An uplifting start to spring

Michael Rivers isn’t letting a little thing like falling 15 feet stop him.

In early July 2007, the Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers musical director fell from a scaffold, breaking his back and crushing his foot. He went through excruciating surgery and was unable to return to the choir for several months.

Now, eight months later, Rivers is armed with new insight and ready to direct the group’s fifth-annual spring concert “Order My Steps” in late March.

“Throughout the program you will hear songs that reflect the reality that this is not always easy,” Rivers writes in the program’s director’s notes. “But we are part of a larger communion of saints that has already struggled with distraction, doubt and fear … through their melodies we gain a sense of camaraderie and invitation.”

For the 2008 spring concert the group of nearly 20 male singers from Sequim and Port Angeles will perform 23 sacred songs including “Wade in the Water” and “Thy Word.” Four of the songs were written or arranged by Rivers, including “Every Day is a New Day” and “Steal Away.”

Accompanying the group will be Sequim’s Amanda Bacon and Jeremy Cays, who selected and arranged several of the songs being performed.

“We’re excited to have them,” said member Hans Kask of Bacon and Cays, who often perform with the group.

Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers president Gordon Shipps said the concert is yet another example of the mission of the group.

“Singing praises to the Lord continues to be the ministry and focus of the Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers,” he wrote. “What a joy it is!”

The 17 members represent nine churches and seven different denominations. They perform about a dozen times each year, everywhere from assisted-living facilities to the Clallam Bay Corrections Center. The group also releases a Christmas CD at the start of each holiday season. Those interested in joining can contact Kask at 582-1415.

Singing for Spring

What: Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singer’s 5th annual spring concert “Order My Steps,” with guests Amanda Bacon and Jeremy Cays

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29

Where: Port Angeles High School auditorium, 304 E. Park Ave., Port Angeles

Ticket information: Reserved seat tickets can be purchased for $6, $10 or $12. To purchase tickets, contact Hans Kask at 582-1415. For more information, visit

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