germany -- Once night fell at the city's annual Christmas market, and a chill swept through the market square, locals hunched closer over their warm drinks. And when the garrison's gospel choir took to the open-air stage, heads turned. And soon, the crowd swelled.
Ledward chapel's gospel choir, known as The Anointed Voices, performed at Weihnachtsmarkt Schweinfurt Dec. 10 marking the last performance of the 2013 Christmas concert series.
The group is led by Capt. Elizabeth Obrecht, who is also the deputy director of human resources for the garrison. Since their formation, they have performed mostly at the chapel. This presentation marked a significant accomplishment in their time together.
"It was absolutely a blessing. I think that Schweinfurt definitely enjoyed us and we enjoyed being here and singing God's praises," Obrecht said.
The Schweinfurt Christmas market -- which runs daily through Dec. 23 -- is located at Schweinfurt's market square. It includes rides, vendors, food and music.
"My God is Awesome" is the chorus of the song that had the entire crowd dancing and clapping in unison. The tune's mixture of gospel harmonies and reggae rhythms proved irresistible -- even for the music savvy Franconians, who are seldom uprooted from their customs.
"I think that the performance turned out very well received," said Sgt. 1st Class, Glacia Simmons who has been singing with the group since its formation. "God was present, and that's what we wanted."
"Silent Night" was especially well received when the group surprised the audience by delivering the second verse in German. Rows of people interlocked arms and swayed in synch form side to side, slow and solemn, down to the last note.
"We wanted to portray God to the Schweinfurt community. We are the gospel choir and that's what we did," said Simmons.