Edwin Hawkins' MALF in Chicago
The 29th annual Edwin and Walter Hawkins Music and Arts Love Fellowship Conference (formerly the Music and Arts Seminar) converged upon the “Gospel Music Capital of the World”, Chicago, Illinois with a week of workshops, panel discussions, new artist showcases, musicals and services the week of June 20th.
This year had a special significance as it also marked the 40th Anniversary of the release of the Hawkins composition “Oh Happy Day” recorded by the Northern California State Youth Choir (later renamed the Edwin Hawkins Singers) in 1969. Through the use of effective marketing and promotions via radio, the single would go on to sell over 7 million copies and become a huge crossover hit introducing Contemporary Gospel Music to the world. A host of Gospel’s luminaries was on hand for the festivities including Daryl Coley, Donald Lawrence, Richard Smallwood, Bishop Marvin Winans, Bishop Kenneth Moales, Bishop Larry Trotter, Melonie Daniels and many others. The highlight of the conference was the recording of the Mass Choir held on Saturday, June 26th.