Gospel music will be in the spotlight when Johnston Community College presents its next Country Music Showcase.
Performances of “A Gospel Jubilee” are scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 2 and 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 3 in the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium on the Smithfield campus, 245 College Road.
Tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door for evening performances and $10 in advance and $12.50 at the door for the 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets are available online at www.jccperformingarts.com and through the JCC box office at 919-209-2099. The box office is open from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Guest performers for the “A Gospel Jubilee” are the Kings’ Way Quartet, Teresa and Morgan Kohnen, LaRue Tart, CJ Wilkins, Jordan Hines, Amy Wiggs, Joey Grantham, Scott Davis and Scott Johnson.
Formed in 2000, the King’s Way Quartet is made up of two married couples – Craig and LaRue Page and Ray and Carla Autry. All are members of Baptist Chapel Church in Autryville, where Craig is music minister and LaRue, Carla and Ray sing in the sanctuary choir.
Jordan, a 13-year-old rising freshman, started singing solos at age 6. After performing in voice recitals, area churches and school talent shows, she won a spot in JCC’s “Gospel Jubilee” August 2010. She was named Clayton’s Junior Idol in September 2010. In 2011, Jordan placed third in her age group at the Fayetteville Kiwanis Show Talent Competition and second in the N.C. State Fair’s Folk Festival solo vocal competition.
Teresa Kohnen, a married mother of three, works at Smith and Adams Family Dentistry. Daughter Morgan is a rising freshman. Mother and daughter lead praise and worship at their church in Goldsboro. In November 2011, Morgan performed with the N.C. Honors Chorus in Winston-Salem.
Wiggs made her singing debut at age 3 with “You are My Sunshine.” She has performed in many local festivals, including Smithfield’s Ham & Yam Festival. Wiggs teaches second grade at West View Elementary School and is a member of Cleveland Community Church. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and obtained her teaching certification from Campbell University. Wiggs has been performing with the Country Music Showcase since 2000, when she was a student at JCC.
Grantham began singing in high school. He sings lead vocals and plays bass with the Big River Band, which plays every other Thursday at Aversboro Restaurant and Sports Bar in Garner. The band is also a regular at open mic nights in Raleigh.
Johnson, a Benson resident, began singing at age 10 and has been a member of the Country Music Showcase cast since 2008. He spent 10 years traveling with a gospel bluegrass group that won both vocal and instrumental awards. Also, he has performed with Jeff and Sherry Easter, The Rochesters and Robbie Huffman. Johnson has released two albums with the bluegrass group Black Creek.
Christina “CJ” Wilkins, who began singing at age 8, has performed in pageants and talent shows, including Clayton Idol. She also enjoys playing the guitar and writing songs. Wilkins is studying radiology at JCC and works at the Country Connection Western Store.
Davis, who’s making his third Country Music Showcase appearance, began singing at 8 years old in his family’s church. He and his wife, Robbie, have two children, Madison, 11, and Mackenzie, 8. He enjoys playing guitar and racquetball.
Tart, a singer for almost 60 years, currently performs with Canaanland, the III Century Singers and The Singing Stripes. She has performed with the Neuse Little Theatre and Johnston County Chorale. Tart won first place in the Wayne County Relay Idol competition in 2007 and first lace in the Wayne County Scout Audition.