MPGCC would like to post stories and essays about Gospel Music. E-mail your work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's a recent essay written by professional ASL interpreter Kate Munch about what Gospel Music means to her.
I have also attached something I wrote in 2004 called "The Gospel Hug" and a more recent essay "What Gospel Music means to me."
I hope these thoughts stimulate your own creativity!
Peter Silzer, MPGCC Board Secretary
As a babe I was sung to, rocked in my mother’s arms. Gospel music. Odetta’s voice sent chills through me when, as a child, I leant against the bus-sized record player in my folk’s living room to listen. Gospel music. We attended a sedate church, a handshake church. No Gospel music or hugs. All music sings to me, and I can’t stand still, but Gospel music makes me fly. My parents became involved in the civil rights movement and it made them fly. Gospel music.
Gospel music rises from a faith recognizing feet standing hard on the ground while hands lift to the divine. Gospel music dissolves cynicism and invites not only hope but also unbridled joy.
I’ve always sung, mostly in school choirs and for musicals. I began performing in sign language on the stage about 12 years ago. This came after 20 years of work as a sign language interpreter for people who are Deaf at colleges and hospitals.
The National Folk Festival, back east, needed onstage interpreters, and then the American Folk Festival, and don’t stop me, here I come, feet moving and arms flying. While I loved “doing” country, bluegrass, cowboy, whatever, I was very moved by the Gospel music. And I am. I’m so glad to be part of MPGCC’s efforts.
7 years ago my family experienced a clutch of tragedies. Does any music speak to loss, struggle and rebirth as well as Gospel music? All music, friends, belief and time hold me. And so does that other “G” word, the one that goes with Gospel.