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Gospel music set to fill Capitol Theatre

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Nov 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Gospel music will fill Lebanon’s Capitol Theatre this weekend.

Mid-South Gospel Music Association will hold its 40th annual Gospel Music Festival at the newly renovated Capitol Theatre Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

“This promises to be one of the best gospel music events of the year in Wilson County, and we hope those loving gospel music come out and bring a friend. They’ll be glad they did,” said Fred VanHook, the event’s co-founder and current organizer.

The Gospel Music Festival is presented annually by The Mid-South Gospel Music Association and is a showcase of the current membership of singers and musicians who are featured on the program.

This year’s lineup includes DnD Testimony in Song, Pure Joy, Resurrection Quartet, Purely Blessed, Fred VanHook and The Harmoneers, Susan Winfree, Kathy Simpson Susan Guerin and 4 the Lord.

A combined chorus of all the groups and other invited guests sing some favorite gospel songs.

Special guests for the evening will be The Commonwealth Quartet, and The Proclamations, who participated in the very first concert in 1973, are re-uniting and are making a special appearance at the Festival.

“I went to the first show they had over there [at the Capitol Theatre],” said VanHook. “That was my first job out there in 1951, and I worked there for several years.”

In the fall of 1973, VanHook and his group, Fred VanHook and the Proclamations, joined with Kenneth Whited and The Kingdom Heirs to form the first music festival.

They invited The Kinsmen from Kentucky to join them in Baird’s Chapel at what was then Cumberland College.

After its humble beginning at Baird’s Chapel, it was moved to Castle Heights Military Academy the following year, where it remained, entertaining huge crowds until the closing of the Academy.

Since that time, they have held the annual event at Cumberland University’s June & Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center.

The festival has featured gospel personalities from near and far, including The McKameys, Jerry Goff, The Scenicland Boys, Bill Young, Ed hill, formerly with the Stamps, Jim Murray, formerly with The Imperials, The Singing Americans, Heavenbound, The Jaggers, and many more.

Tickets to this year’s event are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Century 21 West Main Realty and Auction, located at 1104 W. Main St., or at Cedar Stone Bank, located at 900 W. Main St.

For more information, call 615-477-2984.

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