A day to picnic, a night to sing

The Baltimore Sun

Looking back over the past few months, I see that there was plenty to do in Baltimore - day and night, indoors and outdoors. Here's a snapshot of two events.

The 17th annual Stone Soul Picnic on Aug. 16 had record attendance. Headlining the day of fun under the sun were soulful crooner Eric Benet, R&B; artist turned gospel singer Regina Belle and rapper Jayceon Terrell Taylor, also known as The Game.

Some entertainers, including recording artist Paula Campbell, posed and chatted with fans at the picnic, which was sponsored by Radio One and held at Druid Hill Park. The all-day event included ethnic food and offerings by many other vendors.

On Sept. 27, The Baltimore Sun sponsored the third annual Macy's Presents UniSun Gospel Celebration at the Lyric Opera House. The event was full of joyful, faith-based music that uplifted a crowd of more than 2,000.

The concert included spirited singing from some of the area's best choirs, including the Outreach of Love Choir from Bethel AME, the El Shaddai Temple Mass Choir, the Maximum Anointing Choir of Southern Baptist Church, Divine Voices of Praise from Ark Church and the Greater Paradise Christian Center Mass Choir.

The evening also included performances by national recording artists Donald Lawrence, who has won Grammy and Stellar awards, and Jason Nelson, the pastor of Greater Bethlehem Temple Church in Randallstown, who last month released his second CD, Place of Worship.

The event ended after the five choirs, Nelson, Lawrence and Lawrence's group of backup singers sang "Blessings of Abraham," a song made popular by Lawrence when he directed the Tri-City Singers, a choir he led for 13 years.

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