Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA)

The GMWA held its 49th Annual Board Meeting at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 14-17, 2016. The membership and department heads, along with supporters, record industry and a host of music enthusiasts gather at this time to plan for the national convention which occurs each year during the summer.

See the website at www.gmwanational.net for all information regarding GMWA, including registration forms.  The Gospel Music Workshop of America was founded by the late Rev. James Cleveland, whose mission is to provide a platform for gospel artists to share the rich heritage of music to the world. Rev. Albert Jamison is the Chairman of the Board of Directors.  The participation at the Board Planning session has become a mini-convention within itself due to the participation of nightly musical performances, exhibits, and a wealth of resources to take back to your local jurisdictions.

GMWA chapters are available for membership throughout the various states and internationally.  The Syracuse Chapter of GMWA welcomes your membership and is looking for SINGERS and MUSICIANS, contact Dr. Joan Hillsman, Syracuse Chapter Representative, National Collegiate Chair, and National Board Member at jhillsman@twcny.rr.com.

GMWA Collegiate Night 2016  in Las Vegas “Rocked Again”

Collegiate Night at the GMWA Board Meeting in Las Vegas “Rocked, It was off the chain”, stated one enthusiastic observer,  I did not realize the participation of Gospel music on college and university was so prominent on campuses. Dr. Hillsman, Music Educator, says that Spiritual and Gospel music as a genre, has come a long way for it has influenced music on a global basis. There is wide participation and inclusion in programs and the curriculum.  Many schools are providing academic course credits.

The study of music of other cultures will show similarity in the characteristics of African American music (call and response, improvisation, cross rhythms, syncopation, etc. See Dr. Hillsman’s book, “Gospel Music: An African American Art Form, www. Friesen Press for detailed information”).  Classical composers such as Anton Dvorak, used the spiritual “Goin’ Home” theme in one of his symphonies. Many other composers such as Bach, Handel’s (Messiah) and incorporated cultural idioms.

Collegiate Night in Las Vegas held an audience of approximately 800.  Representing the Collegiate Night included youth and adult performers. The night focused on the theme, “Gospel Goes to College”.  A jubilant opening consisted of Prof. Latonya Wrenn of Bowie State University and Director of the Bowie State University Gospel Choir, who combined her classical works with spiritual, gospel, and ending in the composition, “God Bless America”.  The audience exploded in applause.  Other performers were the Natomas Drum Corp, Sacremento, California, Soloist, Yardley Griffin, Las Vegas Youth (Six Sisters), The GMWA Youth/Adult Contemporary Choir, and others. Details for Collegiate Night 2017 at the Board Meeting is forthcoming as soon as it becomes available.  Spread the Word! Information on how to register and participate will be forwarded. One suggestion is to begin fundraising now for the event.

Building Neighborhood Pride:  Stir Up The Gift!

Take advantage of this Syracuse area opportunity for your exposure by contacting, Dr. Joan Hillsman, 315-373-0805, jhillsman@twcny.rr.com.  This is a community event  coordinated by Dr. Hillsman.  If you would like to be in an upcoming Syracuse Showcase, attend sessions on performance techniques, vocal coaching, liturgical movement and more, sign up now.  Youth and adults are invited to receive coaching at no cost, if registered.  Experienced performers are welcome to “sharpen your tools”! Exciting events will be televised throughout the year through CJack Enterprises and other partners.  Take advantage now! This project is partially funded by CNY Arts and Joan Hillsman’s Music Network, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization. Let’s showcase the talents across the city.

Syracuse Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America SGMWA Will host its Annual 6th Musical Concert at Hendricks Chapel

Friday, April 8, 2016, 7PM in the Chapel – No Admission, Free Parking

Choirs and Talent are invited to attend, Please Sign up Immediately!  The program will include gospel music performance, Liturgical Dance, Poetry and Spoken Word.  The public is invited to attend. If you would like to perform in the above categories, contact Dr. Hillsman.  We are in need of instrumentalists and singers for this event and future engagement.


Invest in Music:  Its Pays Off!                                           JHMN, Inc. provides Music Lessons, Enroll Now!

Joan Hillsman’s Music Lessons, tutorials, The Business of Music, Church Music Ministry Trends, and Master Classes at affordable rates with certified teachers. The studio is located at 4455 E. Genesee St., Dewitt/Syracuse, across from Tops and Chase Bank.  Open by appointment only!  Inquire Now! Summer Enrichment slots are now available. Hurry! Spaces are limited.

Contact 315-299-4928, Dr. Hillsman.