Gospel icon Ricky Dillard to participate in Shreveport choir concert with Dr. Sonya Hester

Black Boot
When Dr. Sonya Hester set out to begin an annual event to honor the art of chorale singing she had no idea the effort would be respected around the country. "I really just wanted to showcase the dynamic voices we have here in our city and the hardwork that these choirs put into their ministries weekly," said Dr. Sonya Hester (Shreveport, LA).

'Bringing Back The Sound' was first held at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Shreveport where she is Minister of Music. There wasn't enough seats. People were literally standing along the walls. They had to open the lobby doors to let people stand in the doorway. As praise filled that sanctuary the word was spreading around the country. Thousands watched the concert on various Facebook Live feeds. Three years later, not only is the event bigger, but it has attracted the likes of Gospel Artists everywhere... including icons.

Gospel Icon, Ricky Dillard, will be the special guest at this year's concert. If you listen to any contemporary choir in the world, his stamp is on their sound. He introduced the art of extended vibrato and hyphenated range within the Black Choir experience. The Stellar and Dove Award Winner will contribute to the concert by working with the mass choir and sharing vocal tips to help perfect their local choirs. "He is highly respected in the Gospel community. His influence on choirs has been embraced for decades. It's truly an honor to have him come to our city and worship with us," said Hester.

Churches have become very 'Praise Team' focused. It is the trend that has taken over many churches and in most churches the Praise Team has replaced the traditional choir. "I love Praise Teams and I believe they have a place and purpose within our ministries but if you go to the root of the Black Church experience you'll find the impact of the full choir," said Hester. "It's ok to evolve but it's disrespectful for us to ever forget the impact the choir has on our history."

Bringing Back The Sound III will still be held at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 4670 Lakeshore Dr. in Shreveport on Sunday September 8, 2019 at 4pm. Special Guests include Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Ministry of Dance, Qualesia Melvin, Chosen Children's Chorus, Showers of Blessings Mass Choir, and Pleasnt Hill Baptist Church Voices on the Hill. The event will also feature a collaborative Mass Choir under the direction of Dr. Ricky Dillard, "One Voice Mass Choir."

One of the key highlights of the evening will be the 3rd Annual Eddie T. Youngblood Excellence in Music Award which is awarded each year to a Gospel Artist/Musician in the Shreveport region. The event is free to attend. Doors will open at 3pm. The event will be hosted by Pastor Corey Williams on 99.7 KMJJ's Sunday Morning Gospel Show, "Raise Your Praise".