You might wonder what would inspire someone to put together a weekend of singing without any musical accompaniment. When the Sharon Bethel Quartet began singing back in 1994, we were not thinking at all about the possibilities of being asked to sing in so many different places and venues. But as we began responding to invitations to sing here and there, it became clear that many people, whether Mennonite or not, thoroughly enjoyed A Cappella Singing. As time progressed and we were privileged to sing in some of the Gospel Sings around the country where there are usually 12 to 18 different groups present, an idea began to form in our minds. We are often the only A Cappella group in the whole event. Would it work to do an all A Cappella event? Will people come to listen? Will the groups come? Will those that come get bored? Will we look like dummies if we try something like that? I guess we do anyway. So why not give it a try?
So, there you go. We are doing it. We received encouragement from the Harmony Quartet from TN and they offered to help support and promote it. It is a joint effort by both Quartets and with a lot of help from a local committee formed in the Goshen, IN area. Our home is in Iowa but we felt it is too far West to draw a crowd for such an event. Also, the Mennonite community is not as large as those further East.
The format we are using is one that seems to work in many of the Gospel Sings we have attended in the past. It is not to be a competitive event. But rather a time when groups can get together to not only sing for an audience, but to also form relationships and friendships that come from having experienced many of the same joys and sorrows that go along with a singing ministry. Our experience has been that after a weekend of singing together and giving each other support and encouragement that it begins to feel like family. And it truly is a part of the family of God.
So why not come and join us for this first, and hopefully annual, all A Cappella Gospel Sing? We hope this can become an event that will encourage youth, as well as older people, to form their own groups and to get involved in the ministry of singing. If the support is evident and the Lord continues to bless and lead us to continue, we would give consideration to also offer singing workshops to help groups in their presentation as well as help develop a sense of how great the possibilities are of a singing ministry. Perhaps some vocal assistance and training could be incorporated. Just some more random thoughts about the possibilities an event like this could present.
We welcome your response to this post and would also welcome other ideas or suggestions for improvement. We are still open for a few more groups. Give suggestions.