Pennsylvania Gospel Music Festival

September 9, 10, 11

If you follow my blog and Facebook page you know that I rarely post pictures in real time – or in this case a bit ahead of real time. 🙂 But I have reason to post these pictures this morning. (Read the last paragraph.)

1-1We are currently enjoying the gospel music festival at Hershey Theatre – a 53rd anniversary gift from our wonderful children. This picture was taken when we arrived on Friday evening – the opening concert.

1-2We haven’t been to this gospel festival for many years for several reasons. It is often held on Labor Day weekend and we are usually visiting our Maine family and the bluegrass festival near their house. This year the gospel festival is not on Labor Day weekend and the bluegrass festival near the Myers house was cancelled due to the illness and death of the venue owner.

Next year the gospel music festival will go back to Labor Day weekend and will be held at American Music Theatre. We are thinking of reserving seats, because some of our favorite gospel bluegrass groups will be there.

1-3Going to Hershey for the past few days gives me a feeling of going “home” because I was born in Hershey Hospital when my parents worked on one of the Milton Hershey farms that were associated with the Hershey Boys School and Foundation.

I had never been to the theatre and am fascinated by this beautiful, old building that seats 1,904 people.

From the Internet: The magnificent Hershey Theatre was conceived by entrepreneur and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey in the early twentieth century. Lancaster architect C. Emlen Urban drew the plans for the Community Center Building in 1915; however, it was built between 1929 and 1933 as part of Mr. Hershey’s “Great Building Campaign” of the Great Depression, which also produced such Hershey landmarks as the Hotel Hershey, the Hersheypark Arena, and the Hershey Stadium.

2-1The concert began on Friday evening at 7:00 PM with a concert by the Erwins. We love our center section, seventh row, aisle seats. I was challenged by the words of one of their songs that included the words, Lord I’m chasing after You.

2-2Comedian Tim Lovelace has been our funny and interesting master of ceremonies. He reminded us that God, the composer of life, is writing your song.

2-4Karen Peck and New River gave a beautiful concert. I was encouraged by the song with the words, “Everyone is going through something and everyone faces storms, but I would sure rather go through something with Him.”

A featured musician in the group, Ricky Braddy (second from left) was in the top 15 of Season 8 of American Idol.

2-6My favorite group of Friday night was Triumphant Quartet. I love their style and harmony.

2-7My favorite song of the night – and maybe the concert – was this father-son duet (Clayton and Scott Inman) singing about the power of the scriptures – from Genesis to Revelation – during Triumphant Quartet’s concert.

2-8The newest group of the weekend is Cana’s Voice – a combination of three soloists forming one group: Jody McBrayer, TaRanda Greene and Doug Anderson. We enjoyed them together and as soloists throughout the concert.

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Saturday

Because I wanted to post the pictures of this weekend before we leave for Texas, I didn’t want to take a lot of phots, plus it is difficult to get good shots because of the lighting. I left my camera at home for the rest of the concert.

img_20160910_162432Yesterday (Saturday) I took several pictures with my cell phone to comment on a few highlights. We were interested in hearing the Perry’s because they are coming to the Truck Rally in 2017. We were blessed by their songs and testimony – especially since Tracy Stuffle’s stroke that has him in a wheel chair. I was blessed by their song that included the words: Keep on. Stay strong. Be brave. Pray hard.

img_20160910_190228Then there was Gordon Mote. Oh, my, what an amazing pianist – and he is blind.

One of my favorite comments by him: “How many of you have never seen me before?” After many of us raised our hands, he said, “Join the ranks. I have never seen me either.” 🙂

img_20160910_194801I took this picture of Doug Anderson (of Cana’s Voice) to show you what I mean about the fabulous stage lighting which made taking photos a bit difficult.

A group (whom I did not photograph) from yesterday were The Penny Loafers who are a capella with a distinct doo-wop sound. I think they were in their third song before I realized they were a capella. 🙂

img_20160910_210345A truly amazing group from yesterday was the Collingsworth Family. It was a highlight to listen and watch Kim (mother) on the piano. They brought the audience to their feet with The Battle Hymn of the Republic. She takes her piano with her to every concert. Afterward I asked Phil (father) if they could put it on a flatbed truck. He said they could! I need to call their agent to see if we can line them up for our 2018 Truck Rally.

Sunday (today)

We are looking forward to another day of music – beginning at 10:00 AM with music by The Couriers and preaching by Dave Kyllonen (of the Couriers).

The Couriers were one of the first gospel music groups Cerwin and I ever saw in concert. During our dating days Cerwin and I broke up between October 1961 and May 1962. Our first date back together was going to a Couriers concert in Harrisburg. Interesting that we are going to hear them again for our 53rd wedding anniversary. 🙂

This afternoon and evening should be a great finale with The Hoppers, Greater Vision, and Brian Free and Assurance.

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Monday

We plan to begin our trip to Houston, Texas. Cerwin wants to be pulling out of the TFC parking lot by 5 AM – to deliver the newest chapel to the Flying J, at US 59 and Highway 242. I will update you on our trip as I can because we know there are family and TFC friends and staff who are praying for us and want to follow our trip – especially Chaplain Don DeSimone and his wife, Barbara in Texas. We look forward to meeting them on Wednesday – Lord willing.

4 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Gospel Music Festival

  1. Glad you enjoyed your anniversary gift in Hershey — we’ve been to some of those guest’s concerts and always enjoy Kim at the piano and the Collingsworth family. Have a safe and great trip to Texas.

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