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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

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Exclusive Concert Review: The Hoppers

Written by SGN Scoops on January 2, 2012 – 4:04 pm -

A sweet spirit of worship filled the auditorium of Cross Pointe Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC on Thursday, December 29th. Cross Pointe’s worship team began to minister before “The Hoppers”  took  the stage. As the praise team sang  “Beulah Land,” the Spirit of the Lord began to sweep over the packed auditorium. The band subsided to the praise team and congregation singing a cappella. You could feel the presence of the Lord moving in this place.  With hands lifted high, the worship team began to sing “What A Day That Will Be.”  Praise and worship doesn’t get any better than that.

The Hoppers took to the stage singing Stepping on the Clouds. The spirit was still thick in the air with fans soaking it all in, when all of a sudden the power goes out on stage… sound system and all! Dean  stepped to the end of the stage and said in a loud voice “have you enjoyed The Hoppers here tonight?” The audience burst into laughter. After a brief and fabulous piano solo by Josh Simpson, the power was back on.  There is one thing for certain; we never experienced a spiritual outage!

The Hoppers then began to sing Hope… should I say more! Kim is in the house! Audience is on their feet.  A favorite He Remembers to Forget written by Jim Brady is a beautiful reminder to Christians, that no matter how far away one may have strayed from the cross, “He remembers to forget, what mercy forgave.” Amen! Follow that with an astounding performance of Something’s Happening and once again the audience rose to their feet!

With the stage adorned in Christmas attire, it only seemed fitting for The Hoppers to mix in a few Christmas themed songs throughout the program. Yahweh, I Wanna Hear the Angels Sing and Beautiful Star of Bethlehem  we’re definite fan favorites.

Just before Connie begins to sing I’ve Come Too Far to Look Back,  she tells the story of when they were at the airport waiting for their flight to Israel, a group of ladies speaking loudly started to witness to a gentleman sitting nearby. They began to speak of peace when the gentleman turned to Connie and asked “Do you have this peace they are speaking of?” Connie testified that she was so glad she could answer yes. I have that peace that passes all understanding. The Hoppers finished the first half with Yes I Am and with the Cross Pointe choir backing them up on the choruses of Jerusalem.

Dean started the second half of the concert off with a remarkable performance of I’ve Been To Heaven, Though I Never Left The Room. Also featured on the second half was Dean and Kim’s daughter, Karlye. What a beautiful rendition of Nobody’s Too Bad or To Good. As the night drew to a close Claude Hopper did the title cut off his solo project If I Can Help Somebody. The message for 2012 is one of hope and peace. Reach out and help somebody who is less fortunate.  The Hoppers ended the concert with Shouting Time and had the people on their feet once again.

Special thanks to Angela Griffin for the Concert Review and Pictures!

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Exclusive Christmas Concert Review: The Ball Brothers

Written by SGN Scoops on December 15, 2011 – 4:23 am -

The Community of Chickamauga, Georgia received a Christmas treat from the Ball Brothers on December 2, 2011. Liberty Baptist Church, home-church of The Ball Brothers, opened their campus  for a fun afternoon of Christmas music. Fans packed out the gymnasium to enjoy the sounds of the season.

The church choir opened with a couple of anthems. The Ball Brothers then joined the choir for a joyous, “Jesus What A Wonderful Child.” Following the choir numbers, the Pastor of the church welcomed the crowd and couldn’t have been more proud to officially introduce his four sons as “The Ball Brothers.”

The young men got the concert started with a beautiful arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” followed by “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” The guys had set the Christmas tone and then moved into a lively version of “Let It Snow!” That song is always well received in North Georgia simply because the area doesn’t see much snow during the entire winter and rarely on Christmas. No snow? No problem. At least not for the Ball Brothers!  As they sang, snowflakes (the artificial kind) whirled and twirled on stage! Everyone loved the snowy touch- especially the children!

Following an introduction of each group member, they continued to stir the Christmas spirit with an energetic version of Jingle Bells- a real crowd pleaser!  Everyone seemed to enjoy it and clapped along. The Ball Brothers then showcased their talent and family harmony with “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” It seemed as if notes were literally stacked on top of each other as new chords were invented. Their harmony was tighter than tight.  It was truly an over-the-top performance! The guys continued their impressive set with none other than a Beach Boys Christmas tune! The song started with the Beach Boys on the track recording for a few measures, then the Ball Brothers took charge! “Little Saint Nick” was a great selection and certainly kept the atmosphere filled with Christmas fun in good taste.

Pianist, Cody McVey took his turn in the spotlight and dazzled the audience in spite of sore fingertips. McVey recently had recently handled a light bulb and was still feeling the effects on his fingertips, but that didn’t seem to be an issue as he tickled the ivories. He played an arrangement of “Deck The Halls” and “Feliz Navidad” complete with an orchestrated track and made several impressive key changes. The crowd responded to his performance enthusiastically.

The Ball Brothers returned with “O Come All Ye Faithful” with an acepella introduction. The arrangement was beautiful and the delivery was flawless with gorgeous harmony and perfect timing. Laughter quickly returned as the Ball Brothers showed a video clip of “The Christmas Carol” with ONLY the information you NEED to know!  It was hilarious. In fact, Daniel himself has an amazing sense of humor and certainly is a master at keeping everyone smiling with his story-telling. Trying to regain composure, but still laughing, the guys moved along to “The Christmas Song” also known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”

The next song was another crowd pleaser for sure! The Ball Brothers sang “Go Tell It On The Mountain” as Daniel mingled through the audience offering his microphone for folks to sing along. Daniel seemed to have the crowd in the palm of his hand as he continued to interact as he had everyone to snap along to “Mary Was The First One To Carry The Gospel.”  The guys clearly had a great time with this song as they milked each vocal “dip” and “slur” for all it was worth!  And… the crowd loved it!

Daniel  brought a more serious tone back by talking about their father and how he couldn’t remember a Christmas that he hadn’t opened the Bible and shared the Christmas story. The guys sang “Holy Is Thy Name” and hands begin to lift all over the gymnasium.  As the song ended, a few people let out a few shouts and many stood to their feet.

Following a brief intermission and a couple more songs, the Ball Brothers had everyone laughing again- this time at their friends’ expense! They called a few young men to the stage and had them to sing “Blue Christmas.” The Ball Brothers sang the back-ground harmony as the friends split up the lines of the verses. “You need to keep your day jobs and give up the Elvis aspirations,” Daniel joked and they agreed. They were good sports and received Ball Brothers CDs for their participation. The guys then sang an acapella version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” with a harmony so blended it sounded as if their voices had melted together. Amazing!

The Ball Brothers created a touching moment as Daniel shared their mission trip experiences and how fortunate we are in the United States to enjoy religious freedom.  The next song was dedicated to our troops in the US Military. The lights dimmed and they began to sing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” as a slide show of their close military friends played on the screen.  It was truly a patriotic and tender moment. The audience was then reminded to send cards, letters and care packages to let our troops know they are loved and appreciated.

Daniel expressed appreciation to his father and Liberty Baptist Church for hosting the concert and thanked everyone for being there. The Ball Brothers had given 100% and provided a fun afternoon of Christmas music.

Before all was said and done, Daniel wrapped everything up by explaining the true meaning of Christmas by saying, “The reason we celebrate is  not about gift exchanges and parties. We enjoy all those things, but it has so much more meaning.  It’s not a date on a calendar that comes once a year.  It’s a story of a loving God that loved this world so much that He gave His only Son. Jesus lived a sinless, perfect life and became sin’s sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. He shed His life’s blood to pay for my sin, yours and the sin of all mankind.”

He went on to explain how salvation is a free gift that we can’t earn, but one that is offered and not forced.  He also explained that salvation isn’t about the church you attend, but it’s really about the cross. The Ball Brothers then sang the power-ballad, “It’s All About The Cross.”  The audience responded with lifted hands and a standing ovation. The concert concluded with one last fun number, “Glory To God in the Highest” complete with one last blizzard of snow!

The afternoon was a combination of good, clean family entertainment along with praise and worship for a home-town crowd. The town of Chickamauga loved every minute of it!  Find out more about the Ball Brothers  on their website at:

Concert Review by: Rhonda Frye



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Exclusive Concert Report: “The Shireys” By Angela Griffin

Written by SGN Scoops on August 3, 2011 – 10:36 am -

{July 30, 2011 Unity Baptist Church, Roebuck, SC}

The powerful voices of The Shirey’s rang out on a hot summer day in the little town of Roebuck, SC.

The Shirey’s started the service with “I’ll Sing A New Song” showcasing their tight knit family harmonies. Darlene did a remarkable job on one of my all time favorite songs “Just Any Day Now,” a song that is so prevalent in this modern day in which we live. Darlene also delivered an anointed version of “Little David” written by Sandy Knight. “I’m Gonna Rise” performed by Wayne Shirey was also an audience favorite.

Victoria Shirey is an accomplished singer/songwriter. Often times the best songs are written after one has been through difficult times in their life. After a short battle with depression, Victoria penned the song “My Load Has Been Lifted.” What a powerful song. Victoria just has a natural gift to minister. I see a very bright future for Victoria indeed.

At age 19, Rachael is the youngest member of The Shirey’s. Rachael is the 2011 Female Vocal Solo winner of the C.O.G. State Teen Talent Competition. She also writes songs for the ministry.
“If That Don’t Make You Want To Go” was heartfelt by all. She also delivered a great vocal performance on “Don’t You Want To Go.”

On a lighter note…Just before Victoria, Rachael, Darlene and Wayne were to take the stage; Darlene looked at Victoria and said “something is not right with my shoes.” Victoria discovered that her mother had her shoes on the wrong feet! (Well Darlene, there’s a first time for everything.)

SGNScoops would like to thank The Shireys for a special time of music and ministry and also to Angela Griffin for the concert report.

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