“The audience is really going to witness a rehearsal of a choir made up of singers from all over Europe,” Lawrence says. “A lot of people in the Baltic states can really sing well. I’ve visited many countries and worked with their choirs. I conducted a 500-voice choir at Duomo Cathedral in Florence, Italy with 30,000 people in attendance. Leaders in various cities asked for me to come and teach their choirs. Instead of me going to all of them, I said why don’t we all meet in London for this first year and then I’ll come to you the next year. So, we’ve got choirs coming from Sweden, Latvia, Denmark, and so many other places.” Bazil Meade MBE (the pioneering founder of the 40+ year old London Community Gospel Choir that’s given royal command performances and performed with a who’s who in music) and Ayce Oyerinde, are handling on the ground promotions for Music + Arts Global through their London-based firm, GloFest International.
“I want to see young people really benefit from the art…,” Hawkins said of the Music & Arts Seminar in a 1987 interview with Totally Gospel Magazine. “I don’t want it to be just another social affair. …I’d like to eventually take the convention out of the states…just to keep it fresh.” While that hope didn’t materialize during Hawkins’ lifetime, it’s happening April 27-29, 2023, when Lawrence will present the newly renamed conference Music + Arts Global at the Gaumont State Theatre (197-99 High Road NW6 7HY) in the Kilburn district of London, England.
Lawrence’s plan is to expand upon the rich legacy of the Music & Arts Seminar. Each day there will be educational courses on topics such as vocal blending; incorporating spoken word, dance, and theater into a choir’s stage presentation; and how to dress a choir and create its fashion imprint. Audio Sound Designer Armando Fullwood will join 7x GRAMMY® Award winning engineer Danny Duncan (who’s worked with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Israel Houghton) to introduce VenueFlex/ChoirFlex, a new technology that enhances audio clarity for an immersive acoustic listening experience. On Friday night, Volney Morgan of the MOBO Award winning gospel group Volney Morgan & New-Ye, will host a showcase of dynamic choirs from throughout the European continent and the United Kingdom.
There will also be guest appearances by music veterans such as Anthony Brown (of Anthony Brown & group therAPy), William Murphy, Ted Winn, Vincent Bohanan, Rodney Posey, and Derrick Starks. Songwriter Jeffrey LaValley will not only share his musical knowledge with attendees, but he will also tell the story behind his song ‘Revelations 19:1.’ It was originally recorded by the New Jerusalem Baptist Church Choir in 1985. Over the years, the song has become a staple in church worship services. However, it became a TikTok and viral hit after the Sunday Service Choir recorded it and made it popular with a new generation of fans in 2022.