Sandi Patty returns to Oklahoma
Pat Gilliand reviewed the concert in The Oklahoman. She shares more thoughts from the event below.
Part of the proof of the power of the Sandi Patty and Friends event is that it made me want to tell others about it. And what better way than to write a brief review? That’s what I found myself thinking during and after Tuesday’s concert at Crossings Community Church. But I didn’t realize just how brief it would have to be! So, here’s at least some of the rest of the story. I didn’t take notes, but the impressions remain strong.
Patty has a magnificent voice and stage presence. Especially on favorite hymns and the many songs of praise she recorded, the sound seems to flow from her soul. I loved a medley that included some of her early hits, including “Let There Be Praise,” “Hosanna” and “In the Name of the Lord.” She said the people who knew the words to those songs were showing their age. But moments later, Miss America Katie Stam, probably less than half Patty’s age, proved that wrong. Stam said she grew up singing Patty’s early songs around the piano with her siblings and parents.
Stam was amazing. I was not aware of her story, including how bold she is in her faith. The fact that she sang “Via Dolorosa,” a gripping song about Christ’s crucifixion, as her talent for the pageant hadn’t caught my attention. But I was impressed to hear her say that when interviewers questioned her about choosing such a “risky” song, she didn’t back away from its message. (She could have said it’s just a powerful song that showcases her focal range and expressiveness, which also is true.) When Stam and Patty performed “Via Dolorosa” as a duet, it was beyond description. Both women sang as if they owned the song and its message, and the power of that message was magnified as they traded solos and then shared harmonies.
I didn’t think that moment could be matched, but then another of Patty’s friends arrived on stage. I’d never heard of Anita Renfroe, but I’m a fan now. The Atlanta-based mother of three and wife of a former pastor describes her performance as musical comedy. The humor is irresistible and infectious. Her favorite subjects seem to be motherhood, weight and sex. She wraps them in amazingly tasteful hilarity. And her songs: Between the words and the performance, I was rolling over in my pew!
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