The cold rain outside couldn’t dampen the boisterous praise for the performers at Pastoral Care’s 17th Annual Gospelrama. Emceed by the Rev. Dr. T. E. Kilgore -- or as Denise Statham, MTS, MSPCC, administrative chaplain, called him, “The Don Cornelius of gospel music” -- the non-stop fun featured a variety of talented performers, including singers, dancers, a band, mimes, and more.
(L. to r.) Roslyn Taylor, Johnnie Dawson, Madeline Dawson, Tamika Patton Watkins, and Mel Kearney were among the many talented performers at Gospelrama.
“Gospelrama has always been a very uplifting experience,” said Al Black, COO of the hospital. “We get the opportunity to see the talents of our staff and the talents in our community.”
This year’s event paid special tribute to Rev. Edward Smith, Jr., chaplain emeritus, the former community clergy liaison for Pastoral Care. Rev. Smith played an active role in establishing Gospelrama at HUP. Rev. Ralph Ciampa, director, Pastoral Care, extended special thanks to Madeline and Johnnie Dawson, of The Pavilion and Medical Records respectively, for their roles in making Gospelrama such a popular annual event during the last few years. He also thanked Black for his support and Statham for her tireless efforts in planning the event.
In addition to the performances, Gospelrama celebrated recent accomplishments within Pastoral Care. Ciampa recognized Chaplain Christopher Brown for recently becoming certified as a supervisor by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. “That was a five-year journey,” said Ciampa. “We are so proud of him and grateful for what he has accomplished.” He also congratulated Ramona Cecille for receiving her ACPE supervisor certification.
Ciampa took a moment to remember Gwen Nistle, a former HUP nurse for many years who passed away last June. At many Gospelramas, Nistle would recite poetry that she wrote. “Gwen was even more diminutive than I am, with a soft voice, but then she would recite her poetry and she was full of fire,” said Ciampa. “She was a very special poet for this institution for many years.”
HUP employees who performed in this year’s Gospelrama – and their talents -- included:
- Harolean Mack -- Spoken Word, Rhoads 4
- Kim Wilson – Liturgical Dance – Radiation Oncology
- James Burton – Vocalist – Security
- Roslyn Taylor of Pastoral Care, Johnnie Dawson, Madeline Dawson, Tamika Patton Watkins of Administration, and Mel Kearney of Occupational Medicine -- Vocal selections
- Anthony Cothran – Vocalist – Transport
- Sr. Ramona Cecille - Liturgical Dance - Chaplain, Supervisor
Our thanks to Morrison’s Caterers and Royale Jewel Creations for their contributions that helped make the night such a success. For a complete list of performers and additional pictures, go to pennmedicine.org/inside/hupdate.