Power Up Plus

Additional fee applies


The Art Of The Gesture

Karen Burke

Everything that your choirs need to know to perform with great precision and expression can be facilitated by YOUR gesture.  In this very practical and relevant demonstration/participation session, Karen Burke will teach you how to use your body, facial expressions and especially effective gestures of the hands to draw the best sound possible out of your choir.  Successful conductors use convincing fundamental conducting techniques to effectively cue voice entries, start and stop their choirs.  By the way, where else can you go to learn how to conduct gospel music?  Come and find out all of Karen’s secrets!


Gospel Keys – Boot Camp

Corey Butler

For Advanced Players ONLY: Want to know how to lift and play a gospel song in the least amount of time?  If you can play a I-VI-II-V-III-VI-II-V chord progression and understand what a “flat III major 7th” chord is, then you’ll enjoy learning, in a practical setting, how to lift a gospel tune with accuracy and precision. We’ll also explore popular gospel ‘licks and lines’ and learn the new emerging gospel keyboard style of using left hand chromatic movement and close chord voicings. Finally, we haven’t had church until we’ve “shouted”. We’ll ‘take it to church’ as they say and learn the popular lines used in ‘Shout’ music.


Vocal Masterclass – “It’s Your Turn!”

Jenna (Burke) Cowans

This Master class for vocalists, led by singer-songwriter and educator, Jenna Cowans (Burke), will give you a more focused experience and more time for individual performances. In a safe, smaller and encouraging environment, you will be invited to perform a song ‘solo’ and receive coaching on vocal technique and stage presence.


Discovering Your Voice – Unveiling Your Vocal Potential

Dr. Melissa Davis

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to make your voice more beautiful? If so, this is the workshop for you! As we journey through the essentials of beautiful singing, you will come away with valuable tools for how to take your voice to its greatest potential. Come and discover what your voice can do!


Audio Master Class

Robert Hunter

Go In-Depth with Robert Hunter! In this evening ‘ Intensive’ and using professional audio equipment, those with a general working knowledge of audio systems will enjoy an opportunity for a ‘hands-on’ and ‘deeper’ experience. You will learn about and discuss signal flow, console operation, microphones, speaker systems – how to aim your speakers; Stage Monitoring; Digital Mixing and how building a mix.


General Track

Songwriting “Demo” Derby

Stephen, Ali & James, Joel

Back by popular demand, delegates will have the opportunity to either perform live or play a CD of an original composition and benefit from the panellists’ experience and knowledge of the craft of song writing.  Our guest panel consists of 4 of the most experienced Christian songwriters in Canada today: James Linderman, Stephen Lewis, Ali Matthews and New this year to the team Joel Parisien, Lead singer of Newworldson.  Their comments will be constructive and administered in a helpful and gentle manner. The Demo Derby is a very fun and extremely uplifting highlight at Power Up each year and always provides tremendous encouragement and guidance to song writing delegates.  Please feel free to join us regardless of whether you are just starting out or are a more experienced songwriter.
You will learn how to specifically improve the song that you present, but also learn from the songs presented by others.  You will also gain insight into the editing process and how to take your writing to another level!  (You may even be chosen to sing at the Power Up showcase on Saturday afternoon!).  Bring a song that you can sing, either with or without accompaniment, or provide a CD recording of that song (make certain that the recording plays on a CD player and not just on a computer).  Please bring 3 typed copies of your lyrics.  As soon as you arrive at the Derby, sign up at the panellists’ table for the opportunity to present your song.

How To Get Great Sound

Robert Hunter

Having great sound is an integral part of live events. Let seasoned sound professional, Robert Hunter help you unpack the features and capabilities of small, relatively low cost digital mixers and show you how to creatively use them to properly enhance your audio support. How do I correctly connect my equipment? How can I make the correct settings? What are the hallmarks of a good mix? In addition, if you are a vocalist or instrumentalist, you will gain the knowledge to know what to ask for the next time that you are having that all important sound check. Bring your questions to this relevant session’s Q&A!

What Every Choir Conductor Needs to Know

Karen Burke

Based on over 30 years of conducting choirs, Karen Burke will impart wisdom and answer questions about the very real issues that all who lead school, church or community choirs face every day.  If conducting was all we needed to know…not!  Topics such as choosing the right repertoire, how to run a successful rehearsal, how to choose soloists, to audition or not to audition?–these are just some of the challenges that choir directors face.  Let’s talk!  Come and bring your questions!

Power Up Mass Choir Rehearsals

Karen Burke

All registrants are invited to learn exciting gospel songs in a mass choir setting accompanied by a live rhythm section.  All of the songs learned in our rehearsals will be performed in our exciting finale concert on Sunday night!  Bring your family and friends to Global Kingdom Ministries, 1250 Markham Rd. in Scarborough (Markham Rd./401) to witness what you were up to all weekend!

Power Up Youth Choir

Colette Leader-Kalumbi

If you love singin’ and groovin’ to the latest gospel hits, you will want to be a part of the Power UP Youth Choir! Designed for young people from ages 12 to 21, this exciting session involves marrying great gospel lyrics to energetic hip choreographed moves done only as young people can do, accompanied by a live rhythm section!  If you have ever wanted to be part of a Gospel Youth Choir and want to ‘kick it up a notch’, this session is for you. (Please note Youth Choir participants will NOT be able to participate in the large mass choir rehearsals or sing with the larger Mass Choir.)

Hip Hop Dance – General

Gregory Hines

Learn how to dance hip-hop like an artist!  Back by popular demand, this 75 min workshop is a beginner hip-hop class for those with little to no experience in dancing hip-hop. It is designed for people of all ages and will have you popping, locking and ‘swaggin’ it out, making you look like a pro in no time.

Hip Hop Dance – Intermediate (I & II)

Gregory Hines

These two back-to-back 75 min. workshops are for dancers of all ages with some dance experience. They will challenge the dancer, focusing on pushing the boundaries and their stamina. You will sweat and will love every minute of this unique workshop that grooves to Christian hip-hop music.


Vocal Track

Master Class for Vocalists

Jenna (Burke) Cowans

Would you like to learn how to perfect your solo performance skills?  Singer-songwriter and educator, Jenna Cowans (Burke) will work with singers to build more confidence and communicate strong messages with their solo voice.  Whether for special music at church or other public functions, this is the class for the singer with a performer’s heart.  In a safe and encouraging environment, participants will be invited to choose from three familiar songs and be coached in a master-class setting accompanied by a keyboard musician.

Steps to Great Vocal Tone

Lavinia Celaire

This workshop will focus specifically on how effective vocal tone is achieved and maintained. In the midst of striving to master and properly balance all of the technical aspects of healthy vocal production, singers often overlook the importance of a stable and consistent vocal placement. This practical (and extremely technical) clinic will dig deep into the physical and mental combinations that must be in full alignment with one another, so the singer can be capable of successfully operating at the maximum quality of his/her vocal tone.  You are invited to come and join us as we take this interesting journey together.  Please bring a recording device (smart phone, digital voice recorder, etc.) and a song to this class, and come ready to sing!!

The Art of Vocal Style

Nicole Sinclair-Anderson

A singer has countless ways in which they can “colour” a song with nuance and stylistic interpretation. This session breaks down some of the mysteries of the current Vocal Styles and provides practical tools that will allow you to express your songs with relevance and authenticity.
Presented in a master class setting and using familiar songs, this workshop will greatly benefit anyone who wants to expand and improve the ways to deliver a song effectively.

Vocal Troubleshooting: Targeting vocal issues and working to resolve them

Dr. Melissa Davis

Have you ever felt frustrated with your singing? This workshop is for you! Through demonstrations, exercises and songs, this workshop will target and tackle common vocal issues and will provide workshop attendees with practical solutions to set you on the path to vocal confidence!

Power Up Small Vocal Ensemble

Darren Hamilton

Are you looking for an opportunity to improve your vocal performance skills within a small group setting? If you answered yes, then the Power Up Small Vocal Ensemble is for you! This ensemble will meet multiple times during the conference. Rehearsals will address topics such as blending, diction, articulation, vocal styling and group interaction while learning repertoire to be performed at the Power Up Showcase and Finale Concert. It is recommended that participants have some previous vocal ensemble experience. A short survey is required with registration for this ensemble.
Key Elements:

  • How to blend effectively when singing in a group
  • How to effectively apply diction and articulation to clearly communicate the lyrics of a song
  • Understanding stylistic characteristics to appropriately perform repertoire
  • Possible opportunities to performance solos or duets (depending on selected repertoire)

NOTE: Participants must register and attend ALL THREE rehearsal blocks for the Power Up Vocal Ensemble which are scheduled on Friday morning, Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Register early as this workshop is accepting a limited number of participants.

Road to Vocal Success (Part 1)

Rob Greene

We will explore the mechanics of the voice, while learning proper breathing, posture, warm-ups, and cool downs, and singing techniques; all of which will help us to achieve vocal success. Tips such as vocal health and maintaining good vocal habits will be discussed.  Come ready to sing!

Road to Vocal Success (Part 2)

Rob Greene

An extension of Part 1, this session will go further and discuss additional creative vocal elements.  We will talk about improvisation, explore innovative singing techniques and learn about using proper diction, expression and more! Come prepared to be creative.  Participants will have fun singing up a storm.

Choir 101: ‘From Singing Wannabe to Choir Geek’

Rob Greene

This workshop will be an informative, fun, and interactive session for non-choir singers, those who desire to sing in a choir, or who are currently a choir member. We will be exploring what it means to be a choir/ensemble member (including responsibilities and tips to help you win a “Best Choir Member award”) and become more familiar with the musical lingo! You’ve never sung in a choir before? No problem! We will be learning to sing as “one”, learn a song from scratch, and build it into an expressive and dynamic song. If you love to sing, possess a desire to sing expressively in a group, and love to have fun, this session is for you!

Harmonization (Part 1)

Stephen Lewis

There are 3 very easy steps to harmonizing: Hearing it, understanding it, and singing it.  This workshop will help you to understand what you are hearing when you’re listening to vocals and what to focus on when you do.  We will also break down 2 and 3 part harmonies to help you to more clearly understand the standard fundamentals of harmony.

Harmonization (Part 2)

Stephen Lewis

Building on the concepts learned in Part 1, we will take harmonizing to another level!  Learn how to understand more complex harmonies and to utilize them while singing in groups.  Together, we will dig a little deeper and also perform for each other song arrangements assigned in class.  Singing harmony together is the best way to improve!

Singing Together

Cassandra (Sommers) Powell

This fun and interactive workshop will provide tips on how to get the most out of your song and how to incorporate ad-libs and ‘flavor’ with or without background vocalists.  Discover how to approach a song as a soloist versus singing in a group setting.  You will come away with a wealth of tips on how to develop healthy vocals using effective vocal exercises, warm-ups and techniques to prepare your voice.  A practical group assignment will be included to practice what has been shared.  Whether you are a seasoned vocalist or just love singing and want to improve, you will definitely enjoy ‘Singing Together’!


Instrumental Track

Piano Technique – Beginners Only

Dr. Karen Cyrus

This is a workshop for persons who do not play the piano/keyboard. Participants will explore basic functional piano skills related to playing hymns and simple gospel songs. Basic skills that will be covered in this 90-minute workshop include interpreting chord symbols on song sheets, playing chords, basic improvisation, hand position and memorization. Participants will be able to use these skills to perform simple accompaniments. Please bring along a set of headphones!

Playing Keys by Ear – Intermediate Level

Natalie Stewart

Have you ever wanted to learn to ‘play by ear’? Join this exciting session and have the ‘mystery’ taken away from this helpful skill, using the electronic keyboards provided. You will learn how to manipulate chords on scale degrees and create simple chord progressions by combining theory with intermediate-level keyboarding skills.  By the end of this workshop you will be able to follow and flow in easy contemporary worship sets and gospel tunes using applicable and transferrable ear training techniques.  Participants with some basic keyboard knowledge will get the most out of this session.  Please bring along a set of headphones!

Putting It All Together (Keys) – Senior Level:

Joy Brown

This workshop is for pianists/keyboardists who have the facility to play but want to take it to the next level.  Fun techniques for hand strengthening, coordination and feeling comfortable with your instrument will be emphasized.  Participants will be able to demonstrate more complex chord progressions including chord substitutions, tritones and secondary dominants.  At the end of the session, you should be able to take a simple song and enhance the harmonic structure.  Please bring along a set of headphones and a pair of mittens.  Mittens, you say?  YES!!!! (Not gloves)

Gospel Keys – Advanced (Part 1)

Corey Butler

Learn, from one of the best, the harmonizations and techniques that make a gospel song sound, well…gospel! In this module, participants will learn how ALL secondary and complex chords i.e. minor 7th’s, 9th’s, 13th#11th’s, flat 9, diminished chords etc, are derived from the basic primary chords: I, IV and V.  You’ll enjoy exploring and understanding chord structures and secondary dominants, as used in gospel music.

Gospel Keys – Advanced (Part 2)

Corey Butler

In Part 2, we’ll put into practice what was learned in Part I, by applying the harmonizations and techniques that facilitate the “gospel sound” and explore this using the common progression I, VI, II, V, III, VI, II, V.  We’ll also apply these concepts in a traditional African American gospel song, To God Be the Glory and a Christian Contemporary gospel song, Good Good Father.

Puttin’ The Bach in Gospel

Joy Brown

Bach?  J.S Bach, you say?  That’s right!  Mr. Bach was working the cool ‘chord’ harmonies of Jazz way back in the 17th century. His music has influenced many historical and contemporary musicians, including the Beatles!  So if you want to know about jazz harmonies, chord progressions, chord/key relationships, secondary dominants and IMPROV, this course is for you.  If you want to know WHY you should know this—-this course is definitely for you! All you need is a pencil, a set of eyes and a pair of ears.  See you there!

Steelpan: The FUN-damentals

Josette Leader

This workshop serves as an experiential introduction to the world of steelpan and geared more for youth. Have you ever seen someone performing on the steelpan and thought, “That looks like a lot of fun”? Well, you’re right! Not only do steelpans sound captivating, but they are also a blast to play. Participants will learn the history of these beautiful instruments, the types and roles of each, as well as its relevance in modern day context. Participants will also be taught proper playing techniques and will be given the chance to test out their skills by coming together as a steelband and playing a tune. Whether you’re a steelpan novice or a steelpan enthusiast, this workshop has something for you. There is no equipment needed, just come ready to have a pantastic time!

Steelpan I

Joy Lapps-Lewis

The steelpan is the only acoustic instrument belonging to a family of instruments invented in the 21st century. The introductory workshop provides an informative hands-on experience allowing participants to learn basic approaches to mallet technique, form and posture.   They will develop an understanding of the various pans included in a steelband and their respective roles and ranges.   Participants in this workshop will develop a general understanding of this instrument’s history, development and relevance in Toronto’s Gospel and general music communities.  Each participant will have their own steelpan to play on and will be challenged to understand the geography and layout of their instrument as well as learn to play 1 or 2 basic grooves.

Steelpan II

Joy Lapps-Lewis

Introduction to Steelpan II builds on approaches to mallet technique, posture, form and understanding of note layout through repertoire development. The full workshop period will be dedicated to learning a short piece for steelband ensemble. Come prepared to make music in a community setting and have a good time.  

Guitar Master Class – “Now that I’m Singing…What am I going to Play?”

James Linderman

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, this workshop will help you to connect your singing with an ability to play the guitar.  In this master class setting, find out how to find a good selection of available guitar chords for a melody and string those chord choices together into a chord progression. Gain the tools to further your ability to play guitar and sing with the best possible relationship between your voice and your instrument.  See examples, from the charts provided, being brought to life in a leader-driven spontaneous improvised atmosphere.

The Drummers’ Q&A Masterclass

Rob ‘Beatdown’ Brown

This year’s sessions are an ‘open forum’ type format, designed for students to come with their questions right from the start. Registrants are encouraged to come with anything they’ve been having trouble executing or understanding on the drums and the plan is to discuss, clearly explain and/or demonstrate solutions on the kit. Students who need clarification on a certain technique or musical ideas or just the general business of drumming professionally will benefit from Rob’s 25+ years of experience on the instrument. A cool hang out for drummers of all levels!

Bass Guitar- Beginner/Intermediate

Tim Ball

Bass is the foundation of the gospel sound. What happens on bass guitar not only helps to drive the harmonic progressions, but also locks in with the drums to confirm and support the rhythm. If you are a beginning bass player eager to grab hold of the gospel music style, sign up for this very unique workshop session. There is limited space, so register early.  Bring your own bass guitar…bass amps are available!

Bass Guitar – Advanced

Tim Ball

If you already have some skill on bass guitar, but would like to expand your abilities of expression and implement some new skills, this course is for you. We will be threshing through techniques such as slapping, muting, and 4 fingered plucking, and examining where they can be useful in a gospel/worship setting. Come with your own bass and an open mind! NOTE: This advanced class will only be offered during the first mass choir rehearsal on Friday evening.


Church Musician Track

Crash Course for Worship Leaders

Cassandra (Sommers) Powell

The job of a worship leader is to lead!  This means having a plan for a live music setting i.e. a worship service or concert and taking the audience along on a journey that leads to corporate praise!  In this exciting session offered by Cassandra Powell, topics will include prepping a song list, running a rehearsal, leading from an instrument, and learning to speak ‘musician’.  Choosing appropriate keys, tips on what to do between songs (including ad-libs) and exploring the elements of effective stage presence will also be covered. There will also be a brief look at various helpful websites and software resources.

What Everyone Needs To Know About Praise & Worship

Pastor Richard Brown

God is in search of worshippers who are passionate for His presence; our worship will be the channel for His love, presence and power. The next dimension of worship is calling for people who are no longer content to simply revel in the anointing of a worship service, but who will also stretch beyond the service to the life changing presence of Jesus Christ.  This class is designed to equip you to be prepared to transform your worship experience both individually and corporately. We will discuss: What the Bible teaches about worship, the various traditions of worship, how to develop a Praise and Worship department and a God-centered focus in personal and corporate worship. Note the New Time: Saturday, February 25 only, 8:30 a.m., just prior to the second mass choir rehearsal.

‘Lift Off” – Going Deeper!:

Pastor Richard Brown

Those that are passionate about worship will have an extended opportunity from seasoned worship leader and recording artist, Pastor Richard Brown to go deeper concerning how to develop the heart of a worshipper and to do so in a way which applies to both personal and corporate worship. NOTE: This class will only be offered on Thursday evening, February 23, 2017.