The 2021 edition of Canarias Gospel Summit started last Friday, October 8th at Espacio Cultural Cine Viejo in Candelaria (Tenerife, Canary Islands). The Canary Islands School of Gospel (Escuela Gospel de Canarias) brought back gospel music to Candelaria, like every year after the inevitable cancellation of the event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The main activity in the programme of Canarias Gospel Summit 2021 took place between 8th and 10th October: the gospel workshop for adults taught by the polyphacetic and prestigious director Daniel Thomas, who travelled from London to teach the essence of gospel music to more than 50 participants who enjoyed every second of the weekend. 

The workshop started on Friday afternoon and finished on Sunday with the great end-of workshop performance in which the participants had the opportunity to share the stage with Daniel Thomas in a public performance to show the audience what they had learnt over the weekend. 

Besides the workshop sessions, each day there were also free public gospel concerts by the groups Naturally (Friday 8th), a local group directed by Ezequiel Barrios and Canarias Gospel Choir (Saturday 9th), the choir formed by the members of Escuela Gospel de Canarias, organizer of the event and also founded and directed by Ezequiel Barrios.

During these three days of concerts and workshop sessions, Escuela Gospel de Canarias also took the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank Xenox Producciones (organizer and producer of the annual festival Gospel Canarias Fest), Nancy Roncesvalles (director of Coro Gospel de Madrid) and Bazil Meade (founder of the London Community Gospel Choir) for their professional career and years of dedication to the spreading of gospel music in the Canary Islands, Spain and Europe, respectively.  This public ceremony took place during one of the concerts and there was even a live video call with two of the three award-winning people who could not be at the event in person. 

Both the audience and the participants of the gospel workshop felt in their own flesh the good vibes of gospel music thanks in great part to Daniel Thomas’ energetic and vibrant personality. Daniel gave everything he had inside to transmit and teach the participants exactly in the same way as he has done it for over more than 20 years’ experience directing choirs in the United Kingdom.

For this workshop, Daniel explained himself that he had chosen a repertoire with a theme which was very connected with the difficult times that the whole world has gone through in the last 18 months. As he said, there is nothing worse than suffering in silence and that is precisely why the theme of his repertoire was the word help. “We need to learn to leave our pride aside and be able to admit that we need help. It is OKAY to ask for help”, he said.

The gospel workshop for adults has come to an end but Canarias Gospel Summit 2021 continues with two other activities programmed: the gospel workshop for children and teenagers taught by Sonia Cárdenas, and a speech therapy masterclass taught by Rocío González for professionals who use their voice to work or any person interested in how to use and take care of our voice. The new dates for these two activities will be announced soon.