The Georgia E. Gregory Interdenominational School of Music, Inc. is a non-profit, faith-based charitable performing arts institution, established –
- To provide a safe, creative facility where at-risk inner city youth can experience social, cognitive and cultural development through music and the performing arts in the underserved community of North Philadelphia and surrounding neighborhoods.
- To provide a venue for adults to be trained in music and development of music careers.
GEGISOM offers a diverse genre of music styles with a focus on sacred music.
A wide variety of music forms from denominations covering the broad spectrum of the religious experience in America will be presented with a special emphasis placed on the African-American church experience and secular music styles of today’s trends.
GEGISOM offers practicing church musicians a venue for continuing education in our keyboard laboratory. In addition to our sacred music program, we offer all genres of music – Jazz, Classical, etc.
GEGISOM offers aspiring dancers a performing arts program in dance (Ballet, Modern or Jazz, Hip- Hop, Praise).
Our goal is to meet the cultural and academic needs of our students and community through music and the arts.
The Legacy of…
Dedication and steadfastness characterize the life and legacy of Georgia Elsie Gregory. Those attributes manifested themselves in her love and appreciation of sacred music. A self-taught musician, Mrs. Gregory shared her gift from God with members of her family, her church and community.
Her commitment to the preservation of the music of the saints dates back to her early childhood in Jeffries, Virginia, when she learned to play the piano by listening to the hymns at church. After moving to Philadelphia, she attended William Penn High School and went on to attend Virginia Union College. For more than 40 years, Mrs. Gregory directed the Sunday School choir of Nazarene Baptist Church and involved over 700 children in this ministry of music. She exposed her audiences to various forms of church music, including anthems, spirituals, hymns and gospel.
Some of her students were motivated to become choir members, accomplished church musicians, organists and choir directors. Among those inspired by her enthusiasm and passion was her daughter, Joyce G. Drayton, who has served as Minister Of Music for Nazarene Baptist Church for over 59 years.
In 1984, Mrs. Gregory worked shoulder to shoulder with her daughter to establish Church Musician Services Inc. (CMS, Inc.). This organization recruited, screened and placed church musicians in full-time and temporary positions in religious institutions in the Greater Philadelphia area. Today, CMS, Inc. continues to provide this free informational service both to employers and musicians seeking work.
Georgia E. Gregory believed that sacred music should be practiced ardently and played fervently. In her words “Music heightens and deepens the religious experience. Music bonds the elements of the order of worship service. Music inspires devotion and action, and music glorifies God.” The Interdenominational Music School is dedicated to her memory and to the contribution of all the unsung heroes and heroines who have their lives to making church music an integral part of the whole worship experience.
In July 2009, GEGISOM celebrated 10 years of providing music training and education, serving over 2000 youth and 350 adults. Providing employment for over 85 instructors who were either college students or college graduates. 60% of our student graduates are now attending an institution of higher learning for music, the arts or education degrees or serving as musicians in religious institutions or other secular venues. We are so proud of Glenn Simmons, a GEGISOM grad, who now serves as musician for the same youth choir Mrs. Gregory served.
We just celebrated our “Fifteenth Anniversary Awards Luncheon” on July 26, 2014, at the Hilton Hotel, City Avenue. We were blessed to have over 200 youth and families share this day with us. GEGISOM students provided the entertainment and we honored outstanding politicians in our community: Pennsylvania State Senator Shirley Kitchen,; State Representative J.P. Miranda and City Councilwoman, Cindy Bass along with our hard-working Board of Directors and volunteers. We thank God.
GEGISOM is dedicated and committed to providing cultural arts to our community for today’s’ youth for tomorrow’s music.