Church in session at NAMM 2011!

Well, what can you say except praise God! Church was most definitely in-session during the last day of The NAMM Show 2011. In what has become somewhat of a tradition on the last Sunday of the show, the focus in front of the convention center was indeed to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ. Through amazing music, voices lifted and words of wisdom the NAMM “Wanna Play?” stage became an outdoor church.

While I am still playing catch-up from the show; trying to get articles written, photos posted, etc. in the middle of a non-stop schedule I really wanted to get something up from this amazing, God-filled event. With a lineup featuring the Mt. Rubidoux Church Choir joined by Don Lewis, then Israel Houghton and New Breed everyone knew it would be a morning to remember!

With MC duties filled by Corey Fournier of Roland the morning started off with an amazing performance by the Mt. Rubidoux Church Choir. Under the direction of Dr. Alan Woodson the choir has performed at such events as The Living Legend Awards (Stevie Wonder and Nancy Wilson) and Oscar Award events. The choir was joined on keyboard by Don Lewis. Mr. Lewis is both an educator and artist, and as a studio artist has worked with greats like Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendez and Michael Jackson. He’s also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet!

Throughout the set, the group kept the energy high and the message strong. The choir applied their special blend of soulful voices to many traditional and contemporary songs of praise and was an absolute joy to hear. With the powerful and emotional direction of Dr. Woodson this was a show that had an impact on all.

After the Mt. Rubidoux Choir finished the set, it was time to make some stage changes and bring out three-time GRAMMY® award winning Israel Houghton and New Breed. Israel and his high-energy band performed songs from their 2010 release Love God,Love People., which went to #1 in the first week of its release.

As the show progressed it became clear to all that this Sunday morning church session was indeed still in session. The already crowded courtyard and surrounding areas packed in even more people as Israel, New Breed and a special guest guitarist lifted God in praise! (note: my apologies to the wonderful guitarist who’s name I have seemed to misplace. If anyone can help me with this , I would be grateful)

As a worship leader, singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Israel is also known for his work as a master collaborator, drawing out the best performances from all those around him. This Sunday morning was no exception. Everyone in attendance and those who stopped along the way were treated to an amazing morning of worship and praise. Having written or co-written 11 CCLI Top 500 favorites, creating a canon of songs that have become standards in houses of faith around the globe, Love God. Love People. follows Israel’s acclaimed GRAMMY Award winning and Billboard Top 200 hit, The Power Of One, and promises to be an inspiration to all who listen.

“Love God. Love People. is a return to a simple, foundational Gospel command: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself,” says Israel. “Virtually every song touches on this profound simplicity. It all comes down to ‘Love God, love people.’ Period.”

The really cool thing about an event like this is the way you’ll see God at work. Planting little seeds, capturing an ear for a moment or two. Just laying Himself out there for all to receive. As you might imagine, at an event like NAMM 2011 there are all kinds of people. It’s an incredible mix of the weird, wacky and wonderful. It was a great thing to watch as people would try to make their way through the building crowd to get to whatever they needed to do. Trying to rush through to avoid those ‘church people’ and avoid eye contact. But just as often as not the music and the message was inescapable. It captured their ears and they would stop and listen. I watched and smiled as people filled the courtyard, lined the walkways and stood on the steps and around the parking lot walls to hear the message and amazing music. If only one person heard what they needed to hear that sunny Sunday morning it was all worth it.

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