6 MONTHS, NUMEROUS MEETINGS AND THE UK GOSPEL MUSIC SCENE REENERGIZED
On June the 11th, more than six months ago, O`Neil Dennis (of aStepFWD.com) and Adebayo Abimbola (of 7gospeltracks.com) facilitated what was the first in a series of meetings and discussions focused on the future of UK Gospel music.
At the time, they had no idea of the historical significance that little initiative would have on the music scene. Of course, there are relevant scriptures, and this one comes to mind: “Whoever observes the wind (outside circumstances) will not sow, and whoever regards the clouds will not reap a harvest.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4).
There is much that can be said about passion and determination, and both were on abundantly displayed throughout the various gatherings under the Gospel Music Action Group banner.
A profound statement made by Dennis, meeting chairperson, echoed not just the scripture above but also the hearts and minds of both facilitators and the many individuals who responded to the call.
“We’ve got to get this right and importantly we’ve got to do it right.”
Talent and experience were also in plentiful supply at each Meeting, with appearances from the highest calibre of Gospel music practitioners and industry professionals the UK has to offer.
Each gathering became a social affair as people met for the first time or took the opportunity to catch up and rekindle old friendships. It was, indeed, beautiful to behold. (Feel free to recap on 1st Meeting and 2nd Meeting as they were especially pivotal to where things are now.
The Gospel Music Industry Alliance (GMIA) of course had a starring role along with its CEO Juliet Fletcher and directors Janet Simpson and Kevin Tomlin. Collectively, their willingness to listen and accommodate ideas and suggestions helped pave the way for what looks set to be a healthier, more vibrant decade for all.
Much credit goes to the people who stepped up, spoke out, shared their hearts and was critical but honest about the past and the present. The future will surely be indebted to these individuals.
A massive achievement already and worth highlighting is the creation of the six new regions and regional gatherings from which the Nominations Committee members were selected.
This process presents a fantastic mechanism for unity, growth, and development right across the UK. Well done to the regional co-ordinators Godfrey Chimb & Angela Ifonlaja (Ireland), Eloho Efemuai (Scotland), Adaeze Chiwoko (North), Roger Moore (Midlands), Dennis & Adebayo (London & SE) and Carmen Carrol & Ayanda Sibanda (Bristol & SW).
And to the 13 National Nominations Committee members who had the remarkable and hugely significant task of selecting the six new GMIA Directors, hats off to you. There is now much anticipation for the new GMIA Board; a new era is upon us and for what the future holds. Whoever they are, it will still need to be ‘all hands on deck’ but exciting times indeed!