Odessa Bryant's Story
Singspiration: Music heals the soul
I transferred from Oakwood College (at the time OC was considering establishing a nursing program) to Columbia Union College nursing program in 1971. What a culture shock!
I remember going downstairs one Friday evening to the basement of the girls' dormitory (Halcyon Hall) and noticed a young man playing the piano while waiting for his girlfriend - his name, Bill Ford; the song he was playing, “Precious Memories”. Soon students began to congregate there every Friday night--a group of young people would surround Bill and begin humming then eventually singing the words that would heal our souls and take us through whatever (issues) adversity we had encountered during the week in college, the community, and the world.
Eventually, we organized, posted fliers, and gave a clarion call to anyone who would like to come together and sing songs of worship and praise on Friday night. By then Adrian Westney, Jr., aka AT, was adding his musical touch on the keyboard. Extraordinary vocalists like Karen Palmer, Marseine “Dave” Dear, Bill Ford’s group, Melodies of Love, The Brothers and other voices were melodious and soothing to our weary souls. I will never forget The Soulseekers--what a tremendous group led by Dr. Myron Ottley! Musicians and people gathered together for Friday night vespers.
We just sang and raised the rafters in that old basement, singing spiritual songs sung by our ancestors long ago. New songs and lyrics were taught to the crowds of young people, often overflowing the basement of Halcyon Hall. We would gather together to be lifted spiritually and inspired by “just coming together” to sing praises to our Creator and Saviour. Occasionally, Pastor Reggie Robinson would provide a vesper thought, always encouraging and uplifting. Thus began "Singspiration" at Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University.
Music is still healing the souls of many who walk the halls of WAU. “Singspiration” certainly changed my walk with the Lord--I know it is still doing the same for so many others. Thank you for bringing back “Precious Memories“ to the healing of our souls such as a time like this. Until then...keep singing Songs of Praise & Worship.