Bro. Eli Soriano recently held a concert to support his many public service projects that include scholarships, feeding programs, small livelihood and entrepreneurial support programs, and other social good campaigns.
The international evangelist Bro. Eli held the benefit concert last April 8 (EST) coinciding with his celebration of his 48th year of spiritual and public service.
As his treat, Bro. Eli serenaded his audience along with John Claude Gummoe, the 73-year-old lead vocalist of the popular singing group of the ’60s, The Cascades. This is a first since he held benefit concerts in 2004.
The concert “We Are Blessed” is Bro. Eli’s second for 2012, a follow-up to his previous private dinner concert last January 1. The proceeds of both events were used to augment the charity and social welfare programs for the poor that Bro. Eli started several years ago.
Having the Cascades perform in Bro. Eli’s birthday concert is a personal choice of Bro. Eli, himself a Cascades fan. When John Gummoe stepped out after Bro. Eli performed the last song of his first set, he greeted Bro. Eli on his birthday and said “I am so honored to be here tonight. Wonderful, wonderful.”
He dedicated “There’s A Reason” to Bro. Eli when he learned it was the evangelist’s favorite Cascade song.
Gummoe even surprised his Filipino fans when he sang Jose Mari Chan’s “Beautiful Girl” to honor the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) Month in May.
The Cascades is a very popular male singing group of the early 60’s to the late 70’s. Hit makers of their time, they are the voice behind the songs “The Last Leaf”, “There’s A Reason”, “Lucky Guy”, and the 9th of the 100 most performed song of the century “Rhythm of the Rain”. These were also the songs that Gummoe performed during the concert night.
Bro. Eli and John Gummoe sang “Angel On My Shoulder”, one of the tracks in The Cascades’ first top-selling album. The duet was also Gummoe’s finale number before Bro. Eli performed the rest of his concert repertoire.
During the latter part of the concert, Bro. Eli thanked the supporters of the fundraising concert that will “benefit the poor, the needy and the helpless.”
Kuya Daniel Razon also participated in the concert. He sang two medley sets, Barry Manilow’s “I Made It Through The Rain”, and the revival of the Filipino classic kundiman (love song) “Hanggang”, as popularized by Wency Cornejo.
When Bro. Eli began singing the first stanza of the song, John Gummoe admiringly said “very nice” and went on performing with gusto throughout their duet. After their number, Bro. Eli openly invited Gummoe to do another concert with him sometime in South America, to which the latter consented.
Other performers were Hammilan and his band who received an encore to perform The Journey’s “Faithfully”. Bro. Eli’s two grandchildren, Bidel, wowed the audience with her cover of Adele’s Grammy-award winner “Rollling in the Deep” and Bembe, relaxed the audience with her violin skill.
The concert was simulcast via satellite in selected points in Europe, North America, Australia, Middle East, Pacific, South America and Asia.