Arkansas Gospel Music Heritage Month officials announced award winners during the 2016 celebration.


According to a news release, the 2016 scholarship recipients were Mary Rowe, a sophomore of Dermott, majoring in music education and a member of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir; Daria S. Nelson, a senior of Little Rock, majoring in mass communications and a member of the Vesper Choir; and Benjamin Mixon, a sophomore of Cincinnati, Ohio, majoring in vocal performance.


Arkansas Gospel Music Heritage Month award recipients include: Solo Award, Zetoria Curry; 2016 Group Award, Spiritual Wings of Joy; 2016 Choir Award, Danyell Phillips & The Throwback Choir; Christian Rap Award, BG Whyte; 2016 Quartet Artist Award, the Spiritualettes; 2016 Spirit of David Award, Full Counsel Dance Ministry; 2016 Musician Award, Will Kendrick; 2016 CD Award, 2016 Song Award, Artist Award, Bishop Kenneth Robinson and Chosen. The Rev. Harold Wade Sr. was the recipient of the 2016 Legends Award. The late Shelton McGee was also honored as a legend in music.


The 2016 officers for AGMHM include Dedric Jones – state chairman; Bessie Lancelin – headquarter region chairwoman; Earl Jordan – treasurer; Shayla Donahue – secretary; Kim Jones Sneed – public relations; Warren Booker – script writer; Joe Blanks Jr. and Portia Jones –youth and young adult chairman; Ron Daniel – Christian Rap chairman; Sandra Tyson – voting chairwoman; Jerron Liddell – AGMHM choir coordinator; and Dr. Lloyd Saine – finale coordinator. Other staff include Lakia Bulter, Kentra Jackson, Kasey Rowland, Keith Savage, Tee Dandridge, Dequanea Lancelin, Clancey White and Yurie Allen.


Several events were held during the official observance. Congress recognized September as Gospel Music Heritage Month which began in June 2008. On Feb. 16, 2011, under the leadership of former state Sen. Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV and former state Rep. Elfrem Elliott, the Arkansas Legislature voted unanimously to recognize September as “Arkansas Gospel Music Heritage Month,” the news release said.