Beltway Buzz

Alfred Street Baptist Church Christmas concert unwraps musical excellence

Founded by slaves in 1803, the Alfred Street Baptist Church made history when they chose the Kennedy Center to hold their annual Music and Worship Arts Ministry Christmas concert. The event took place on Tuesday, December 6 in the Concert Hall.

Alfred Street Baptist Church presents: Because This Child Was Born: A Christmas Celebration was a tour de force of splendor and soul stirring renditions of, traditional songs, beloved hymns and spirituals. Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley opened with the invocation and spoke about the historic moment and exclaimed “I’m excited!”

Under the direction of Theodore Thorpe who is directing for the sixth consecutive season,  the celebration began with “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” sing along with audience and the backing of the United States Army Herald Trumpets. After getting the audience engaged, they lunched into a wonderful array of songs, including “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas,” “Away In A Manager,” “Mary Had A Baby” and many more, including a great interpretation of “Little Drummer Boy,” that included African drumming.

Alfred Street Baptist Church Christmas concert

One of the many highlights of the evening was the Three Tenors. Consisting of Duawne Starling, Roderick Giles, and Theodore Sapp were absolutely awe-inspiring and exceptional as they sang the the medley, “Jesus, Oh What A Wonderful Child/Have You Heard About the Baby.” They later returned to sing a stirring rendition of “Surely.” The three, all accomplished artists in their own right were flawless and hopefully audiences will see this trio collaborate once again.

In addition to the stellar group of singers and musicians, the concert also featured Dorinda Clark-Cole and Karen Clark Sheard. Clark-Cole was accompanied by the chorus as she sang, “Infant Lowly, Infant Holy.” Injecting her passionate style into the song, she sang with fervor, bringing the audience to their feet in spontaneous praise and should of “hallelujah!” Karen Clark Sheard  wowed the audience as she was joined by the chorus, dancers and the drama team on “Because This Child Was Born.”

Because This Child Was Born: A Christmas Celebration was a memorable evening that celebrated the birth of Christ in grand fashion and musical excellence orchestrated by Music and Worship Arts Ministry Director, Joyce Garrett. A  nationally celebrated  choral master, Garrett brought her best gifts to the Christmas celebration.

To learn more about Alfred Street Baptist, click here.


Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn
Sarah Hearn is Editor-in-Chief of, founded in 2011. The site was recently named among Feedspot's Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites.  Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association.
error: Content is protected !!