BALTIMORE — “Dr. Thomas Dorothy had a vision in 1932, where lay people had a place to get organized,” said Dr. Marabeth E. Gentry, the current president of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs & Choruses (NCGCC), about its humble beginnings. “It’s the camaraderie; it’s the spirituality; it’s the beautiful music [and] the family atmosphere. We’re a large family reunion.”
Dr. Gentry took over as president of the NCGCC in 2010 after then president Bishop Kenneth Moales, Sr. passed away. He succeeded founder Dr. Thomas Dorothy who served from 1932 to 1993.
NCGCC offers up-and-coming Gospel singers and songwriters a stage to perform. During the convention, participants have the opportunity to hear inspirational guest speakers and to attend sessions and workshops for both youth and adults who want to enhance their skills as singers, instrumentalists, educators and leaders.
The goal of the convention is to foster and promote an appreciation and a high standard of excellence of Gospel music and Gospel music performances.
The NCGCC is celebrating its 84th Anniversary in my hometown, Baltimore between August 5 and 11, 2017 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel.
Hosted by Elder Shawn L. Bell and Reverend Dr. Derrick E. Roberts, chairman of the NCGCC Board, the guest speakers include: Rev. Dr. Lester W. Taylor, Bishop Walter Scott Thomas, Dr. Jamal Bryant, Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Bishop Millicent Hunter and Dr. Donte L. Hickman, Sr. and guest performers: Rickey Dillard, Charles Butler and Trinity, Jonathan Nelson, Maurette Brown-Clark, JJ Hairston, the Baltimore Mass Choir and many others.
“Some of our great artists, such as Hezekiah Walker…years ago came [and] look at them now— Donald Lawrencce; you can go back to the Cleveland Singers; Aretha Franklin in Detroit; Della Reese are a part of us; and Dinah Washington,” Dr. Gentry said about the many aspiring artists the convention help put a spotlight on. “Dr. Dorothy saw a vision, a place where songwriters and performers can come and do their music, and listen to others do their music.”
Dr. Gentry says before Bishop Moales, Sr. passed away in 2010, he told her in 2008 that he was going to hand the mantle over to her— to which she initially said no. Today against her wishes but heeding God’s will, she now serves as president of the 84-year-old event that has provided a free stage to those in Gospel looking to develop their skills.
“A spiritual thing came into my room,” Dr. Gentry explained when asked why she changed her mind. “It said, ‘I will give you everything; I will not forsake you, just do what I tell you,’ and I did a walk of faith.”
It too inspires and educates participating artists who have gone on to do great things.
Dr. Thomas Dorothy Sr. is considered by many to be the “father of Gospel music.” He wrote over 400 songs, including: “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.”
To find out more about the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, visit: www.NCGCC.com.
Eunice Moseley is also a public relations strategist and business management consultant at Freelance Associates and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. For more entertainment news, visit: www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.