South Charlotte

Free gospel music festival returns to Charlotte

Gospel musicians of all ages and styles will take the stage later this month for the second Statewide Gospel Music Festival at Redemption Worship Center in Charlotte.

Forte' Productions sponsored the first festival two years ago as a way to bring together gospel musicians to meet each other and introduce their music to new audiences.

"It was a great success," said Gloria Shelton, booking agent for the concert and a member of the Charlotte-based brothers & sisters enCHRIST gospel group.

"Many who participated have been asking when we were going to do it again."

Twelve groups have registered for the concert, which will be 6 p.m. March 31.

Registration is still open for gospel musicians.

The performers range from solo artists to quartets to choirs, Shelton said. Some praise and worship teams also participate, and many bring their own musicians.

In 2010, groups came from Rockingham, Greensboro and Virginia.

Each group is asked to perform two or three songs, and how many they sing will be based on the number of musicians performing, Shelton said.

In 2010, the concert lasted several hours.

Some musicians enjoyed participating so much that they sent thank-you notes to the organizers, Shelton said.

Musicians are not paid, but they can sell CDs.

A love offering will be taken, but there is no pressure to give, Shelon said.

The concert is free, and Shelton said they will be treated to more than just singing.

Many group members share with the audience how God has had an impact on their lives and lead the audience in worship.

Others will talk about the stories behind the songs they sing.

"People can expect the spirit of God to be there," Shelton said. "If they come in and they are broken, they can look forward to leaving feeling differently than when they came."

Audience members interested in joining a gospel group also can talk with musicians at the concert.

To register, visit www. home. earthlink .net/ ~n8te4te/ id45.html .

The Redemption Worship Center is at 2039 Holly St. in Charlotte.