Gospel music celebration at Gayville Hall Saturday

Gospel music celebration at Gayville Hall Saturday Gayville Hall will present "A Celebration of Gospel Music," its first gospel music show, on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. in Gayville.

The hall's master of ceremonies, John McNeill, and his wife Susan, of Springfield, who perform regularly at Gayville Hall, will be joined by the Buckaroos of Vermillion and the Schweitzer Toe Tappers of Freeman, Parker and Marion.

The Gospel Buckaroos are an 11- to 14-member group from Vermillion that was first organized about 10 years ago by three members of the United Church of Christ � Royce Engstrom, Mike Armstrong and George Schlenker. Others currently with the group include Cindy Gehm, Steve Gapp, Bruce Gray, Sharon Gray, Chris Hoover, Rocky Kickland, Dennis Nelsen, Harry Scholten and Mike Winegar.

They "try not to take themselves too seriously," says Sharon Gray, and enjoy playing a wide range of musical styles, including Irish jigs and reels, traditional folk songs, and cowboy tunes when not performing gospel.

The Schweitzer Toe Tappers began playing together last year as part of Freeman's hosting of BarnAgain!, a touring exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution. The group "enjoys playing music that's fun and familiar," according to co-founder Tim L. Waltner of Freeman, publisher of the Freeman Courier.

The name Schweitzer reflects the group's Swiss, German-Russian and Mennonite heritage. Other members are Beth Preheim and Michael Sprong of Marion and Bruce Preheim of Parker.

Gayville Hall emcee John McNeill teaches at the Springfield State Prison and has written music for documentaries and hundreds of songs, including gospel. His wife Susan plays bass. For many years they performed with their children in a "family band."

Doug and Judi Sharples of Wakonda started the alcohol-free concert venue in Gayville last May and have produced several shows a month. Concerts have featured old-time traditional music, popular American songs of the 20th century, blues, jazz, folk and country.

Gayville Hall is at 504 Washington Street in Gayville, 10 miles east of Yankton. Admission is $7.

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