Live music has been among the biggest losses from COVID-19 shutdowns. However, on a chilly but comfortable Saturday evening in Bryan, hundreds gathered — and remained socially distant — to enjoy an evening of song and worship.

The concert by Christian singer-songwriter Matt Hammitt was the first ever at the Fountain City Amphitheater at Moore Park, which itself was formally dedicated earlier in the week.

Hammitt played a selection of crowd-pleasers, including a number of songs from his former band, Grammy-nominated Sanctus Real, and new tracks from his recently released album, “Treetop.”

Hammitt implored the crowd to sing along — and clap along, “to keep warm,” he said with a chuckle. Backed by three other musicians, he kept the bundled up concert-goers entertained with stories of struggles in from own life, as well as affirming messages of faith.

“Some people say (restriction of religious freedom) has never been worse. It has ... But I never want to take for granted the opportunity for us to gather and raise our voice in song,” he said before launching into the uplifting anthem “He Always Wins.”

Hammitt was introduced by Pam Bard Steel and Bill Steel, representing Project 2020, the local giving circle affiliated with the Bryan Area Foundation, which collected money slowly over the course of around a decade with the goal to accumulate funds for a major cultural project in Bryan — which eventually was selected to be the amphitheater project.

Warm beverages were provided by Kora Brew House & Wine Bar and BAF provided glow sticks and other items for children.

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