by Dexter Harper
photos by Dexter Harper | BlackAmarillo.com
Preparations begin before the children of fall ring doorbells and shout “trick or treat”. Countless hours have long been spent before Thanksgivings feast. The rush of ‘Black Friday’ shopping can’t compare to the juggling of the dwindling time before the finish.
This year like the many since 1993 The Hood Mass Choir presented “Christmas In The Hood 2011”. The host church Johnson Chapel A.M.E. was filled to capacity Sunday long before the first note.
The Hood Mass Choir is composed of more than fifty talented men and women from across the communities of North Amarillo. The Hood Mass Choir has representation from many denominations unified by one goal, the expression of the true reason for the season in music.
The driving force behind the event is the director of the choir Mr. Donnell Hill. As director it doesn’t take long to lose count of the hours spent in preparation. On an average year rehearsals begin in mid-October and end with a final rehearsal days before the event. It’s a monumental task as choir members juggle the time restraints but the end result is truly a gift of love in music.
In his introductory remarks Mr. Hill set the definition of ‘the Hood’ as the whole of Amarillo and queried audience on how long they had been in the hood. Mrs. Knighton-Young and Mr. Shorten drew a standing ovation and round of applause for being the eldest members of the hood.
This year’s event included not only the finest musical voices in Amarillo but performances by the Johnson Chapel Mime and Youth Ministries. Prior to the benediction was a spectacular recreation of the nativity scene.