A Tribute to a Legend, Aretha Franklin “A Celebration of her life” by Music Historian, Dr. Joan Hillsman

A small group of music lovers gathered Thursday in Syracuse to light a candle, reflect, hum tunes, and simply mourn her passing. This impromptu gathering with representatives from the Syracuse Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, (SGMWA) youth representatives, Renowned artist, Sam Wynn, Rick Linzy, and others who stopped by Westminster Church, one of the rehearsal sites and partners for SGMWA to pause, say a prayer and light the candle and give reflections on how this great giant touched the world of music.

The world mourns the loss of a true Diva, music humanitarian, Singer extraordinaire, Gospel legend and all other genres of music that helped us through life, and the list could go on and on.  Therefore, her living and contributions will “live on”.  She taught us how to “spell it” (R-E-S-P-E-C-T), now let’s “Sing it”, and most of all, let’s “live it”.

As this great legend is being celebrated all over the world, let’s model after her teachings.  She never forgot her roots; she shared with others, taught all ages through music.  “I am so blessed to have met her and shared in some of her music experiences, as a historian and music educator”.

Rest in Peace! We will forever cherish and share your contributions other generations and cultures.