Brno Gospel days, organized by Brno Gospel Choir (which is lead by Zuzana Petlanova), became a tradition in this time of the year. As a part of this event there's always a concert in the Church of Holy Family where everyone can come and sing. You don’t have to be a believer, love for gospel music and will to sing is enough. Another part of Brno Gospel days is a weekend workshop lead by experienced lecturers. This is year was no exception and the workshop was lead by an experienced choirleader from Denmark, Rune Herholdt who came to Brno for the third time. Back home he leads a big gospel choir and is also a member of a swing quartet Gospel Brothers. His liveliness gets everyone who sees him live, he gives himself to people while being on stage and you feel he just can't be without the contact with people. He´s so charismatic, throws smiles around and once you see him singing you won't get it out of your head.
No surprise that the workshop was full very quickly and everyone was looking forward to spending time in great company. You don't need to be singing in a gospel choir in order to participate in the workshop, it´s enough when you love to sing and an unforgettable experience is guaranteed. Somebody new to all this might think he or she might not be able to handle so many hours of singing every day but all fears or concerns disappear during first ten minutes when you enter the rehearsal space. Everyone is smiling at you and is happy to share the fellowship.
On the first day of the workshop the waiting for Rune to arrive was maybe longer than expected but he himself said during the concert on Sunday "every minute of the travel was worth it". The participants of the workshop learnt about 6 songs during the weekend, including Pride (In the name of love) by U2. Rune always chooses a pop song for his workshops and this selection surely made everyone happy. There were special guests at the workshop, gospel singers from Denmark, it was a great experience to learn something new and to meet new people. Even Rune himself was surprised how good the singers at the workshop are so he decided to teach them one more song, We shall overcome and the audience at the Sunday concert was later taught this song. Most of them already knew it as there's a Czech version of it, Jednou budem dal which was also sung during the concert.
Before the start of the concert on Sunday, Rune called all the singers to get together, everyone held hands, Rune said a short prayer, encouraged everyone by smiling at them and everyone knew the concert is going to be awesome. The evening was sold out. First to sing was Brno Gospel Choir who moved the audience with slow songs and woke their energy up with the quicker ones. After couple of songs they invited Rune on stage to sing "Stayed on you" with them. He remained on stage then till the end of the night.This time the participants of the workshop joined him and they sang all the songs they learnt, enjoyed the packed house and the atmosphere. Gospel isn't only about the music, it's also about the fellowship. At the very end everyone was leaving the stage singing I won't go back, Rune gave each of the singers a hug as a thank you for a good work, everyone was happy and smiling.
This was an amazing, magical night and those involved will remember that for a long time.