The Gospel Music Workshop Mass Choir

In 1968, the Reverend James Cleveland organized and held the first Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) convention in Detroit, Michigan, at the King Solomon Baptist Church. Three thousand delegates attended. Today, almost forty years later, the annual August convention and workshop boasts an attendance of 15,000 registrants and an additional three to five thousand attend workshops and musical services during the week.

It is during these workshops that vocalists from chapters around the world combine to create the voices for the GMWA Mass Choir. After sixteen hours of rehearsal, a concert is given and a recording is made to commemorate the event. Savoy Records was one of the earliest labels contracted to record the choir with Live in Houston and later, MCG, a Malaco Music Group distributed label acquired the contract, producing two of the latest recordings, Behind the Curtain and Standing in the Need of a Blessing.

The convention's National Mass Choir is made up of 2,000 to 3,000 vocalists from chapters around the world and produces a new recording at each convention after only 16 hours of rehearsal. New recordings also are produced annually by the GMWA Women of Worship, Men of Promise and Youth Choir.

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