Group rejoices in sacred music

Sometimes people need some sort of sign to realize their true calling — for Michael Rivers, it was an unfortunate accident.

“He made his livelihood being a homebuilder and, last July, he fell off of a 15-foot scaffold, broke his back and was laid up for months,” Hans Kask said of his friend. “He was musically trained … he almost felt like this was a sign that maybe he should get back to his music.”

Rivers, director of the Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers, did begin to pursue music fully again and has even written a few compositions, which Kask and the other members will be performing at an upcoming concert.

“He brought back some of the stuff he’d written over the years,” Kask said. “We’ll be singing two compositions that are totally Michael’s work.”

The 15-member all-male group comes from nine different churches and seven different denominations, but Kask said they all share a love for singing gospel music.

“It’s traditional spiritual music,” Kask said.

The group will play 13 numbers, including “Loving God, Loving Each Other,” a piece Kask said they will be singing in public for the first time, and “Thy Word” which was made popular by Christian pop singer Amy Grant.

In addition to preparing for this concert and their annual spring concert in late March, Kask said the group has been working on a CD, their fourth, which is slated to come out during the 2008 holiday season.

“Last week, we recorded four selections,” he said. “We’ll have a package of 12 to 14 numbers or so, but we decided to record the songs as we have practiced singing them.”

The group also plans to continue taking the show on the road. This past May, said Kask, they packed their bags and hit the road one weekend, doing what he called an I-5 Corridor Tour.

“We just thought, ‘Let’s spread our wings and see what kind of acceptance we have somewhere other than our own Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks area,’” Kask said.

The group sang at four churches in three days, performing at a Kent Methodist church on Friday evening, in Auburn on Saturday afternoon and Covington Saturday night, and then at two services at a Federal Way church on Sunday.

“This year we’re looking at Lynnwood, Seattle and Kirkland,” Kask said of the planned trip. “It’s just another way to present The Word in song and make a difference.”

Gospel singers gear up

Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25, at Independent Bible Church, 116 E. Ahlvers Road, Port Angeles. Donations will be welcomed.

The group’s annual spring concert is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, in the Port Angeles High School auditorium.

For more information, call Hans Kask at 582-1415 or visit

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