“On the Road to 50” The National Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA)

The National GMWA will be 50 years old in 2017.  It was founded by the late renowned artist, Rev. James Cleveland, whose vision was to create a platform where gospel enthusiasts, artists, choir members, performers and writers could come together and share the heritage of Gospel music. Since its inception, not only has the vision come to fruition, but has blossomed to over 161 chapters cross the country, including several internationally. For more information visit the website, Gmwanational.net.

Each year the holds sessions for its upcoming convention held in a selected city the same year.  All are invited to join a local chapter in or near your area, thereby, becoming a member of the national GMWA. During the Board Meeting, the Colleges and Universities participate in Collegiate Night. It provides the opportunity for students to participate and share their performances with each other, since the Board meeting is held before schools dismiss for the summer.  For more information on Collegiate Night, contact Dr. Hillsman, Collegiate Chair (Email: jhillsman@twcny.rr.com)

This year in July, GMWA convention convened in Birmingham, Alabama.  Choirs, Artists, Record Industry, Announcers and delegate were in full numbers.  The convention consisted of exhibits, artist showcases, academic classes, Mass Choir showcases, Youth Division, Contemporary Young Adult choir, Daily Bread (Ministers), Announcers Guild and much more.

We were glad to be in Birmingham, tour and visit the historical Civil Rights Institute, and visited the 16th Street Baptist Church, where in 1963 a bomb exploded, killing four young girls who were attending Sunday School, and injuring more than twenty others.

Dr. Joan Hillsman is a Board Member, Gospel Music Workshop of America