By Robin Broberg
The Cadet Sisters lifted their voices and sang to heaven in honor of Black History Month at UVSC.
Hosted by the Black Student Union and the Bible Club at UVSC on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007, the event featured traditional African, spiritual and African-American songs by Natalie, Tatiana, Nadege, Michaelle and Mellissa Cadet, as well as performances by Elikya, an African dance group.
The five-person gospel group, unique for its four- and five-part harmonies, has traveled extensively throughout the United States, singing for audiences in the thousands. Their mission is to spread their love of God to their audiences through music.
“It”s important because of the lives our music touches,” said Tatiana Cadet, the second oldest Cadet sister. “Because of it [the youth] want to change their lives for the better.”
Natalie Cadet, the oldest sister in the Cadet family and the mastermind behind many of thegroup”s song arrangements, said she wants their music to reach out to all people and inspire for good.
“We want to glorify God with our singing and share our experiences in song,” Cadet said.
Their prayer-like songs concentrate on seeking God”s love and finding solace in hard situations.
“Our music is a chance to relive history and to apply it to our lives,” Cadet said. “When we forget we lose our identity.”
Classic African-American history songs such as “Swing Low” and “Follow the Drinking Gourd” speak for their history, the Cadet Sisters said, but they also have spiritual application for every person. Even when people feel like giving up during a difficult time, they said, these songs say to never quit.
Their audience-interactive style brought their songs to life Thursday. The group split the audience into parts: men sang “Ba-humba, ba-humba,” while the women harmonized with “Oh I love my Lord Jesus, he first loved me.”
“Not only do the Cadet Sisters have heart and soul, but their music is strongly connected with the audience,” said Nancy S. Cannon, the Black Students Union Club adviser. “They are very enlightening.”
Cannon said their music makes for a calm, peaceful, spiritual event that puts people at ease. They are well received at UVSC, where some of the sisters attend school, she said. Previous performances in classrooms by the Cadet Sisters drew students to the show.