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05 June 2014

First all-church gospel music summit

First all-church gospel music summit

A first-ever gathering of church leaders from all streams in connection with gospel music is planned for 13-14 June at The Drum Arts Centre in Birmingham.

The event which is being organised by the Gospel Music Industry Alliance (GMIA) and Greentree Productions has the backing of key church networks and the Evangelical Alliance's One People Commission, which celebrates ethnicity while promoting unity within the UK evangelical Church.

The two-day event begins with a luncheon expected to gather 200 church and gospel leaders in looking at the future of this type of music, given that the Church is where such musical talent is nurtured.

Music of Black Origin (MOBO) 2013 winning female vocalist Lurine Cato will lead an array of artists at the gospel music industry business event, and the reggae artist Watchman, an ex-offender turned mentor to former gang members, will number among those launching a new album.

Yemi Adedeji, director of the Alliance's One People Commission, said: "The British gospel music scene is a brilliant way for people of faith to express their love of God and we are delighted that this event is taking place, drawing in church leaders from across denominations."

In the evening the inaugural JUMP Music Video Awards which recognise the creative ability of those behind the camera who produce, direct and edit music videos. The work of collaborating music video makers and artists in the sector will be highlighted and awarded.

On 14 June, leading UK music industry executives, artists, DJs, music producers and other experts will lead on the realities of the music business and practical solutions. Registered delegates will have the choice of specialist workshops and panel discussions, with time to network and meet contacts from all aspects of the music scene and from different parts of the UK.

Plans regarding the first 'Song Book' will also be announced. The songs are primarily, but not exclusively, by black and ethnic minority songwriters and composers and are based on the gospel music genre.

The Gospel Music Industry Alliance (GMIA) has put its weight behind Gospel Summit - the only music industry event specifically for the gospel sector which provides a platform for showcasing new artists, launching new initiatives, networking and providing industry advice to all in the sector and those who want to engage for business purposes or out of interest.

The theme for Gospel Summit 2014 is 'Independents Breakthrough' focusing on increasing artists' ability to succeed and is particularly aimed at being useful to those who are just starting out in gospel music. All registrants who have recorded a single, EP or album are encouraged to bring it with them for networking.

Juliet Fletcher, gospel music pioneer and chief executive of GMIA said: "We've chosen to concentrate on independent artist-owned labels and record companies for the reason that we've seen an increase in the numbers who, though creatively strong, lack the knowledge and resources to realise their potential, rise above the challenges and grasp the opportunities in the music marketplace."

GMIA is an affiliate member of The Association of Independent Music (AIM) which represents more than 800 labels and record companies in UK music. Charlie Phillips, head of legal and commercial affairs at Worldwide Independent Network is providing resources for the event and says: "AIM is pleased to be working in association with the Gospel Music Industry Alliance and to be running industry workshop sessions at the Gospel Summit. AIM works hard to share knowledge and information on business aspects of the music industry with independent music companies, and we are looking forward to some useful discussions with the gospel community at the Summit."