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Evangel University plans to host legendary singer/songwriters Bill and Gloria Gaither as part of a two-day lecture series about gospel and worship music heritage on Feb. 12 and 14. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has details.
The Gaithers have written more than 700 gospel songs. Collectively, the couple has received eight Grammy’s and two dozen Dove Awards. Some of their hits include “Because He Lives,” “Something Beautiful,” and “There’s Something About That Name.” They’ve also written musicals and produced award-winning children’s albums. The Gaithers even won the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) “Songwriters of the Century” award, according to Paul K. Logsdon, director of public relations at Evangel.
“No one has done more for gospel music than Bill and Gloria Gaither. So they will be coming in on a Thursday, speaking in chapel, on Thursday the 14th of February at 10 o’clock. That is open to the public. That afternoon, they’ll be speaking in the classroom. In the classroom setting, we’re limited to 300 seats, we have students that need to get in there, so there will be tickets required,” Logsdon said.
He says there may be 75-100 tickets available for the classroom lectures.
The Gaither’s will be joined by former U.S. Attorney General and Missouri Governor John Ashcroft during the lecture series. This annual event usually just features him as the keynote speaker.
“Attorney General John Ashcroft is a friend to the university. His father used to be our president, he was our second president. The last couple of years he has come in because of his strong interest in hymns and early music like that and has done a lecture for our students. Response has been very good, he does a Q & A, really interacts with the kids.”
For this year’s event, Ashcroft pulled a few strings and secured the speaking date with the songwriters.
“Helping us make that contact was John Ashcroft, because Ashcroft and the Gaithers are long-time friends. John was the one that went to them, said ‘I have this relationship with Evangel University, you’ve been there in concert, we would like you to come in as speakers.’ He’s the one that opened the door for us,” Logsdon said.
Ashcroft will speak on Tuesday the 12th, launching the event. His presentation is at 2 p.m. in the Barnett Fine Arts Recital Hall.
During the event, special music will be provided by the combined Evangel University Chorus, Chorale and Concert Choir. The choir plans to sing renditions of the Gaither’s hits. Gloria will potentially help assist the choir with those.
“The events are open to the public, but the only one where we’re such there’s going to be plenty of seating is in the chapel at 10 o’clock on Thursday. If anybody is interested in setting in on the lectures, those are ticketed events, tickets are free, but they need to call 865-2811 and the extension for our music department is 7212,” Logsdon added.
Again, that number is (417)865-2811, ext. 7212.
The chapel service is also free. Ashcroft’s lecture on Tuesday is free as well, but tickets are required due to limited seating. Go to www.KSMU.org to find out more about the event.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.
Click here for a link to Evangel’s website, where you can find ticket information and more information about the couple.