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I had the privilege of attending The Merge Summit this past weekend. The summit is the brain child of industry executives Holly Davis Carter, and Robbi Reed with the purpose of providing opportunity and access to Christian talent who had a heart for ministry in the marketplace. The conference theme, “Integrating Ministry and Entertainment.”

There were several workshops offered with panelist and moderators that included the “whose who” of the entertainment industry at large. A few of the workshops offered were:

Artist Development – “The Making of An Artist” Master Class

In this Master Class, Mary Mary shared techniques and their insight on developing skills as a brandable artist, the gave advice including tips on imaging, style, and originality. They will also shared their in-depth knowledge and expertise in building a life in entertainment.

Music Business – “The Sound of Music” – An In-depth Discussion with Hitmakers

In this Class, hitmakers Warryn Campbell, President and CEO of MyBlock Records, Rodney Jerkins, CEO, Darkchild Entertainment were joined by “Big Jon” Platt, President West Coast Creative, EMI Music Publishing. In this class attendees gained perspective on writing hits across the musical spectrum.

The New Business of Gospel Music

Explored the inner workings of the new label system as it relates to artist development, budgets, content output and the new game of radio.

Over my twenty something years in the industry I have attended several conferences. I must say for this to be the inaugural year of this conference, they have gotten off to a great start. I would strongly urge you to add next years conference to your calendar, which is slated to take place in Atlanta, Ga.

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