The mission of the Heritage Music Foundation is to preserve and nurture Gospel music as a viable fine art form for all people, through the building of the Gospel House. The Gospel House will stand as a facility of education, information, and a repository for Gospel research, technology and history.
Nurturing and Preserving Gospel Music
The Heritage Music Foundation nurtures and preserves Gospel music as stated in the mission statement. The national headquarters and our satellites across the country, host music workshops, topical seminars, concerts, luncheons, special events and national conferences in order to meet that part of our goal. These events are open to the general public and are always low-cost or free to enable families to participate. Special emphasis is placed on serving youth members of the community and intergenerational programs are often hosted.
We host workshops during the year where guest directors, composers, musicians, drama teachers, dance choreographers, and cultural arts instructors conduct 2-3 day seminars. They teach and demonstrate different styles of and approaches to performing arts. They also focus on the ministry of Gospel music and its unique characteristics.
The GALA Project: Partnership with UCLA
For nearly a century, Los Angeles has played a major role in the development of Gospel music. In order to preserve this history and raise awareness about Los Angeles' role as a center for Gospel, the Heritage Music Foundation and the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive are embarked on a collaborative project to document LA Gospel music. Entitled Gospel Archiving in Los Angeles, or GALA, this year-long project focused on documenting LA Gospel events and on preserving and providing access to Gospel recordings held by the Heritage Music Foundation and others in the community. GALA is funded by a UCLA in LA grant from UCLA's Center for Community Partnerships.
In the summer, all the national supporters of Heritage come together for three days in the Los Angeles area, the future home of the Gospel House, to plan our objectives and strategize our methods for continuing our mission of nurturing and preserving Gospel music and building the Gospel House.
Over the stay of the conference, there are workshops on metered hymn singing, choir ministry, spirituals, sacred music presentations, mass choir rehearsals, choir directing, composing, instrumentation, drama and dance instruction. There are classes for young people specifically to teach them about Gospel legends. These classes are developed in conjunction with teachers and choir directors who instruct art projects and music teaching them the skills necessary for performance.
The conference also includes concerts, guest speakers and other social functions such as award luncheons. The culminating event includes a state-of-the-foundation message from the founder and CEO of Heritage, Dr. Margaret Douroux.
Oratorical and Essay Contests
Heritage hosts contests for students to compete for college scholarships. The subjects are centered on Gospel legends or topics related to Gospel music. These contests have been successful on many levels:
1.They help impress upon young people the support that exists to have them attend college and help meet the financial obligations as well.
2.They educate our youth on the basic process of competing for scholarships. Such as completing applications and meeting deadlines on submitting information.
3. It gives them the opportunity to write essays and develop oral presentations for a live audience of family and friends.
We have awarded an average of six scholarships per event ranging from $100 to $1,000.
These are just some of the events hosted to nurture and preserve Gospel music and mentor young people.