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"Music is my Profession"

One-on-One Tutoring ( piano and vocals)      Music Theory      Choir Administration/Direction    Performance Opportunities

Joan Hillsman's Music Network Inc. (JHMN)

Dr. Joan Hillsman is a Music Educator, Author, Lecturer/Demonstrator, University Professor, African American Music Historian, Church Music Clinician, Curriculum Writer and Retired Supervisor of Music from the Washington DC Public Schools.  Dr. Hillsman is also a Board Member for the National Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) and performer.  Dr. Hillsman relocated to the Syracuse area from Washington , DC in 2009.  Since her arrival she has worked on various projects.  She has had the pleasure of working on Syracuse's Mayor Miner's Arts Transitional Team and also Syracuse's "Say Yes to Education" Program as well as organizing a Syracuse Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America and produced a CD of original gospel music in collaboration with Bethany Baptist Church, Syracuse, NY.


Gospel Music: An African American Art Form


This book is designed for the general reader of gospel music, as well as those who incorporate gospel into their lesson plans on the academic level. “Gospel Music: An African American Art Form” provides music information on the heritage of gospel from its African roots, Negro spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel music trends. The mission and purpose of this book is to provide a framework of study of gospel music, which is in the mainstream of other music genres. There are 8 detailed sections, appendices and resources on gospel music which include African Roots and Characteristics and history, Negro Spirituals, Black Congregational Singing, Gospel history and Movement, Gripping effects: Cross Over Artists, Youth in Gospel, and Gospel Music in the Academic Curriculum with lesson plans. There is a wealth of knowledge on the cultural heritage of “Gospel Music As An Art Form.”

Now available at Friesen Press

The Syracuse Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (SGMWA) was organized by Dr. Joan Hillsman, a  National Board Member of GMWA, founded by the late Rev. James Cleveland.  There are approximately 185 Chapters in the national body, which includes at least 6 international ones.   The SGMWA chair is non-denominational, multi-cultural group who serves the community and participates in exciting venues while enjoying the heritage of Gospel Music, from spirituals to traditional and contemporary forms. Our goals and mission is to provide opportunities for performance and cultural enrichment.  The Choir is open for membership.

Contact:    Gospel Music Workshop of America website:                Facebook:

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P.O. Box 83, Syracuse, NY  13205
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