Power up for a weekend of gospel singing

Power up poster

Power up your vocal cords and get ready for a little singing at the upcoming annual weekend event for lovers of gospel music.

The Toronto Mass Choir will present Power Up 2012 on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at the Accolade East Power up posterBuilding, second floor, Keele campus, with a free finale concert on Sunday, March 4 at Kennedy Road Tabernacle, 141 Kennedy Rd. in Brampton.

Power Up offers participants the opportunity to learn to sing gospel music in a mass choir setting and gives songwriters, musicians, dancers and actors a chance to improve their skills. New features this year include the Power Up Youth Choir and the Industry Panel. There will also be an opportunity for emerging artists and others interested in growing their music ministry  to network with seasoned industry professionals.

The annual event is the brainchild of York music Professor Karen Burke, co-founding director of the Juno Award-winning Toronto Mass Choir, now in its 24th season. Burke not only maintains a busy concert schedule on the road with the York University Gospel Choir and the Toronto Mass Choir, she also hones her skills as an educator and clinician by offering workshops.

Karen BurkeLeft: Karen Burke

Registrants can participate in a variety of workshops, including a songwriting demo derby with an award-winning panel of Canadian songwriters such as James Linderman and Ali Matthews. There will also be vocal workshops with seasoned professionals Nicole Sinclair-Anderson and Cassandra Sommers, as well as workshops on stage presence and a workshop taught by Burke specifically for choral directors.

The number of workshops for musicians has been expanded for this year and there will also be workshops in bass, guitar and three levels of keyboard. Those interested in drama and dance will have the privilege of choosing from workshops under the direction of professional actor Richard Peters, owner of Broken Open Theatre, and dancer and choreographer JJ Gerber.

Workshops and mass choir rehearsals will run throughout the weekend and are capped off by a finale concert on Sunday evening featuring the workshop registrants singing in the Power Up Workshop Mass Choir, accompanied by a live rhythm section.

The cost of registration is $55 per person, or $45 for students and groups of 10 or more.

For more information, a complete list of bios, workshop descriptions and registration information, visit the Power Up Gospel Music Workshop website.