Workshop Highlights 2015 PDF Print E-mail

The 2015 Gospel songwriters Music Workshop included our special guest, Derek “The Change Man” Smith of SKD Entertainment, Yvonne Reed-Matthews, Minister David Jerome Fairley, Minister Robert Brown, Sister Deborah Butler and Sister Darline McCoy.

The line-up was great and we had a wonderful time as we learned more about expanding our craft in the musical and visual arts.  As we keep moving forward, we are growing and changing into the workshop God wants us to be as we continue to share his knowledge with others.  This workshop was so outstanding and phenomenal it’s too much to tell in the small amount of space I have available to share, but I will do my best to give you the highlights. Our workshop classes included interesting and challenging topics that got everyone talking and asking questions.

Anytime Brother Derek “The Change Man” Smith is in the house you may as well expect a blessing.  He came in like a whirlwind and had everybody excited, participating and anticipating what was going to happen.  He knew how to challenge, encourage and inform you as he helped you build your knowledge.  He was the perfect special guest and he never disappoints.  Along with Brother Smith, Minister Robert Brown filled in all the vacant spots and used his musical gifts on the drums and bass guitar to enhance each and every service.  He never seeks the spotlight, but his presence is unmistakable and very much needed.

Sister Yvonne Reed-Matthews and Minister David Jerome Fairley were the perfect songwriting team who had the ability to listen and provide musical input to each songwriter that left you with your eyes wide and your mouth open as they help to arrange and solidify the music being brought by each of our 12 songwriters.  Every song that was presented was a wonderful song, but Sister Matthews and Minister Fairley had the ability to help make it an even better song without the artist feeling their song had been unduly changed.  If you don’t know, it takes a special gift to provide input and suggestions to another artist while maintaining the integrity and emotion of the song as expressed by each artist without losing the original tune and intent of the song. However, that’s what this songwriting team did each and every night.  How great is that!!!

Our Praise Dance Class was headed up by Sister Deborah Butler and Sister Darline McCoy.  This class included young and old alike and they gave their very best as they ministered in the dance.  Sister Butler provided a biblical foundation for praise dancing and demonstrated some of the techniques and movements used to convey an idea in dance.  She also exhibited some of the different attire worn by praise dancers.  This was a very interesting and informative class and we were blessed to have them in the house getting us ready to worship the Lord.

After working with such dynamic clinicians it is easy to understand why we had such a blessed time in our Culminating Concert on Saturday night.  The stage was set and the cast was ready for action.  Sister Bonnie Bryant our Mistress of Ceremony fired us up and got us ready to praise the Lord.  Everything went as planned because we always expect the spirit of the Lord to come in and take us higher.  Everything flowed from the prayer, scripture, welcome and occasion to make this the best 21st gospel songwriters Music Workshop ever.

The Praise Dance Class opened us up with the song, “Great Day” arranged by Richard Smallwood and The Workshop Choir under the direction of Brother Derek smith sang a couple of old standards that rocked the house, “Lord I Thank You” and “Better Days Ahead,” by Dorothy Norwood.  The house was moving and shaking as we enjoyed both selections.  The songwriters blessed us with ministering praise and worship songs; thought provoking songs; traditional songs, classic gospel songs, as well as heart wrenching ballads and hand clapping, toe tapping songs.  It was simply superb.  The only thing left to say is plan on being with us on next year because it can only get better.