It was a night of song and spirituality as eight of the country’s finest gospel singers gathered on Midway’s flight deck for the 8th annual Bayside Gospel Concert.

More than 500 gospel-music lovers from around Southern California were treated to dynamic musical performances including the powerful vocals of Lena Byrd Miles, the flawless harmony of Eddie Baltrip and Fulfillment, and the contemporary sounds of concert headliner and Grammy Award-nominee, Norman Hutchins.

“It was a completely different experience watching this concert on the Midway surrounded by the history of the ship and the amazing planes here on the flight deck,” said Eric Allen, who was attending the concert with this wife. “Coming aboard a ship like the Midway is something most people never get to do. It was truly a wonderful place to watch a gospel concert.”

Lena Byrd Miles sings during the 8th annual Bayside Gospel Concert on Midway’s flight deck.

The theme of this year’s concert was to honor the efforts of first responders. Proceeds from the event benefited Project Mandate Impact’s youth training program where tomorrow’s entertainment industry professionals learn firsthand what it takes to produce a major concert through real-life working experiences.

“This is a wonderfully entertaining concert that brings people together each year aboard Midway to enjoy great gospel music and fellowship,” said Paulette Mello, Midway’s community outreach coordinator. “It is also a tremendous benefit to our local community because the proceeds support youth professional development.”

The event coordinators again saw the concert as not only an exciting evening of music, but an event that has a purpose to support the community as well as celebrate diversity.

“The concert was very exciting,” said Detroit native Autumn Robinson, who was visiting Midway for the first time. “I liked being on the water, and the view and the history of the Midway helped create a great scene and vibe for the concert.”

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