The Sensational Royal Lights are set to spread the word of God through music when they take the American Folk Festival stage in August.
A gospel group, The Sensational Royal Lights came together more than 50 years ago in Cordtown, Maryland when the late Howard and Rena Elliott, parents, brought a group of brothers together and formed a quartet. The brothers who were a part of the original group were Arthur, Palestine, and Frederick Elliott. Their older brother, Robert, and nephew, Tyrome were added to the group shortly thereafter. Several years later, brother, Leroy and nephews, Everette Young (Leroy’s son) and Terrence Jenkins were integrated into the Gospel Ensemble..
One of the attributes instilled in the group by their parents was the “art of love.” To be successful in life, they were taught to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God …” (Matt. 6:33) and “to love ye one another” (John 13:34).
For more than 60 years, the Sensational Royal Lights have traveled throughout the Delmarva Peninsula and various other states singing the gospel. In addition to their ministering activities, the group spends time serving and helping churches, individuals, civic organizations, government agencies, and other entities within the various communities across the country.
Presently, there are two original members, Frederick Elliott and Tyrome Elliott. The newest members are nephew, Earl Slacum, who joined the group in 2008 and Ryan Elliott (Tyrome’s son), who became a member in 2012. Ryan is “on fire for God” and recently released his first Gospel CD entitled “In Progress”.
All members of the group, including musicians, are born again Christians.
Tyrome recently took a few minutes to answer some questions about the group’s trip to Bangor:
Vocalists – Freddie Elliott, Ryan Elliott, Tyrome Elliott, Earl Slacum
Musicians – William Dunlap (Keyboards), Clifton Dennis Jr. (Drums), Robert Kareem Elliott (Bass), Gary Timmons (Lead Guitar)
Stage Setup, Sound and Page Admin – John (Dpraisepartydj) Anthony III
Assistant Setup, Sound and backup vocalist – Kevin Riley
Hometown: Cambridge, Maryland
Have you ever performed in Maine before?: No
What is one thing you hope to do while you’re here?: Eat Lobster and explore the city and waterfront
Any pre-performance rituals?: Prayer (always)
You’re a pretty big group. How do you all get along?: We are all Brothers in Christ and we actually love one another. We really have a ball together.
Do you travel together?: When possible, we travel together in the group’s van. When traveling further distances across the country, most of the time we fly together.
Do any of your families come with you?: We have always been blessed to have a very dedicated and supportive family. Our wives and other members of the family are almost always with us as we travel from place to place, that includes this trip to Maine.
Describe your music in 5 words or less.: “Preaching the Gospel through Songs”
Why is it so important for The Sensational Royal Lights to be involved in their community and give back to others?: Gospel quartet singing is a very important part of the spiritual life of various people. The message in the music usually expresses a personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and gives a Christian an alternative to mainstream secular music. It gives people in the community a means of being able to communicate on common ground and a sense of drawing closer to God through praise, worship and thanksgiving all at the same time. This lends to bridging the gap between cultural differences and bringing people closer together.