Founders Scholarship Recipients
Our Founder’s Scholarship was started in honor of Bro. Videt Polk and Bro. Bobby Burnett. This Scholarship is awarded to two students - one male, one female - who have shown character traits of those who started the school. Some of the qualities our teachers look for in these individuals are the following: leadership, determination, kindness, hard work, putting others first, helpfulness, eager to learn and various other traits. These two students are nominated by our faculty and staff each year. This years two recipients were Audrey Bolin and Braxton Overstreet both natives of Mississippi.
Braxton Overstreet is 14 years old and is entering the 9th grade this fall. He is a member at Mars Hill Landmark Missionary Baptist Church outside of Wiggins, MS. This was Braxton’s first year to attend Gospel Singers of America. Hesitant to attend, Braxton quickly saw the benefit of learning all he could during the 3 weeks. He became excited to learn and most importantly, he saw the need and benefit Gospel Singers of America would give him to better serve the Lord in the future. He is thankful he had the opportunity to attend and now realizes the importance of the music service and how it impacts individuals in the congregation. He is grateful for the teachers and staff that encouraged him, and took the time to teach him such valuable information. He was completely shocked by receiving the Founders’ Scholarship and felt honored to be recognized. He made many new friends and is already making plans for next years session.
Audrey Bolin, a 16-year-old junior from Poplarville, MS, is a member of Serenity Baptist Church where she sings in the choir, with the youth group, and at youth fellowships. She loves being involved in the church and serving the Lord through music. She takes piano lessons at Jamie’s Performing Arts Studio and would like to play piano in church one day. She also plays the flute in the Poplarville High School Green Machine band, and she will be drum major for the band this upcoming school year.
Audrey’s dream is to become an Elementary School Music teacher, and she would also love to be a teacher at Gospel Singers of America one day. Audrey’s favorite part about Gospel Singers of America is meeting new people and learning new things. Audrey is very passionate about music, and she looks forward to attending Gospel Singers of America every year!
Gospel Singers of America 2019 Session
Elaina Thornburg is 7 years old and attends Wilmer Baptist Church in Wilmer, Alabama. Even though this was Elaina’s first year to attend Gospel Singers of America, Elaina is a fourth generation student. Elaina is the granddaughter of Mrs. Patti Driskell Thornburg who is our Pre-Primary Theory Teacher. Elaina excelled in rhythm values and counting, and cannot wait to apply what she learned at GSofA in her church and school music classes.
Mabrey Alisse’ Johnson is 8 years old and is from Livingston, Louisiana. Mabrey attends Fellowship Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, LA where her father is the pastor. Mabrey has attended Gospel Singers of America for 5 years.While attending GSofA, Mabrey has been able to learn how to play the piano, accordion, guitar, ukulele, and recorder. Mabrey assist the organist at church, plays offertory specials, sings harmony and lead in multiple groups at her church, and she is also involved in the church youth choir and seasonal musical plays. Mabrey was ecstatic to receive the Primary I trophy, and she could not wait to share the news with her family and friends!
Canton Till is 10 years old and is from Sumrall, Mississippi. Canton attends Rock Hill Baptist Church in Sumrall, Mississippi were he is actively involved with his youth group. Canton plays the piano and guitar in church for congregational singing and specials. Canton has attended Gospel Singers of America for two years, and he is excited to take back what he learned this summer and apply it in the music ministry at his home church.
Morelia Gomez is 13 years old and is currently serving with her family as a missionary in Michoacan, Mexico planting churches. Morelia is involved teaching Children’s Sunday School Classes, helps lead the children’s Choir at her church, and in congregational singing. Morelia has attended Gospel Singers of America for three years. Thankfully, the Lord has provided the funds for Morelia and Denise to fly to the states to attend GSofA. Morelia loves being able to take what she has learned at GSofA back with her to the mission field and pass it on to her students in Mexico.
Gracie Yates is 15 years old and is from Collins, Mississippi. She is a faithful member at Lone Star Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, where she sings soprano in both the church and youth choir. She enjoys singing specials at church as well as playing Trumpet in the Marching, Jazz, and Concert Bands at South Jones High School. Gracie has attended Gospel Singers of America for 3 years and loves the singing school. She loves sight-reading new songs, meeting new people, and bettering her musical talents for the Lord. GSofA has helped her become a better musician in both her church and school band. Gracie plans on auditioning for drum major at her school next year. Gracie plans to study Music Education with a concentration in Band. Gracie is excited to come back to GSofA for years to come and further her knowledge in music theory with her friends at GSofA. Hopefully, one day, Gracie will be able to teach at Gospel Singers of America!
Kaylea Yates is 17 years old and is from Collins, Mississippi. She is a faithful member at Lone Star Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, where she enjoys singing in both the church choir and youth choir. She also enjoys singing specials and playing instrumental specials in her church. She also enjoys playing Flute in the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band at South Jones High School. Kaylea has attended Gospel Singers of America for 3 years and loves the school very much. With the help of GSofA, Kaylea realized that God is leading her to get a Bachelors in Music Education so that she can be a light for Christ as a band director. If it is the Lord’s will, Kaylea plans on teaching music at church and summer singing schools so that she can help other people the way GSofA has helped her in bettering their talents for the Lord. Kaylea looks forward to attending GSofA for years to come, and hopefully joining the faculty one day in the future!
Bonner Patrick Welch, from Moselle, Mississippi, is a nineteen year old college freshman who is pursuing a degree in Music Education at Jones College in Ellisville, Mississippi. He currently attends Sanford Missionary Baptist Church in Seminary, Mississippi. At his church, he sings in the youth choir, sings in a youth quartet, sings specials, directs songs, and plays the bass guitar. He has attended Gospel Singers of America for four years and plans to attend as a volunteer/teacher in the future. Gospel Singers of America has meant the world to him. It helped him decide what degree to pursue, allowed him to learn new musical concepts, but most importantly, it has helped him grow closer to God through music.
Founders Scholarship Recipients
Kaylea Yates is a 16 yr old from Ellisville, MS. Kaylea attends Lone Star Baptist Church where she is actively involved in the music ministry. From singing in the choir, to playing multiple instruments in the church ensembles, Kaylea loves being involved and serving the Lord through music. Her dream is to finish school and go back to her middle school and start a music program. Kaylea’s favorite part about Gospel Singers of America is the fellowship and the learning environment. Kaylea feels that she can “be herself” while at Gospel Singers of America because of the Christian atmosphere. She loves being part of her high school band, and is always seeking new avenues to learning a new instrument.
Ben Nottingham just turned 12 and is entering the 7th Grade. He attends Faith Baptist Church in Gulfport, MS where he faithfully serves in the soul winning ministry and Missions Club. He uses his leadership, voice, guitar, and piano talents in the Nursing Home ministry, boys choir, and other small groups. Ben has attended GSA for the last 2 years where he has grown in his love, understanding, and skill in vocal music and instruments. He truly enjoys the caring teachers who have made him feel like family from his very first day. Ben also likes the fellowship and great food at GSA! Ben was honored to be recognized with a Founders’ Scholarship for 2019 and is already looking forward to next year.
Gospel Singers of America 2018 Session
London Thompson is the 8 year old daughter of Ley and Sonya Thompson. She attends Fellowship Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, LA. London enjoys singing specials with other children in her church and playing the piano for the offertory in the mid-week service. She enjoys taking weekly piano lessons and learning more about music. London said, “I LOVE Wednesday nights on the beach, and my teacher, Mrs. Jennifer, was really sweet”.
Melissa Ladner is 23 years old, and is from Pass Christian, MS. She attends Wolf Creek Community Church in Kiln, MS. She enjoys helping in her church whatever way possible, and is hoping to take what she learned from Gospel Singers of America and start in the music ministry at her church. This was Melissa’s first year at Gospel Singers of America and she said her favorite part about the school was, “my teacher, Mrs. Bonita, the people, and the group singing. It was all amazing!”
Petrina Pacheco is from Pass Christina, MS, and attends Wolf Creek Community Church where her husband serves as the Pastor. Mrs. Petrina serves in her church as the church pianist and music director. She has been serving in her church for over five years and plans on continuing for as long as the Lord would allow. This was Mrs. Petrina’s first year at Gospel Singers of America, and she said, “I love everything about Gospel Singers of America. I really enjoyed the people, but even more so, how much I learned in the short three weeks I was there”. Petrina plans on taking everything she learned at Gospel Singers of America and bringing it back to her home church to help the music ministry there.
Ciara Tomlinson is 10 years old, and will be going into the 5th grade this fall. She attends New Prospect Baptist Church in Dry Prong, La. She loves to use her talents in any skits, programs, or specials at the church. She has been going to Gospel Singers of America for 3 years! Ciara says, “What GSA means to me is learning lots of stuff in a fun way with new and old friends! I look forward to it every year!!”
Kaylea Yates is from Ellisville, MS. She goes to Lone Star Baptist Church where she is actively involved in the music ministry. From singing in the choir, to playing multiple instruments in the church ensembles, Kaylea loves being involved and serving the Lord through music. Her dream is to finish school and go back to her middle school and start a music program. Kaylea’s favorite part about Gospel Singers of America is the fellowship and the learning environment. Kaylea feels that she can “be herself” while at Gospel Singers of America because of the Christian atmosphere. She loves being part of her high school band, and is always seeking new avenues to learning a new instrument.
Maggie Bush is the 13 year old daughter of Allen and Donna Bush. She is going into the 8th grade and lives in Ellisville, MS. She attends Lone Star Baptist Church in Ellisville. Maggie is a member in the youth choir, adult choir, as well as participates in various quartets and trios. She plays the Euphonium and the piano. She has attended the Gospel Singers of America for three years. Maggie stated, “GSA has been such a wonderful experience in my life. The theory, ear training, and musical training as a whole has helped me in my singing at church, as well as my performances in the high school band. Also, the Godly friendships I have made will last a lifetime. GSA is a camp where I have the ability to not only learn more about music, but also, worship and learn more about God’s Word. It has been such a blessing to my life!”
Noah Webb is the 14 years old son of Pastor and Mrs. Steven Webb. Noah will be going into 9th grade this fall at Pearl High School. He attends Plain Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Richland, Mississippi. Noah plays guitar and leads singing at his church. He has attended Gospel Singers of Americaa for 7 years. Gospel Singers of America has given Noah the confidence to lead and direct the congregational song service, and the opportunity to worship the Lord with music.