Jonathan McReynolds Captures Audience at 31st Annual Realizing the Dream Concert

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By Ashley Cunigan
CCBP Student Assistant

Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Jonathan McReynolds commanded the stage at the 31st annual Realizing the Dream Concert on Sunday, January 19, as students and community members gathered to cheer the enthusiastic performance at Moody Music Concert Hall in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Student representatives Harrison Adams, University of Alabama Student Government Association (SGA) President; Obi Bruno S. Ndubueze, Shelton State Community College Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society president; and Kylon Freeman, Stillman College SGA president, welcomed the audience and recognized Legacy Award winners Emma Mansberg, Chris England and Mary Allen Jolley, who received awards on Friday, for their services and achievements performed in the spirit of Dr. King.

Sunday night’s concert brought the weekend to its peak. Audience members were excited and eager for McReynolds’ performance. The Chicago native began his career in a college dorm room and has grown to become a distinguished artist around the world, receiving a Dove Award, a Grammy nomination and multiple Stellar Award nominations.

McReynolds captured  the audience at the outset by singing his hits “Great is the Lord” and “Gotta Have You.” Audience members were impressed by the artist’s powerful vocals, clapping and cheering throughout the concert. “Not Lucky, I’m Loved” was a crowd favorite.

McReynolds, drawing on personal experience, shared that he doesn’t take all the credit. He said his songs are inspired by an authentic relationship with God. The audience was moved by his story and applauded the artist for speaking about his experience.

The energetic performer kept the guests on their feet the whole night. As he sang about faith and freedom, many lifted their hands with praise. McReynolds reminded the crowd that faith in God should frame every part of life, and testified that this is what he is truly about.

The Realizing the Dream Concert and Legacy Awards Banquet, whose purpose is to shine a spotlight on peace and unity that inspires us all to make a better tomorrow, is sponsored by The University of Alabama, Stillman College, Shelton State Community College and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.