History of The Alabama School of Gospel Music

In the fall of 1986, a number of convention singers, including Tom Powell, Truman Glassco, Carlos Bailey, Barney Raines and others met to discuss the possibility of conducting, in Alabama, a summer music school similar to the ones which were being held in Georgia, Tennessee, and other states. A couple of months later, Truman Glassco moderated a meeting held in conjunction with a monthly singing held at the Church of the Valley in St. Clair County, AL.  At that meeting, fifty interested persons from fourteen Alabama counties paid $10.00 each to become members of a Board of Directors for the Alabama School of Gospel Music (ASGM).  From the 50 member Board of Directors, eight persons, as follows, were elected as Executive Board members:

Truman Glassco              Horton, AL                             President
                            James E. Reid                 Hayden, AL                            Executive Vice President
                   Gus Smith                      Birmingham, AL                      First Vice President
                        Alvin Blessing                 Dawson, AL                            Second Vice President
                                                                     A.J. Harris                      Attalla, AL                              Third Vice President                                                   Charles Smith                 Boaz, AL                                Chaplain
Bobbie Glassco               Horton, AL                              Secretary
Beacie Littlejohn             Boaz, AL                                 Treasurer

The first session of the Alabama School of Gospel Music was held June 22 -July 3, 1987. More than 130 students attended the first school, which was held at Snead State Junior College in Boaz, AL.  Snead College has always been and continues to be the home of ASGM.

Through the years, the number of directors on the board varied; however, some fifteen years ago the school incorporated and achieved tax-exempt status. Since that time, the number of directors on the board have remained between seven and fifteen; however, any interested person may continue to pay annual dues to be a member of ASGM Association and vote in business meetings.

The director of instruction for the first school was Mr. Tom Powell, the current director, who served as director of the school for 18 of the 24 schools. Other directors were Pauline Thompson (3 years) and Jason Myers (3 years).

Presidents of the school included Truman Glassco (17 years), Phillip Smith (2 years) and Dr. David Sexton, current President (5 years).

More than 30 people from seven different states have served as instructors in the school, as follows:
Nelson Bailey
Christine Bridges
Jack Clark
Kathy Duren
Chad Hunt
Gene Jeffress
Ree Johnson
Rebecca Lancaster
Harold Lane
Ellen Marsh
Gary Martin
Jeremy McKissack
Lynell McKissack
Jason Myers
Justin Myers
Eloise Phillips
Tracey Phillips
Leah Powell
Lisa Powell
Tom Powell
James E. Reid
Jackie Smith
Jana Reesor Smith
Pauline Thompson
Phyllis Thompson
Natasha Tidmore
Charles Towler
Becky Walker
Bret Warren
Elizabeth Wheatley
Glenn Wilson

Attendance at the school is consistently good and ranges from a low of 108 to a high of 160 students from  an average of eight different states.

Classes and private instruction in piano, voice, and guitar are held in the Maze Music Building. Meals are provided by the Snead State Cafeteria. Resident students are housed in Snead's dormitories.

We look forward to many more successful music schools at Snead State Community College in the future.

Written by:

Dr. Bobbie Glassco
Horton, AL