Southern Gospel music attracts thousands in Benson, N.C.
Today there may be country gospel and contemporary gospel, but recently in Benson, N.C., thousands gathered from every corner of the state to listen to that old time Southern gospel music at the 90th State Annual Singing Convention, the AP said.
The tradition of listening to old time religion hymns has been preserved in this convention. The first State Annual Singing Convention was held in a tobacco warehouse 1921 and organized by a group of local families. Some 200 came to listen to two choirs sing, their website said.
The website, which contained all the activities slated for this year’s convention plus some rule changes, gave a homey feel as it announced that seating is provided, but also encouraged those who came to bring their own lawn chairs.
The Convention was a three-day event from June 25-27, funded by corporate sponsors. Some 35 groups sang including amateur, semi-professional and professional musicians, the AP said.
The event is viewed as an outlet for many who attend. For those who participate in the singing contest, competition is fierce. It is also a time when old fashioned gospel hymns are celebrated and enjoyed, the AP said.
The Convention included round robin singing and a Sunday worship service. Some of the slated performers were Called Out, Fortress, Black Creek, Great Day Gospel Ministry and The Copas Group, according to a pre-Convention announcement from The Herald.