I attended a number of presentations, from fiddle music, to songs from Australia, but the one that struck me the most was the workshop on Gospel singing. I hadn't realized when I attended it, that the audience was going to learn to sing Gospel music. I thought it was going to be a concert presentation. The woman leading the workshop was Lea Gilmore.
"Lea Gilmore is a blues, gospel and jazz singing civic activist who has lent her voice, literally andfiguratively, to advocacy for the underserved of the world and made a huge difference." www.leagilmore.com/Bio.html
I would say that there were about 150 people in attendance, and we were divided into three groups. Lea taught us several different songs - easy to learn because of the repetition of words and melody. She then guided us through the songs, incorporating harmony and singing in rounds. It was an amazing experience. At one point, the beauty of the music just overwhelmed me, and I found myself singing through tears. Now, those who know me well know that moving me to tears is not an out-of-the-ordinary event - I have always cried easily. I must say though, that I was by no means the only one who was singing with tears streaming down their face. As I said before, it was an amazing experience.
I did not record any of this (I was too busy singing and mopping up my cheeks), but I have included a clip below of Lea leading a choir and audience in singing "This Little Light of Mine". I got to sing this with her twice - once at the Gospel workshop - and a second time at the Songs of Freedom presentation. I think you will see why she is so inspiring.
What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday - just wonderful!