Gold Canyon church offers spate of concerts in February, March

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Jerry Nelson 3M.JPG

Jerry Nelson

Concert pianist Jerry Nelson to perform in Gold Canyon

The Performing Arts Series of Gold Canyon United Methodist Church presents the internationally-celebrated Christian concert pianist, Jerry Nelson in concert on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. in the fabulous acoustics of the church’s 1200-seat Sanctuary.  He has teamed up with Dino and Anthony Burger, and has accompanied such artists as Glen Campbell, Sandi Patti, Tom Netherton and Steve Amerson.  Jerry will perform a mix of classical, sacred and contemporary Christian music.

As a composer, arranger, conductor and studio producer, Jerry has conducted orchestras from London and Tel Aviv to Nashville and Los Angeles.  His creative touch appears on over 500 recorded projects working with sons Scott and Brad.  His publishing and arranging efforts include several dozen original songs and over 5,000 arrangements.  Jerry began his career in public school music in Minnesota followed by over three decades arranging and directing the orchestra at Denver First Nazarene Church.  But today, Jerry and his wife Rachel are focused on a full-time concert career.

The piano he will play is the church’s incredible 9’3” Petrof Mistral Concert Grand.  This first of its kind piano is the prototype for Petrof’s new Mistral series of concert grand pianos, developed after a 12-month period of research and development, taking nine months to build by hand.  You may not have heard of Petrof as they are located in the Czech Republic, formerly behind the “iron curtain,” but they are Europe’s largest piano manufacturer, and have been building quality pianos since 1864.  A prominent Steinway Artist said of this piano in concert, “This is the finest piano I have ever played!”  

Local Artist Don Engbrecht to Perform in Gold Canyon

Baritone Don Engbrecht will be featured in concert at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. in the church’s Sanctuary.  Don’s program will feature a mix of familiar standards, sacred songs, and music from the Broadway stage.  He will be joined by soprano, Cynthia Hoff, baritone, Wade Hoff and will be accompanied by pianist Linda Jones and organist, Douglas J. Benton, the church’s Director of Music Ministries.

Don grew up in rural North Dakota and has been singing since he was fourteen years old.  He has been a singer and a soloist in several choirs and has sung for the Miss North Dakota Pageant, the Fraternal Order of the Elks National Conventions and continues to give concerts throughout the region.  He winters in Gold Canyon RV Resort with his wife Jackie and sings in the Singin’ Ranchers Chorus, the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, where he is a featured soloist, and performs throughout the area.  He enjoys hiking, golf and spending time with his family. 

The Popular ‘Houser Gang’ to Perform in Gold Canyon

The Performing Arts Series of Gold Canyon United Methodist Church again presents the very popular Houser Gang in concert on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m. in the church’s 1200-seat Sanctuary.  This is one of the most popular concerts the church has every year.  Featuring Ron, Chris, Tara and Brett, plus the usual gang, they will sing a great mix of old country songs, spirituals and cowboy ballads.  You can imagine yourself out on the range next to the campfire listening to this great music!  No matter how you feel when you come in, you will leave with a smile on your face, love in your heart and feet that refuse to stop dancing!

The Houser Gang regularly sing at the church’s Country/Western Service at 5 p.m. on the last Sunday of the month and this concert will take the place of that service on that Sunday.  The Housers were regular weekend headliners at the Apacheland Movie Ranch, where the church’s Director of Music Ministries, Doug Benton, like so many others, would enjoy dinner listening to this great family of singers.  Doug says, “This is one of the most popular events we have all year.  You definitely want to get here early!”  Doors will open at 4:15. 

Rice Brothers, young virtuosos, to perform in Gold Canyon

Chris and Johnny Rice, brothers who are both exceptional prodigies on both the piano and the cello, will perform at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church, as part of their Performing Arts Series on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 pm in the fabulous acoustics of the church’s 1200-seat Sanctuary.  Their program is called, Chopin’s Heart, Your Heart and will share the astonishing and deeply moving story of Chopin’s heart.  Their program will feature music from the past to the present that bear a strong relationship to “Chopin’s World.”

Johnny and Chris Rice both are in the private studio of Steinway Artist Robert Hamilton, Professor of Piano at Arizona State University, and both were long-time students of the late Takiyori Atsumi, 35 year President of the American Cello Congress and Professor Emeritus of Cello at Arizona State University.  Between the two of them, Johnny and Chris have been soloists with the Phoenix Symphony, Scottsdale and Mesa Symphonies and the Symphony of the Southwest.

Most recently, Chris Rice is co-Gold Medalist of the Corpus Christi International Chopin Piano Competition!  As a winner of the competition, he will perform a series of concerts in Texas, and has been awarded a debut recital in Carnegie Hall!  Both Johnny and Chris are also planning to do a performance tour of Poland, Chopin’s birthplace, this year.

Doug Benton, the church’s Director of Music Ministries, says, “Come hear these two incredible virtuosos perform, and hear them talk about their “100 Churches Project” and some of their future plans.  What an incredible couple of kids!  Don’t miss this one!”  The doors will open at 2:15.

These concerts are open to the public at no charge as freewill offerings will be received.  Everyone is asked to please bring at least one non-perishable food item per person for the GCUMC Food Bank.  The church is located one block north of Hwy 60 on Kings Ranch Road (Walgreens on the corner), five miles east of Apache Junction.  For more information, call the church at 480-982-3776.

Tara, Chris and Ron Houser perform on Feb. 24.JPG

Tara, Chris and Ron Houser


Don Engbrecht.jpg

Don Engbrecht


Incredible prodigies, Chris and Johnny Rice.jpg

Rice Brothers

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