By Terry Martin
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE — On Sunday, April 14, four local bands, area DJs, and Susquehanna University communications students will present the 16th annual Bluegrass and Gospel Concert to benefit 88.9 “The Pulse,” WQSU’s radio station. The bands are equally divided between the gospel and bluegrass genres, all playing for the good of WQSU.
Admission is $10; children under 5 admitted free.
The event will be held in Weber Chapel auditorium on the SU campus from 2-5 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase and prizes will be given away throughout the day.
This event was created 16 years ago by professor Larry Augustine, general manager of WQSU, and Larry Walters II, former host of WQSU’s Bluegrass Show.
Performing bands are:
n The Greenwood Valley Boys, a five-piece band from the Hughesville area, offering harmonies in conjunction with their talented finger pickn’-front porch, kick-up-your-heels style of bluegrass. The band takes you back to an era when life was as simple as the words they sing. Whether it be “Old Joe Clark” or “Ashes of Love,” your foot will be tapping, whether you are a bluegrass fan or not. Check them out at www.myspace.com/thegreenwoodvalleyboys.
n The Tussey Mountain Moonshiners are the second Bluegrass band on the bill to help out. They see music as “a common language — it transcends.” They are also a five-piece band with female vocalist and banjo picker. The harmonies they sing are “music that is culturally significant” and brings young and old together. Visit www.tusseymountainmoonshiners.com.
n True Heart, representing gospel music, is a four-man group from the Lewisburg area. Formed in 1993, this group strives to harmonize songs that encourage and strengthen Christians everywhere. True Heart is a well received and loved gospel band. Find more information at www.trueheartquartet.com
n Savn’ Grace, the final band on the bill, is based in Union County. The group has seven members and offer a bluegrass- and country-infused style of gospel. The group formed in 2006. It is a multi-generational band but prefers to play the older, classic, gospel songs peppered with a few newer songs, with hope of spreading encouragement to other Christian believers. Their website is savinggraceband.com.
‘Voice of Susquehanna University’
WQSU has been broadcasting sports, music and news out of Susquehanna University since 1967. Known as the “Broadcast Voice of Susquehanna University,” it is the strongest college-run station in the state.
National Public Radio (NPR) begins each weekday broadcast from 6-8 a.m. The rest of the day is filled with a variety of music served up by student DJs who earn communications credits through the night until 5 a.m. the next morning.
There are also a number of year-round specialty programs on weekends hosted by a variety of fellow music lovers who volunteer their time. These DJs offer a specialty such as Dave Pearce who hosts the “The Pure As Stone Country Jamboree” on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. followed by “Let There Be Country” with Luke Roman.
Charlie Lockard’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” show is on Sundays from noon until 2 p.m., followed by “Home Made Jam” which plays exclusively local music from 2-4 p.m.
Since there are no summer credits available at the radio station for communication students (or revenue generated by such students), the university gets a little help from the community. The April 14 event will help generate funds needed to cover broadcasting and affiliation costs (“Car Talk” and AP Network news, etc.).
The Bluegrass and Gospel Concert is held in conjunction with the kickoff of the station’s annual “Summerthon.” During Summerthon, listeners can call in pledging donations of any size. In return for their donations, not only do the listeners get to continue to hear great music all summer long, they also can get cool WQSU stuff like stickers, pens, coffee mugs and T-shirts, based on the denomination of their gift.
Summerthon begins Friday evening and continues through April 22.