The main organizer of the statewide Indiana Gospel Music Fanfest has a song in his heart, and figures that’s understandable because four national acts are on the bill.
“I believe the main draw is the music itself,” said Fishers resident Richard Treptow, president of the nonprofit Indiana Gospel Music Association sponsoring the event June 8 to 10 at Westside Community Church in Columbus.
“It’s some of the best vocal music you’re ever going to hear — and with great Christian lyrics,” added Treptow, a southern gospel vocalist himself.
National performers are the 3rd Row Boys on June 8; singer and Hoosier native Doug Anderson, formerly of the highly popular Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, on June 9; the Peyton Sisters the afternoon of June 10; and Tribute Quartet the evening of June 10.
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Tribute Quartet currently claims the No. 1 southern gospel tune nationwide, “Never Forsaken.”
The headliners reflect the growth of the gathering that included one national act last year and attracted about 200 people on its best night, Treptow said. And ticket prices of $5 per session will help the gathering grow, he said.
It also helps that the lineup includes veteran local performers such as Ron Bridgewater and the Christian Cavaliers.
“We’re proclaiming the gospel in music,” said Treptow, who sings with gospel trio Redeem the Time, which will perform June 9.
He believes a faith message can be significant at a time when people often struggle to know whom to trust.
“If you think about what’s going on in our country, we have lost trust in just about everything,” Treptow said. “We don’t much trust our government, we don’t trust Republicans, we don’t trust Democrats, we don’t trust the media, we don’t trust Congress, we don’t trust the president or the person who ran against the president.
“So, who do we trust?” Treptow added. “The motto of this country is, ‘In God We Trust.’ And we’ve got to get back to that.”
Jim Hutson, longtime morning host for the local WYGS (91.1 FM) southern gospel radio station, likes the idea of the event, though his own singing career and travels with the Woodsmen Quartet will cause him to miss it for the second straight year.
“We kind of piggyback on each other,” Hutson said of the relationship between the station and the fest. “We let our listeners know about them. And then we figure maybe we’ll get some new people listening (to the radio) who fall in love with this music (at the fest).”
Columbus residents Patsy and Don Harris attended two sessions of concerts last year. They liked the ticket prices of $5 and thought the groups offered a varied mix.
“If people like gospel music, I think they will like this,” Patsy Harris said. “We thought everything was very good.”
Musical acts for the Second Annual Indiana Gospel Music Fanfest at Westside Community Church, 124 Tipton Lakes Blvd., Columbus:
7 p.m. June 8 — Ron Bridgewater; Christian Cavaliers; Blessed Truth Quartet; Rachael Keefe; Westard Road; Intermission; Dan Paff; 4 His Praise Trio; The Dodrills; James Criss; John & Kate; and 3rd Row Boys.
7 p.m. June 9 — Ron Bridgewater; Young At Heart; Witness Quartet; Kristen Stanton; John & Kate; Intermission; The Silvers; Redeem the Time; Rhonda Smith; Ministers Quartet; Mark Vice; and Doug Anderson.
1 p.m. June 10 — Jill Lovins; the McQueens; 4 the Light Quartet; Ralph Clark; the Sinclairs; Intermission; Singing Evangels; His Voice Through Us; Jim Thompson; Westward Road; and the Peyton Sisters.
7 p.m. June 10 — Tribute Quartet.