Gospel Music Workshop of America Heading for Birmingham, Alabama
After a successful 49th Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) Board Meeting and 46th Gospel Announcers Guild (GAG) Session, it is now full steam ahead finalizing all the details for the upcoming 49th Annual GMWA Convention, Saturday, July 23rd – Friday, July 29th , which will also host the 46th Session of the Gospel Announcers Guild in Birmingham, AL.
Board members, Delegates and lovers of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) and the Gospel Announcers Guild (GAG), recently came together at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, NV, February 14th – February 17th to plan for the upcoming Annual Convention. Planning details were also shared for the 2017 Annual Convention as the organizations preps to celebrate 50 years.
During Board Meeting, reports were given by all of the various auxiliaries on the closing day of the convention. Here are a few of the re-caps.
Ron Magnus, Esq. delivered a positive report on GMWA Serves, as it enters into its 8th year and partners with Birmingham. The event will kick off with a Press Conference on Friday, July 22, 2016, from 3 to 4p.m. at the Birmingham Convention Center Lobby. Following will be supporting events throughout the day, along with a special tribute to Andrae Crouch on Monday night. The goal this year is to have no less than 100 participants.
Bishop Albert Jamison took time to share a few intimate details about a few concerns, the organization and the importance of the Chapter Representatives and Affiliate Leaders. This included decisions on why the registration for the Birmingham Convention was raised, why the Board Meeting was moved to February and the importance of “standing together and supporting each other.”
Bishop Jamison also asked for prayer for Tyrone Porter, Quartet Division Committee Leader. “It’s been a rough situation, but I spoke to him and his wife and he is facing a rough health battle, but how many of you know God is able? Let me also say this, anyone who has to come and ask me where are we going with the Quartet Division and who’s going to be next in charge, you can rest ashore it won’t be you!” His comments were met with echoing applause and nodding heads of agreement.
Following his remarks, information was shared about the Quartet Division, which will kick off on Saturday, July 23rd and run throughout the entire week, including showcases, classes and seminars. On Wednesday, July 27th, there will be a Quartet Legends Banquet and on Thursday, July 28th there will be a Legends concert. Registration for participation is $285 for groups of up to ten people, and $20 for each additional person. A Solo Artist showcase has also been added this year with a $185 registration fee. The deadline for artist to register is June 15th.
Other divisions that also had representation included the National Mass Choir, Youth/Young Adult Division, James Cleveland Chorus, Contemporary Adult Division, Men of Promise, Women of Worship and the Thurston G. Frazier Memorial Chorale.
Gospel Announcers Guild Leader Dennis Cole also shared detailed information about a friendly East Coast – Mid-West Competition, Christmas in July, a special Health Segment with Linda Greenwood, a closer look at the future of Radio and Internet stations with Chris Squire and a special “Digital Social Media Connect with The Belle” work session, with Sheilah Belle, just to name a few.
This was an extremely productive Board Meeting that included implementing new ideas, instituting more educational work sessions, great singing and ministry and fun for everyone in attendance.
The Gospel Announcers Guild (GAG) also closed out this year’s Board meeting session with a bang! GAG, Leader Dennis Coles, announced, “Beginning June 1, 2016, the name the Gospel Announcers Guild will be history.” The official name will be announced in a few days and has been approved by the Board of Directors. The new name is also trademarked and owned by the Gospel Music Workshop of America, so “If you get mad and decide to throw in the towel, you will have to leave the name too,” says Gospel Announcers Guild Leader, Dennis Cole.
About the GMWA
Rev. James Cleveland developed and built the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. where the perpetuation and promotion of gospel music has been and remains a primary purpose of the organization.
In March of 1967, Cleveland called together friends from across the US in an effort to brainstorm his idea of producing a venue for gospel music presentations. The selection of people he called together was chosen due to individual contributions in gospel music. This association formed the Gospel Music Workshop of America with a national convention motto of “Where Everybody is Somebody.”
Rev. Cleveland stated, “There are young folk that have talent but have no where to get instructions as to how to put that talent to work. And so I thought how could we help upgrade the music in the church and bring sometime of education to the youth since there is no formal education in schools where they can get the training…so I had the bright idea to get all the best exponents of gospel from all over the world together, asked them what they thought about the idea of coming together forming a workshop to try to teach the young folk whatever they wanted to know about gospel.”
The Gospel Music Workshop of America is a Christian organization convening annually, where national performers, recording artists, new and inspiring songwriters, educators, liturgical dancers, the young and old, pastors, and others minister to each other and to the needs and directions within the African American religious experience. It has opened its doors to welcome and receive people of different colors, influences and cultures.
The object of the association was to perpetuate, promote and advance the Christian ideal through the medium of music by joining together gospel choirs, choruses, singers songwriters throughout the US in a voluntary association for education, cooperation, promotion and the communication of ideas and ideals. The Gospel Music Workshop of America was incorporated in Detroit, Michigan.
People are attracted to the Workshop because of its unique and structured program format. It’s made up of divisions and auxiliaries, with each having separate and distinct functions.
Ask anyone involved in gospel music where they are heading for the summer and you are bound to hear for their response – the Gospel Music Workshop of America. The convention remains one of the most popular destinations in the year for gospel music lovers. Thousands of individuals, both registered delegates and newcomers, head to the annual meetings to get a taste of gospel’s finest and this rich tradition continues to foster the many generations of gospel music with powerful ministry, excellent training, industry networking and hours of great singing. And since the unfortunate passing of its founder, Rev. James Cleveland, in 1991, the forty-five old organization still marches on as one of America’s treasured music institutions. To this day, it is the largest artistic organization of its kind in the world with 75,000 members in more than 185 chapters stretching from the United States to Asia. The Gospel Music Workshop of America, also called GMWA for short, has a beautiful history that finds some of gospel’s greatest paying their dues to eventually become legends in the evolving forms of traditional and contemporary gospel.
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