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Tribute Quartet Opens 2024 Ava UMC Concert Series!

There is music in the air, and it is gospel music; the music that speaks to the heart! This year’s lineup of concerts at Ava Methodist Church is sure to please gospel music lovers.

The Tribute Quartet: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9

The four concert series kicks off with Tribute Quartet from Nashville, Tennessee. Concert organizer Darla Wheeler, who opens each concert with a melodic song of her own, said, “A concert with Tribute will have you loving their harmonies. The ballads will touch your heart, the upbeat songs will have you tapping your toes and clapping your hands. Then there is Josh, one of gospel music’s most talented pianists, who will amaze you with his performance on the keyboards. Gary, Josh, Gus and Ian are personality plus!”

Since 2006, this multi-talented, multi-award-winning and multi-Dove-Award-nominated group has become one of the country’s most dynamic, beloved and sought-after male quartets in gospel music.  They have traveled the U.S. and several foreign countries to sing and tell others about God’s love. Gary Casto, lead singer and manager, brings more than three decades of singing to the platform. He hails from West Virginia and now resides in Nashville. Josh Singletary, a native of Florida and a grad of Florida State with a degree in music/piano now resides in Lebanon Tennessee with his wife. Filling the tenor part is Gus Gaches, who has had a 30+ year career in the music industry, often singing backup vocals for the musical guests on the Huckabee Show. Gus and his wife live in White House, Tennessee.

Ian Owens sings bass for Tribute; and can he ever hit those low, bass notes! Ian has sung with Signature Sound and Soul’d Out. He and his family live in Connersville, Tennessee. Check out Tribute’s music on YouTube.

The 3Heath Brothers: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 18

The 3Heath Brothers take the stage at Ava UMC in concert on Thursday, July 18. They have taken their songs and stories into many schools and churches. Nicholas and twins Clayton and Christian were taught harmonies by their mother. They live with their parents in Thomasville, North Carolina. In 2018 these three brothers were awarded best Break-through Artist by Singing News, foll9owed by Favorite New Artist in 2020. In 2022 they were in the Top 10 Favorite Trios. Folks of all ages love their music. Area churches are invited to bring their youth groups to Ava UMC on July 18.

The Whisnants: 7 p.m. Thursday, September 5.

The Whisnants, a family group from Morganton, North Carolina, will bring their music to our neck of the woods on September 5. The group is a regular on Gerald Wolfe’s Gospel Hymn Sing. They have had 13 Number One songs over the years. Both Jeff and Susan Dry Whisnant come from singing families, with Susan beginning her singing career at age 12. The couple married in1988. Susan’s rich alto voice adds to the group’s beautiful harmonies. Aaron Hist sings as the lead and has been with the group since 2001. Jeff and Susan’s sons, Austin and Ethan, both sing. Austin also plays bass and Ethan has an interest in preaching. Both have traveled on the tour bus their entire lives.

The Mark Trammell Quartet: 7 p.m. Thursday, October 17

Finishing out the 2024 Concert Series will be The Mark Trammell Quartet on October 17. This quartet has traveled worldwide singing about Jesus. Mark Trammell Quartet are regulars on Gerald Wolfe’s Gospel Hymn Sing.

Mark is no stranger to gospel music, having been singing for more than 40 years. He feels very blessed to have sung with the famous Cathedrals, the Kingsmen, Greater Vision and Gold City. Mark says that since he was 15, he has been surrounded by legends in gospel music.

In 2014 Mark was the recipient of a Dove Award for his part in the Cathedrals’ Family Reunion Event. He has been voted baritone of the year several times by Singing News Fan Awards.

In 2017, Mark was inducted a second time into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame for his tenure with Go9ld City.

Mark’s son Nick has followed in his father’s footsteps and is the lead singer for MTQ. Nick started his singing with The Perry’s. He was awarded the 2007 Horizon Award and in 2008 received the Favorite Young Artist Award.

Singing tenor is Steve Adair. Steve credits his grandmother for his love of gospel music. At age 10, he gave his heart to the Lord. By age 11 he was taking piano lessons and playing drums in a church band.

Will Lane sings the bass part. He discovered music as a child going to concerts with his parents. Will sang with The Anchormen and LeFever Quartets before joining Mark Trammell Quartet.

Trevor Conkle is the very talented pianist for the group. He was only three when his parents bought him a little keyboard. In no time he was picking out Jesus Loves Me and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. By the age of seven he was taking piano lessons. The rest is history! He is very gifted and loves playing.

The tradition of gospel concerts began in the 90’s when Darla Wheeler and her late husband, John, discovered their love of gospel music. Darla said that their goal was to bring the blessings of gospel music to the southeastern Ohio area. Both were members of Ava United Methodist Church, and that is where it all began! First local artists performed at the church, then regional artists, and for the last several years the church has been honored to host nationally known, award-winning gospel groups, soloists and Christian comedians. The little country church in Ava is well known to many singers and fans, who travel here to experience their favorite music live and in person.

Former pastor, Reverend Jimmy Rogers, and his wife, Peggy, were strong supporters of the concerts, and always encouraged the concert series. The present pastor, Rev. Tom Matus and his wife, Yvonne, also love and support the concerts. To present this music to the public is an outreach for Ava UMC.

A few of the artists who have been in concert at Ava UMC include: The Nelons, Downeast Boys, The Perrys, Greater Vision, Jospeh Habedank, Karen Peck and New River, and The Guardians. A number of well-known Christian comedians have also appeared, including Tim Lovelace and the late Aaron Wilburn.

All the concerts begin at 7 p.m. The concerts are not ticketed events. A “love offering” is accepted at each concert with all proceeds going to the performers of the evening. The musical guests generally have products for sale, including witness wear tee shirts, CDs, etc.

Ava UMC is located on St. Rt. 821 in southeast Ohio. Take exit 28 from I77. If you’re coming in from the north, turn right and continue for about 10 minutes. If you’re coming from the south, turn left, and continue for about 10 minutes. The church is on the right, and is air conditioned and handicap accessible, with plenty of free parking.

Wheeler invites you to join the church family for one or more concerts. “You’ll be blessed, and you’ll leave the concert with a smile in your heart!”

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