Dr. Margaret Pleasant Douroux, internationally acclaimed author, educator, and the composer of such gospel classics as ‘We’re Blessed,’ ‘Rivers of Joy,’ ‘He Decided,’ and ‘If It Had Not Been For The Lord On My Side,’ hosts one of L.A.’s annual cultural treasures, the 29th Heritage Music Foundation (HMF) Gospel Music Conference and Expo.
The conference opens on Wednesday, June 25, and continues through Saturday, June 28, at various churches and venues in Los Angeles.
This year, HMF will present Chicago’s award-winning Malcolm Williams who sings ‘The Blood Still Works,’ ‘Oh, Oh Give Thanks,’ and ‘I Repent.’
“Malcolm’s music is a staple of choir conductors across the nation and the Grand Finale Concert on June 27, features the not-to-be- missed yearly favorite, Houston’s V. Michael McKay directing guest artists in impromptu performances,” said Dr. Douroux.
“You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen gospel greats improvise like this!”
All gospel music enthusiasts are invited to register and participate in the Heritage Mass Choir. Evening concerts, Wednesday through Friday, are open to the public at no charge.
The conference features more than a dozen national gospel artists, plus performances of the music of Dr. Douroux and up-and-coming new writers.
“The 2014 theme is ‘Moving Forward While Appreciating the Past.’ This is a continuation of our ongoing mission to preserve and promote the gospel music heritage to the world,” said Dr. Douroux.
HMF’s grand kick-off concert is June 25 at 7 p.m., and features Williams and Dr. Douroux with the Heritage Mass Choir at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, 4269 South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles.
The concert on June 26, at 7 p.m., offers songs written by Dr. Douroux and others, and performed by various artists. Guests include the L.A. Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America led by Dr. Rodena Preston and directed by Herman Jones and Santa Ana’s Second Baptist Church choir directed by Dwayne Roberts. The program takes place at Greater New Bethel Baptist Church, 601 East 99th Street in Inglewood.
The Grand Finale Concert is on June 27, at 7 p.m., at Greater New Bethel Church. The celebration features Williams, new music by Rodney Teal and the Heritage Conference Choir, and V. Michael McKay presenting his new music and directing guest artists in impromptu performances, plus a hymn segment with Melodi Ewell-Lovely.
“Bring your African American Hymnal for this segment with KJLH radio announcer, Kevin Nash, as emcee,” added Dr. Douroux.
On June 28, at 8 a.m., the Annual Breakfast and Fashion Show will be held at Regency West, 3339 West 43rd Street in Los Angeles. Conference guests will render the music and Dr. Douroux will deliver the Founder’s Message. Tickets are $30.
On Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., classes in dancing, drumming, choral and instrumental performance, and other topics related to musicianship will be held. Also included is a ‘hymnopedia’ segment featuring Kenneth Glover, Eddie Kendricks, Jacque Malone, Pastor Melvin Wade, Pastor Tycee Brown, Pastor Sylvester Washington, and Carolyn Johnson-White, with special guest Malcolm Williams.
Each day at 1:00 p.m., Teal and Williams will lead the Heritage Mass Choir rehearsals of selected new songs written by conference participants. At 3 p.m., McKay will conduct the mass choir and Williams will participate on Friday.
HMF Satellite Chapters will hold business meetings each day, including representatives from Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Beaumont, TX, Houston, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and Detroit.
Full registration is $105. For details, call (310) 674-1903 or visit hmfgospel.com.