The Madison Hummingbirds, of Portsmouth, are the current torch bearers of the great Virginia shout band tradition.
- United House of Prayer Shout Band
- Portsmouth, VA
From the Brothers Burton
Taylor says: Not just a brass band…ALL TROMBONES!!!!!!!!!! Well contrabas,s too of course (not to be forgotten!), but WOW! This is pure joy to me, as it combines my love for brass bands and my love for crazy loud wailing vocals.
Scott says: When Reggie Pace (tireless trombonist with No BS Brass) told me about this band, it sounded too good to be true. Then he said they were from Newport News, and I was instantly bummed that I hadn’t been to their church yet. Now they’re coming to Richmond, and I must go at all costs!
In 1903, an African-Portuguese immigrant named Marcelino Manoel da Graca (Charles Manuel Grace), the son of a stonecutter from the Cape Verdean Island of Brava, came to the southeastern Massachusetts town of New Bedford. “Daddy Grace,” as he became known, was a dynamic spiritual leader who started the United House of Prayer. The United House of Prayer congregation eventually reached up and down the east coast, with one of its first and most successful churches in Newport News, Virginia. One of the hallmarks of United House of Prayer church services, baptisms, funerals, and parades is the exclusive use of brass instruments, inspired by the words of Psalm 150: “Praise ye the Lord. Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet…” The United House of Prayer brass bands came to be known as “shout bands” because of their ability to move entire congregations to shout with heartfelt spiritual energy. The Madison Hummingbirds, of Portsmouth, are the current torch bearers of the great Virginia shout band tradition. As has been the case for generations in the House of Prayer, they have been carefully bringing along “The Rookies,” a group of young men that will comprise the next generation of Hummingbirds.