Timed to coincide with Black History Month, the Hudson Valley Gospel Festival 2020 honors the cultural, spiritual and musical impact that the genre of gospel music has had on the world. This weekend-long celebration takes place February 21 through 23 at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center, Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center and Changepoint Theater in Poughkeepsie. Subtitled “Ain’t that Good News” and presented by the Hudson Valley Gospel Festival Committee, the festival features numerous chorus and solo performances over the course of an inspirational weekend.
Friday evening kicks off with a dinner buffet, a performance from the Hudson Valley Community Gospel Choir and a Gospel Walk through History, exploring the genre through time. Each concert throughout the weekend will include a performance by the Hudson Valley Community Gospel Choir, a local ensemble formed in conjunction with the festival, led by director Dr. Mary Mclymore and minister of music Rev. T. Motley-Epps.
Saturday offers an array of workshop sessions addressing both traditional and contemporary gospel with focuses on call-and-response, spoken word, shedding, open voice, visual arts, music direction, youth choir directing (ages 13 to 18) and drum-and-dance ministry. The workshop will be followed by a red-carpet headliner concert. Lastly, Saturday features brunch and a hat parade before a final headliner concert with Everett Drake, a Nashville singer/songwriter and long-time vocalist for BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel television show. Joining Drake on Saturday is the Livingstone College Gospel Choir from Salisbury, North Carolina.
On Sunday, pastor Edwrin Sutton of Brooklyn will perform. An author, musician, psalmist, songwriter and preacher, Sutton has on numerous occasions appeared as the featured preacher on The Word Network’s television broadcasts. The local gospel quartet Just Voices will also perform.
Weekend passes are available, as are individual tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday concerts. See the website for full ticketing options.
Hudson Valley Gospel Festival
Various Poughkeepsie locations