Believers have several summer music options - Word&Way

Believers have several summer music options

Believers across the state can take advantage of a host of good music opportunities this spring and summer through a variety of venues. Several are offered annually.

Branson Gospel Music Revival

This festival, formerly Branson Gospel Music Convention, is set for June 28-July 1 at the Tri-Lakes Center in Branson, offering matinee and evening shows each day of the four-day event. Pianist Dino will be featured on June 29. During the Thursday matinee, the festival will highlight new artists, including Branson-based Voices of Glory, which finished among the top five winners on the television reality show "America's Got Talent" in 2009. Event details and prices can be found at

Down from His Glory

The Music Evangelism Foundation of Colorado Springs, Colo., hosts the Down from His Glory event at the Tri-Lakes Center in Branson. This year's event will be held Oct. 11-14 with a different full-stage production each evening, including Musical Celebration, Redemption of Easter, Joy of Christmas and Faith & Freedom. Find out more at downfromhisglory/DFHG.

LifeLight Missouri Festival

This free event is the Missouri expansion of the LifeLight Music Festival held annually in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Missouri event will be held June 24-25 at Miracle Hills Ranch in Bethany and will feature the contemporary Christian bands, Santus Real and The Afters, and the Southern gospel group, Dove Brothers.

The festival will include three stages — contemporary, Southern gospel and a children's area. The teen band, Double Vision, will be featured on the children's stage, with speed stackers, puppets and clowns.

The two-day event also will include a 5K and a 10K run and a 50-mile bike ride. (There is a registration fee for the competitions.) The festival also will showcase new Missouri talent found during an online competition earlier this year.

A host of businesses, churches, ministerial alliances and individuals sponsor the event. See the website at for more information and to register for the runs or the bike ride.

Meramec Caverns

Each year The Lesters host the Fall Festival of Gospel Music at Meramec Caverns. The 44th annual event is slated for Oct. 19-22 and will feature The Blackwood Brothers, The Perrys, Greater Vision, The Lesters and several other Southern gospel groups. Visit for more information and tickets.

The venue also features other events throughout the year. The Lesters sponsored an Easter concert in the cavern on April 23 and a sunrise service Easter morning. Watch the calendar ( for other possible music events.

A Night with the Stars

The comedy/percussion group Buckets and Boards perform at the Missouri Baptist Children\'s Home recent fundraiser, A Night With the Stars. The group garnered Comedy Act of the Year honors in Branson last year.

This Missouri Baptist Children's Home fundraising event has already taken place this year, but interested individuals and groups should go ahead and get A Night with the Stars on their 2012 calendar. Offered the last Saturday in April, A Night with the Stars sold out well in advance the past two years. Next year's event will take place on April 28. Held at Skyline Baptist Church, Branson, A Night with the Stars featured a dinner, Branson entertainment and a silent auction.

Most of the money raised through the event benefits ministry because the evening is volunteer-driven and staffed. The church provided use of its facility and the performers donated their time and talent.

Silver Dollar City

Missouri's Silver Dollar City hosts a variety of music and special events throughout the year, from its Young Christians' Weekend each April that focuses on contemporary artists to its Christmas events for the family. This year's Southern Gospel Picnic, set for Aug. 25-Sept. 5, will feature an impressive lineup of Grammy and Dove award winners. Among them will be Jeff and Sheri Easter, the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, Gold City, The Isaacs, Karen Peck & New River, The Hoppers, The Perrys and Legacy Five. Comedian Dennis Swanberg also will perform.

Missouri-based performers scheduled to appear include Hosea Bilyeu and Family of Springfield, Spoken 4 of Kimberling City, The Lesters of St. Louis, The Harper Family of Bunker, Al Brumley Jr. of Monett, The New Horizons of Lebanon, Ninth Hour Quartet of Webb City and the Petersen Family Band of Branson. Find out more at

Six Flags

Each year Six Flags St. Louis also provides Christian music concerts. JoyFest on June 18 will feature Sanctus Real and The Afters, and tobyMac will perform on July 9 as part of the venue's Starburst Summer Concert Series. Christian Family Day will include a concert by Casting Crowns on Aug. 6. On Sept. 10 Switchfoot will perform during Praise-A-Palooza. Check out the website at