Richmond, VA ( August 5, 2019) –The 52nd Annual Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) annual convention was recently held on Saturday, July 27th to August 2, 2019 at the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C. Under the leadership of Bishop Albert Jamison, Chairman and Bishop Brian Moore, Vice Chairman, the annual convention once again served as the benchmark for Gospel Music lovers to advance themselves, their gifts and talents through the unique and musical genre of Gospel and Sacred music.
These many opportunities came through workshops, rehearsals, panels, showcases and concerts throughout the week including; participation in the Mass Choir, Youth and Young Adult Choir, Contemporary Adult Division, GMWA Children’s Choir, James Cleveland Chorus, Thurston Frasier Chorale, Robert Fryson Chorale, New Music Seminar, Men’s Choir, New Artist Seminar, Adult Liturgical Dance and much more.
There were also several other highlights taking place throughout the week, including the Quartet Division and Showcase, the Living Legacy Honors Banquet, the Youth and Young Adult Division Nightly Showcase, Women’s Division Hatter’s Tea, Feel Good Friday with Dr. Leonard Scott and the Choirs Matter “All Star Edition.”
Kicking off the week on Sunday, the GMWA held its annual Communion Consecration with guest psalmist Myrna Summers.
Bishop Albert Jamison Sr., also had his special night, on July 31st labeled Chairman’s Night with four special guest singers including James Fortune & FIYA, Lisa Page Brooks, Sean Tillery & Changed and Will McMillan & Willmband.
Each morning started with a powerful preached word with special speakers and lecturers including Dr. John R. Adolph, Chief Apostle H. Rogers, Bishop Frank White, Bishop Anthony Gilyard, Karen Clark-Sheard, Pastor Jamal Bryant, Bishop Paul Morton and Jekalyn Carr.
However there were many other groups, praise dancers and choirs that performed throughout the week during the nightly musicals in the 5,000 seated ballroom, representing various affiliates and chapter choirs from across the country including the Baltimore Chapter, Goochland & Vicinity Chapter of Virginia, Sacramento Chapter, Chicago Metro Chapter, Birmingham Chapter, Sam Roberts & The Levites Assembly, Western New York Chapter, Richmond Chapter, Atlanta Chapter, Bahamas Chapter, Northern California Chapter, Detroit Chapter, Philadelphia Chapter, Tidewater Virginia Chapter, Los Angeles Chapter, Sacramento Chapter, New Orleans Chapter and a long list of others.
The National Alliance of Gospel Music Professionals, also under the GMWA umbrella, provided an outlet for radio announcers, recording artists, labels and music executives, producers, promoters, artist managers, writers and media to come together to discuss the latest changes in the music industry. A lot of this was done during panel discussions and Q & A. Kicking off the Alliance week on Monday were two panels, including “Merging Music, Media and Ministry with a Message” with panelists Hip Hop artist, C Goss, RESOUNDS Joseph “JoJo” Clarke, Apostle Veryl Howard, Earl Bynum, Earnest Pugh and Uncle G. On the afternoon panel to discuss “How to be an Influencer” were panelists Dr. Medina Pullings and Tia Smith. Sheilah Belle “The Belle” served as the facilitator for both panels and was responsible for inviting and pulling together her guests for these impactful panels.
Dr. Medina Pullings, Sheilah Belle “The Belle” and Tia Smith
The Alliance continued with its panel discussions on Tuesday with Internet radio heavy hitters Henry Harris and Rev. Daren Freeman. These are the two men mainly responsible for helping to create reporting Internet radio station charts, now giving internet radio a platform that has been approved and provided by Neilson.
Also helping with the flow of the day was Johnny Sanders, along with Alliance, Vice President Chris Squire and at the helm of the Alliance, President Dennis Cole.
There were also panels that discussed the everyday and annual questions “How to get your music played on the radio and the future of radio,” and Radio Promotions. Panelists included; Skip Dillard, Ebony Funderburk, Lee Michaels, Fred Blaine, Alex Snipes, Cathy Carroll and Jeff Hargrove.
Kurt Carr poses for the cameras during his CD listening party for his new release “Bless Somebody Else”
Later in the day, Kurt Carr had a listening party and to close out the night, there was the Kenny Taylor Late Nite Musical with special guests Phillip Carter and SOV, David Wright & The NY Fellowship Choir, Chester Burke & Co., Images of Unity, Jimmy Russell & Because of Christ and Ryan Vincent Ford & Co. The late night concert was hosted by Rev. Jerome Bell and Jacquie Webb.
One of the biggest highlights for the week was the Annual Al Hobbs Alliance Luncheon honoring three honorees including Daulton Anderson, Professor Craig Hayes and Dr. Richard Smallwood. The luncheon was organized and coordinated by Sue “Mama Sue” Roseberry, Johnny Sanders, Carol Crawford, Neily Dickerson, Minister Earl Bynum and Carmina Barnett and took place at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, 1630 Vermont Avenue, Washington, D.C. Recognition was also given to Mama Sue with a surprise Crystal Mic Award, for all that she did in pulling all of the pieces and people together for this event. The luncheon was hosted by Anthony Brown and Maurette Brown-Clark.
On Thursday the Alliance hosted its annual Sisterhood and Urban & Hip-Hop Panel before wrapping up the week with Linda Greenwood’s Christmas in July. Before closing out the week, it was announced that the 53rd Gospel Music Workshop of America summer convention will take place next year, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) is an annual convention bringing together people who love Gospel music from America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean including a wide range of faiths. Its annual Board Meeting and Summer Convention are held in various cities across the United States.
Each year the annual convention hosts Mass Choirs, a Youth and Young Adult Division, Contemporary Adult Division, GMWA Children’s Choir, James Cleveland Chorus, Robert Fryson Chorale, New Music Seminars, Panel Discussions, Industry in depth Conversations, Midnight Musicals, Talent Showcases, Live recordings, Networking opportunities and so much more. Listen to some of the greatest pastors share a word from the Lord or simply check out one of the largest collection of vendors on the East Coast.
The Gospel Music Workshop of America also includes The Alliance which is comprised of local “Associations” that work to raise the level of proficiency and quality in the presentation of Gospel Music in specific geographic locations. Each Association will provide continuing skill development and empower members with knowledge, encouragement and spiritual replenishment.