B.B. Thompson Choir still inspirational after 41 years

To the Editor,

Over the years I have attended the annual concerts of the B.B. Thompson Choir which is composed of several hundred of our county’s youth. Their spirited concerts are legendary for arousing enthusiasm and provoking emotion from the audience. Their 41st annual concert, held this past Sunday at Fairmont’s First Baptist North Main Street, was in keeping with the past ones and certainly proved to be a tremendous success. From the first strains of their opening number to the final stanza of their last selection the choir kept the audiences rapt and undivided attention.

The theme of this year’s concert was “Better Together, I Need You To Survive,” and with the musical selections chosen to convey hope for recovery against the odds, both personal testimonies, and moving videos imparted the tremendous destruction of Hurricane Matthew and the unselfish efforts of so many in the recovery period. Between song sets speakers told of heroic and courageous acts performed by town workers, police officers, and everyday citizens who gave nobly of themselves for those suffering.

The choir’s first concert was in April 1976 at Fairmont’s First Baptist North Main. They have returned there 19 additional times over the 41 years of their existence and performed at other county churches, RCC, and UNCP on other occasions. The choir has traveled to Virginia and New York City performing at various city churches and making an appearance on “The Today Show” in 2007. On the weekends preceding their Sunday concerts a team of choir directors and speakers hold instructional sessions with the members and act as mentors to them. This year’s concert was dedicated to a recently deceased choir official and mentor, Mrs. Ethel Pearl Ford of Fairmont.

I was thrilled to be among those attending Sundays concert and was rejuvenated by the spirited music which I heard. Over the past 41 years this county choir has won the hearts of many who have heard them and mine is certainly no exception.

Charles Kemp