Harmonies of Faith and Freedom: A Night with The Chordsmen

Harmonies of Faith and Freedom: A Night with The Chordsmen (Photo Steven Sandage, Clovis Roundup)

June 16, 2024 – In the enchanting ambiance of Clovis’ Veterans Memorial Auditorium, an eager crowd of music aficionados and spiritual seekers gathered for an unforgettable evening.

The Chordsmen, a cornerstone of the Fresno area’s musical legacy for the past quarter-century, were set to deliver “The Power of the Gospel.” This concert promised to be a soul-stirring journey through a rich tapestry of southern gospel, country tunes, and timeless classics, evoking the very essence of Classic Americana.

From the moment the Frontline Quartet’s harmonies soared through the national anthem, the audience was spellbound, ready for a night of transcendent musical magic.

Comprised of vocalists Michael Ogdon, Dale Ellis, Mark Oller, Kearey Lyn, and Dalisay Johnson, The Chordsmen offered more than just a concert; they curated an experience.

The concert’s repertoire was a testament to The Chordsmen’s versatility and passion. Songs like “Show a Little Bit of Love and Kindness,” “I Am on the Battlefield for My Lord,” and “A Closer Walk with Thee” reverberated through the auditorium, each lyric carrying its own message of faith and hope.

The audience swayed to the rhythms, occasionally moved to laughter by Dale Ellis’s wit as he quipped about the quirks of life, including those of politics and community. Reflecting on the current state of the country, Ellis shared, “There’s so much talk today about politics and what divides us. Maybe that’s why it’s ‘poli’ticks’—” as the crowd chuckled.

But it wasn’t just vocal prowess that captivated the crowd. Dalisay Johnson’s violin added a soulful dimension to the concert, switching seamlessly between vocal harmonies with her groupmates and intricate instrumental solos that left the audience breathless.

Andrew Munoz, the jazz pianist, painted musical landscapes with his fingertips, both collaborating with Johnson and Ogdon on spellbinding instrumental pieces and delivering solo performances that showcased his extraordinary talent.

A particularly moving highlight was Kearey Lyn’s solo performances of “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.” Her powerful renditions brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience, adding an emotional depth to the evening’s patriotic tribute.

A powerful moment came when the audience was treated to a video tribute, honoring the courage of those who signed the Declaration of Independence. As images of history’s heroes flickered across the screen, The Chordsmen reminded everyone of the enduring values of liberty and unity that have shaped the American spirit.

The concert crescendoed with “Lead Me Home” and “If I Can Help Somebody,” stirring anthems that left a lasting impression on every heart in the auditorium. The Frontline Quartet returned for an encore, delivering a rousing rendition of “Java Jive” that had the audience cheering.

As the final notes faded into applause, it was clear that The Chordsmen had not just performed—they had ministered. Through their music, they had crafted a communal experience where the gospel’s message of hope, redemption, and unity resonated deeply.

In an age where discord often dominates the headlines, their songs reminded us of the enduring power of faith in God and the strength that comes from sharing that faith together.

In Fresno tonight, The Chordsmen didn’t just sing; they testified, uplifted, and brought people closer to God. And as the audience dispersed into the Fresno night, the echoes of their performance lingered, a melody of divine hope and unity that would resonate long after the lights dimmed in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.