The Music & Drama Education Expo is Europe’s largest conference and exhibition for anyone involved in music & drama education. Held at the London Olympia over two days, the event offers delegates the chance to attend over 60 seminars, workshops and debates, the chance to meet and browse the services of over 130 exhibitors, and the opportunity to network with 2,500 peers.
I am very happy to announce that I’ll be leading a gospel workshop at the conference, and even more excited to reveal that I am the current Pick Of The Week!
In this workshop I’ll be sharing insider secrets to running a successful gospel choir and how this can enhance skills and values within your group/institution. This hands-on, practical workshop features effective warm-up activities and ideas for performing, improvising and appraising in the classroom or within enrichment settings.
Participants will become a gospel choir for the session, experiencing the power and effectiveness of the gospel choir, and be inspired with best practice as well as creative teaching and behaviour management in music.
For more information, click on the link below:
It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you all, but it’s been a busy but exciting few months – so let me fill you in!
The last time we talked I was giving you a sneaky peek of the what was to come at the Gospel Prom – and that peek fulfilled every expectation and more! The domes of the Royal Albert Hall rang out on the night of July 19th as each artist and choir sung, danced, clapped and raised the roof to the glorious strains of gospel song. The theme of the night was one of unity in diversity, as each lent their voice or instrument to celebrating the variety and the history of the genre, with a fitting tribute to the contemporary god-father of gospel, Andrae Crouch. Below are a few of the testimonials after the event:
‘The joy was palpable…’
‘Just wanted to say that on my day off today I have taken some time out to watch the BBC gospel prom on catch up and it’s so astounding! I am currently 7 months pregnant and my belly was on the jive the whole time…’
‘It was brilliant, watched it on iplayer, fantastic, so professional’
‘Just watched the gospel prom on YouTube… I was smiling all the way through…and tears in my eyes…Love, love, love…’
‘I wanted to say how impressed I was by the BBC Gospel Prom, which I was able to watch on iPlayer yesterday. I found the whole thing very moving, the combination of the highest professional standards, overflowing joy aised, coordinated and executed. Hoping for this to be a regular nd uncompromising message.’
And lastly from the show producer, John Kirby: ‘I think we all learnt so much from the members of the gospel choirs and some of the best gospel artists in the world. Not only were they excellent musicians, they were impressively delightful to work with. Not an ego amongst them. Relaxed in each other’s company and so friendly and courteous to us all….’
Truly, a wonderful evening all round.
You can hear some of my thoughts of the night in an interview with the Royal Albert Hall here:
For a small taste of the evening, click below to see Noel Robinson singing ‘You Are My Saviour’:
Apart from the Gospel Prom there were several exciting workshops which took place, from Krakow, Poland to Bristol to Tenerife to Lindfield in SE Sussex. I even had no less than 4 Danish choirs come to England especially for a gospel weekend with Karen Gibson.
The workshop in Krakow, Poland called Gospel Ska Nalce, was a special event with the coming together of 10 gospel choirs, all residing in the one city, the culmination of which was a beautiful, moving outdoor performance in Krakow Old Town.
Lindfield held it’s second ever workshop in May, with it’s first being over 13 years before. It proved to be a fantastic success! Here are some of the reports from a few of the workshoppers:
‘Gospel music lifts and arouses spirit like no other. Karen Gibson has a natural ability to breathe life into song and music. Her gift to sing and bring celebratory song out in others is an amazing liberation.’
‘It was an excellent day, Karen had great professionalism mixed with a gentle, but moving love for her Lord. I love the way she introduced faith and the back ground of gospel singing and also the way she encouraged and enabled soloists to find their gifting and perform.’
‘I would absolutely do another one and would recommend to anyone that asks. We counted 11k steps on my Fitbit and I did have a little cry at one point when I started listening to the words so it was definitely a mind, body and spirit day!’
‘Superb leading from Karen G (fantastically affirming approach, good humoured, expert musicianship, good news focused, accessible).’
The delegates of the Renewal Choir in Bristol used a clever and inventive way of recording their testimonials, during and after a moving and powerful workshop day. The colourful stickits provided by leaders, Vernon and Kim Samuels, meant that workskhoppers could process what they had learned in the moment, at the same time as inspiring others with their revelations. How encouraging! The popular community choir which celebrated it’s 10th anniversary last Christmas, are well known in the Bristol area, regularly engaging in civic and charity events, and annually holding a popular city-wide celebration based around the Hallelujah Chorus. If you are in the South-West of England around Christmas, check out this must-see event!
I, alongside Sharlene Monique Morris also had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful island of Tenerife for my first ever workshop there. Hosted by Rofe Producciones and sponsored by the Cultural Centre in La Laguna, the workshop culminated in an intimate, yet buzzing performance for friends and family in old nuns convent. The smiles in the picture say it all!
It seems that the workshop was big news in Tenerife. Not only was the concert packed out, the workshop event, complete with a pic of Yours Truly made it onto the front pages of the local newspaper! Gospel music truly is ‘Good News’!
Over the summer, and as mentioned before, I, along with The Kingdom Choir, had the privilege of being visited by no less than FOUR Danish choirs who came with their choir conductor Henrik Daniel Christoffersen to experience some british gospel teaching over two weekends. Each weekend started with an introduction on the Thursday night, more whole-day singing on the Friday, sight-seeing on Saturday and a performance at Lynwood Christian Fellowship on the Sunday. It is fair to say that the choirs from Aalborg, Kalundborg and Slagekse went down a storm at each service, even though some of the choir members had only been singing gospel for just 3 weeks! We look forward to more visits from them next year.
And finally, as we speak, I am sitting in a hotel room in Bologna, reminiscing on the fantastic day that I, Sharlene Monique Morris and Vaughan Larmond have spent singing, dancing, laughing, clapping and learning in the workshop today. Yes, we are back to B.L.A.C.K! The popular workshop that we first visited last year is back again this year with a bang, and they have once again kindly invited us again. We are looking forward to our performance tomorrow with great anticipation!