The Sacred Connection
2005-2007

Dante Harmon

Project Name: The GaSGA Sacred Connection
Volunteer Project Coordinator: Donna Dodd
Proposed Project Recipients: House of God Church Minister of Music, Dante Harmon

Scope of Project:
2 House of God sister-churches located in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area.

Volunteer Opportunities:
GaSGA members would provide volunteer and in-kind support to the sacred steel guitar players within our local community.

Donna's questions posed to Dante Harmon

Will you give us an overview of your ministry and the role steel guitar plays in your worship service.

Dante-
The main function of the Sacred Steelers role in the worship service is to help usher in the presence of God through praise on the stringed instruments. The steel guitarist role is similar to that of an organist role at a Baptist church, except when the psalmist is through singing, the steel player takes the lead role of the song, and leads the band into what we call a 'spiritual jam', or simply praise music.

We want to want to know what your ministry’s musical equipment needs may be?
Please prioritize.

1. Lap Steel Guitars
2. Pedal Steel Guitars
3. Strings
4. Amplifiers
5. Cables
6. Tuners
7. Picks and Bars
8. Seats

Do you see this as a positive enhancement to both your ministry and the steel guitar community?

Absolutely! I have participated in a number of Master/Apprenticeship programs, which allowed me to share my art form to the public, and community. It has kept young men from taking a wrong turn in life. Most of the young men who play this instrument fluently, are between the ages of 14-40. If you research these men, they are of the minority background, not in jail, and leading worship service on a weekly basis. One young man I mentored is now the worship leader for one of our sister locations in Riverdale, GA. And personally for me, when I can practice, and mentor a young man or woman into an accomplished player, it lets me know I am doing something right, especially when I see the results. And secondly, it lets me know that this art form will never die, because young and old alike are trying to pick up this tradition, and take it to another level. Lastly, the most positive enhancement to my ministry is that I am not doing any of this for self-gratification; it is all done for the glory and honor of the most High God, through His son Jesus Christ.

Could some type of mentoring between sacred steel players and GASGA members
be beneficial?

Yes! Right now, I have guys who love the country style chords I play in church, and they ask where I get it from. What I told them is, from the likes of Bobbe Seymour, Herby Wallace (one of my favorites), Buddy Emmons, and Doug Jernigan. I personally know it would benefit, because there are things we don't know as it relates to chord structures, and blocking, and etc... I also believe that our style of picking, and playing, power chord structure, and tunings can be very beneficial to the GASGA members. So the mentoring process would be beneficial to both parties in more ways than one.

What are the potential obstacles we might encounter?

None. Except the guys being overly anxious to learning a style that can be used in our service of worship. The late Glenn Lee, a sacred steeler was one of a few notably sacred steel players that actually went to study in Nashville, under some great country players. He took their style of playing and implemented it into our service. Chuck Campbell is also a living testament of taking training from some of the country players, and blending that style into our service. To me, that's why music is a universal language, everyone can speak it, relate to it, and share it with others.

History of Sacred Steel
Sacred Steel Tuning

 

 

 

 

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