Tag Archives: Gospel Music Workshop of America

Greg Harris – Reaching

Greg Harris Reaching KNEntertainment / Sabbath Day Records (release date: January 5, 2020) By Bob Marovich Reaching, the new studio CD by Pastor Greg Harris of Little Rock, Arkansas, features a handful of songs of praise, inspiration, and gratitude sung in several styles by Harris and a small choir. JGM’s introduction to Pastor Harris happened in 2009 with his appearance at the Gospel Music Workshop of America and a subsequent review of his live album from the same year. Reaching demonstrates Harris’s growth as a gospel singer. The two album standouts hearken back to old-fashioned Sunday morning singing. “He’s Coming ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 16, 2020

“Never Forget” Atlanta Chapter of the GMWA Mass Choir Aspire International Music Group (release date: February 22, 2020) www.atlantagmwamasschoir.org By Bob Marovich The choir representing the Atlanta Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) gives the classic Soul Stirrers hit from 1954, “Jesus I’ll Never Forget,” a distinctive choir-tet arrangement. Joining the mass choir on lead vocals is GMWA stalwart Bishop Richard “Mr. Clean” White. White, squalling vocalist Evangelist Saundra Cepeda, and the choir take the listener back to what church used to sound like—but with a twist, courtesy of jazzy chords and chord changes in the bridge. ...

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“All of My Help” – Northern Delaware Chapter of GMWA Recording Choir

“All of My Help” Northern Delaware Chapter of GMWA Recording Choir Enon Music Group (release date: January 18, 2019) By Bob Marovich With the full-throated energy of a workshop choir, which it is, and the intrepid technique of New G, the Recording Choir of the Northern Delaware Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America pounds out the thunderous and aerobic “All of My Help.” The choir, directed by Minister Wayne E. Carter Sr., affectionately known as “the Maestro,” supports soloist Tamba Giles on this musical version of Psalm 121. Collectively, they deliver the message of the Psalm with the ...

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“Going” – Christina Bell

“Going” Christina Bell Malaco Music Group (2018) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich When I first heard the Shreveport, Louisiana, female gospel group Zie’l singing a Ward Singers classic a cappella at the 2005 Gospel Music Workshop of America, I knew then it would be a group to watch. Though Zie’l tended to favor the smooth-and-sassy style of Virtue on their Genesis and Pronounced ZY-EL albums, their finest moments came when they worked within gospel’s firm foundations, such as on “Purify Me,” “Surely God is Able,” and “Is My Living in Vain.” Nevertheless, they always sounded better live. One of the principal ...

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Gospel Music Workshop of America Detroit Chapter – Bringing It Back Home

Gospel Music Workshop of America Detroit Chapter Bringing it Back Home GMWA Detroit Chapter (release date: September 1, 2018) By Bob Marovich After listening to Bringing it Back Home, I’d say the Detroit Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) has the best choir of all workshop chapters in existence today. This live album, recorded on the 50th anniversary of GMWA’s founding in Detroit, Michigan, evokes those marvelous chapter choir albums and their Sunday morning-ready songs that were ubiquitous in the 1970s and 1980s. Although the home of the modern gospel choir movement is situated in Chicago, Detroit ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 4, 2018

“He’s Never Failed Me Yet” Saint Mark Sanctuary Choir From The Saint Mark Experience Live (2018) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/saintmarksanctuarychoir By Bob Marovich From the opening strains of “He’s Never Failed Me Yet,” the Sanctuary Choir of Saint Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, is unrelenting in its praise of an unfailing God. Backed by deliciously thick harmonies from the open-throated choir, the lead singer declares that “Momma may fail / Daddy may fail / Sister may fail / Brother may fail / Friend may fail / Pastor may fail,” but God won’t fail. Under the leadership of Darius Nelson, the choir dedicated its album ...

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Norris Garner – Don’t Stop the Praise

Norris Garner Don’t Stop the Praise Norris Garner Music (2015) By Bob Marovich A North Carolinan by birth but a resident of California’s Bay Area, Norris Garner is a choir man. He has written, sung with, accompanied, directed, and taught choirs at the Gospel Music Workshop of America, the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, and in Europe. So while Garner’s 2015 Don’t Stop the Praise is billed as a solo album, it features a talented background vocal ensemble that supports Garner and his guest soloists with plenty of polish. The ensemble consists of Tony and Toni McFarland with Blessed Union from ...

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RIP Dr. Rodena Preston, Musician, Director, GMWA Executive

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Gayle Lecus and others in Southern California today that Dr. Rodena Preston has transitioned from earthly labor to heavenly reward. Rodena’s music career was fostered by her mother, Mrs. Robbie Preston-Williams, who had her daughter playing piano at age three. By age nine, Rodena was accompanying the junior choir at the Victory Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Her brother, Billy Preston, went on to play the organ and achieve success as an organist and vocalist in both the gospel and pop music worlds. Later, Rodena joined the Ladies of Song and was the ...

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Yet Another Soldier Gone: RIP Kenny Taylor of Teemade Productions

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music is saddened to hear of the passing of Kenny Taylor, one of gospel music’s finest and most professional consultants and promotional men. Kenny was someone you could trust that if he said he would do it, he would do it. Dependable, honest, and with integrity…that’s how I describe Kenny Taylor. Each year, he and his Teemade Productions of Washington, DC, would treat the Gospel Announcers Guild with a themed musical at the annual Gospel Music Workshop of America convention. He showcased the artists he was promoting but with a twist that put a ...

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“Everybody Ought to Know” – D. Corey Shipley feat. Estee Bullock

“Everybody Ought to Know” D. Corey Shipley feat. Estee Bullock DuCosh Music Group (release date: April 28, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dcoreyshipley By Bob Marovich “Everybody Ought to Know” is a humble worship song that riffs on the various names for God but reminds us that no matter the name, God is the solid rock. D. Corey Shipley and Estee Bullock (Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir) weave their confident lead vocals through the backing group’s assertive harmonies. The musicians keep the head bobbing funk beat, a slow stomp, moving steadily ahead throughout. D. Corey Shipley hails from Trenton, New Jersey, and ...

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