Kingwood welcomed home Nashville-based, Christian recording artist Christi Harper in grand style as hundreds of local residents turned out for last Friday night’s Keller Williams concert. It was without a doubt the most elaborate production ever put on at Kings Harbor. Harper and her entire six-piece band Pierced Grip performed on a huge stage erected on the Harbor Plaza. A jumbo video screen projected the entire concert which was being taped live for a promotional video.
Harper, who grew up in Kingwood singing in the church choir, followed her roots for the first song: an upbeat “New Day” by Christian band Avalon. She followed that with the pop hit “Climb” by Miley Cyrus and her own song, “There is no Chain” from her debut CD “Hear.” Eddie Bonilla then joined Harper on vocals for a duet of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with an awesome saxophone solo by Sean Belcon that echoed off the Harbor buildings.
The performers took a break while Keller Williams Realty Northeast Senior Team Leader Lisa Dempsey introduced the guest charity: Blue Star Moms Houston Chapter. Dempsey noted that the organization was collecting “socks for soldiers” that night and donations to ship packages to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Donors received American flags which they waved heartily during the many patriotic references during the concert.
Mary Davis and Dr. Susan Lunson represented Blue Star Moms, which is made up of parents of active and veteran members of the U.S. armed services. Dr. Lunson encouraged the crowd to sign up for the Blue Star Moms’ benefit golf tournament hosted by Keller William’s Agent Doug Erdy at The Clubs of Kingwood on August 16.
During the second set, Harper introduced her back-up vocalist and long-time friend Amy Miller and the members of the band: Davin Brantley, drums; Mario Pinon, bass; Belcon, sax; and band leaders Bonilla and Casey Hensley, guitar and vocals. Miller and Pierced Grip branched out on their own for a couple of numbers while Harper rounded up the performers for the evening’s big number. Harper challenged the audience to “think about our calling on Earth” before a group of adults and children from area churches took over the stage to sing a moving rendition of “We Are the World.”
By then, the sun had set and it was time for a tribute to fallen U.S. Marine Sgt. Brandon Bury, a 2002 graduate of Kingwood High School who died serving our country in Afghanistan. The Blue Star Moms held a moment of silence in his honor as his photos flashed on the big screen.
In keeping with the emotions, Harper took a patriotic route for her last set of songs. She showed her vocal abilities with a stirring “Star Spangled Banner” which brought the crowd to its feet. They kept standing while she flowed right into “America the Beautiful.” Harper said that she selected the next song, “Some Where Over the Rainbow,” because it reminded her of what the soldiers must be thinking when they are “fighting for freedom.” She then formed a trio with Lisa Linney and Ruth Ann Goodwin, music teacher from Northeast Christian Academy, to harmonize the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Harper’s voice sounded better and better as the night progressed. One of her best songs of the evening was the final one: “My Life” from the hit TV show “Glee.” At the end of the concert, she was surrounded by her Kingwood family and friends which congratulated her and the other performers on a well-orchestrated and highly-entertaining production.
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