Each year dozens of "positive music" artists travel the country giving concerts and participating in services at Unity and other New Thought churches. They are part of a concerted effort to introduce contemporary music to New Thought centers and to take the genre of uniting, affirming music, called “Posi Music” mainstream.
Posi (pronounced pó-zee) Music began with New Thought artists like Shanti Norman, Karl Anthony, Charley Thweatt, Leroy White and others who have been touring since the 1970s. Richard Mekdeci, sacred music resources coordinator for the Association of Churches International (the Association) explains, “The top, best-known and most loved artists have been touring the church circuit for more than 30 years in some cases. This genre has been a perfect fit for many Unity music directors and ministers who have been actively seeking contemporary music to replace or complement the traditional Wings of Song hymnal.”
Mekdeci continues, “While there are still some churches who wish to maintain a sacred (as opposed to celebratory) feel to their services, in my travels to hundreds of Unity churches, Wings of Song is almost a rarity.”
Posi Music is playing a significant role in contributing to the growth and stability of church ministries, Mekdeci notes. “Ministers are realizing that great music is key to church growth. By incorporating Posi Music into their services, the energy level often rises and people remember the message. Congregants frequently buy the music to enhance their daily lives, providing a connection between church and music.”
Posi Music fans find camaraderie and inspiration at PosiPalooza concerts—a unique national concert tour where Posi Award Nominees perform in a round-robin setting. “These concerts are an awe-inspiring fusion of spiritual, vocal and instrumental creativity and support,” says Mekdeci. Many of the musicians who perform at PosiPalooza concerts have written top-10 hits for mainstream artists and have been nominated for Grammys, Emmys and other prestigious awards.
Posi Music is a viable genre and continues to grow in popularity. PosiPalooza concerts are produced by emPower Music and Arts, a nonprofit organization focused on bringing Posi Music to the general public. Mekdeci, the organization's president and co-founder, believes his dual roles with emPower and the Association work in tandem to benefit the global New Thought movement.
“We are beginning with the churches and working out from there to bring Posi Music to new audiences,” he notes. “To date we have held almost 100 PosiPalooza concerts at churches and venues all over the United States and Canada. Thanks to the work done by the Association's Music Ministry Team, and specifically Sue Riley, chair of the Music Ministry Team and vice president of emPower, this music movement continues to grow.”
Mekdeci is also working to create an industry to support this type of music, just as the Gospel Music Association created an industry for Gospel and Christian music back in the 1950s. EmPower has instituted the very first New Thought music license specifically for churches. In addition, Mekdeci and others are working to create a Posi Music category for the Grammys. He says, “This music community has been very instrumental in bringing our New Thought families together and providing a body of music that is common to all New Thought churches.”
The Fifth Annual emPower Posi Awards and Concert celebration begins on January 18, 2010 in Orlando, Fla. This year the competition attracted more than 500 entries in six categories: Spiritual Social Action, Uniting, True Story, Personal Transformation, Healing and Group/Chant.
The award recipients are chosen after a four-part process. Submissions are first evaluated to make sure they meet the award compliance guidelines. Next, past Posi Award nominees listen and rate the songs, narrowing them to 10-15 songs per category. Finally, online members of emPower rate the songs to narrow them to three songs for each category. The final 18 songs are sent to a distinguished panel of judges who rate them to determine the winners.
The final songs in each category are included in a yearly Posi Awards Nominees CD. Mekdeci notes, “It's an amazing collection of the best of the best songs and artists in this new field.”
A video of last year's Mega PosiPalooza concert can be viewed here.
To find a PosiPalooza concert, click here.
Music by Posi Music artists, as well as the annual Posi Awards Nominees CDs, is available by clicking here.