leads the choir of Galilee Baptist Church during a recent practice.A concert will be given for the retiring Caddo Parish
music teacher on Oct. 21. (Douglas Collier/The Times) If you goWHAT: Hattie Wade and the Galilee Baptist Church Choir in concert.
When Hattie Wade
was a little girl growing up in Monroe, there was no piano in the home.
So, as her
mother would recall, Wade
would go outside and sit on the stairs of the porch, her
legs dangling between the steps, and she
would sing and play away on the top stair plank that was closest to her
little arms' reach.
...Wade, a retired music teacher, has served as the minister of music at the historical Galilee Baptist Church for the past 40 years.She
and the music ministry will be in the spotlight Oct. 21, when they perform a concert for a special musical worship service.The event will be the first in a two-part musical celebration of the church's 130th anniversary.
An example to othersWade
has taught and influenced a number of area singers, musicians and performing artists.She
taught music in the Caddo Parish school system and at Southern University-Shreveport
for more than 30 years.For more than 20 years, she directed the Youth Rally, an annual music service performed by hundreds of children and teens.For 18 years, she served as pianist and organist for the National Baptist Convention of America Inc. and she served as a faculty member in Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
The list goes on.
Theater director Vincent Williams met Wade
was a teenager participating in Kaleidoscope, an annual city-wide musical for all high schools.Wade, who was teaching at Captain Shreve High School, was director of the musical that year.
...Wade graduated with honors from Grambling State University in 1966 in music education, earned her master's in education at LSUS and earned a doctorate of sacred music at Temple Bible College and Seminary in Ohio.She's completed studies at Southern University-Shreveport, Centenary College and The Institute of Humanities in Boston.
explained that there's a difference between a musician and church musician.
"A musician looks at all the benefits of being a musician, the financial rewards, the size of the church and God's people.A church musician exhibits a life for Christ and a love for God's people and looks at it as an opportunity and privilege," she
said."Church musicians usually build tenure.They're committed and are involved in the total church program.They do whatever it takes to glorify God and further the cause of Christ.They serve."Wade
exhibited such traits at an early age.By age 11, she
was playing for other churches in Monroe, mainly traveling by foot."We never had a car, till I got grown," she
said with a laugh.
A higher calling
Just about any day of the week you can find Wade
at Galilee Baptist Church preparing and rehearsing for services.She
oversees more than 200 choir members and six choirs, ranging in age from pre-schoolers and children to the Golden Angelic Chorus for ages 60 and older.Her
days can start as early as 9:30 a.m. and last till 9 p.m., sometimes as late as 10 or 11.Shortly after moving to Shreveport in 1967, Wade joined Galilee's music ministry as a pianist under the direction of former music director Orlando Moss.
is known for her
meticulous style when it comes to the music rehearsals."Drop your jaw more, put space in your mouth and it will come out and sound all together different," she
yelled out to one section as all the voices blended into harmony during a Chancel Choir rehearsal.Wade
would continue to give instructions like this throughout the night, emphasizing everything from enunciation to breathing, sometimes walking around to each section to make sure she
heard the right sound.At other times, she
stopped the song completely, working on the problem parts as many times as it took until it came out right.
"Now you all were singing that time!Thank you," she
said as she
wrapped up the rehearsal.
...William Rose, Galilee's deacon board chairman, recalls as a young boy watching Wade in action.