Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith to team up for another Christmas tour

By Rick Hoganson 

Multi-platinum, GRAMMY® winners Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith co-bill their popular Christmas tour this holiday season, which will be joined for the second consecutive year by Republic recording artist Jordan Smith, Season 9 winner of NBC’s “The Voice.” Incorporating a full symphony orchestra at each performance under the direction of Musical Director and Conductor David Hamilton, this seasonal crowd-pleaser is being presented by Balsam Hill®. Launching Nov. 11 in Omaha, NE, the 22-city tour travels to major markets across the U.S., including Houston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Boise, Tampa, Kansas City and more.

With multiple sellout crowds celebrating the season with them last year, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith joint Christmas tours have become some of the most anticipated holiday events of the season. Combining for a vast collection of critically-acclaimed holiday albums between them, the 2017 Christmas tour will showcase selections spanning the artists’ expansive Christmas repertoires, including their most recent releases, Grant’s Tennessee Christmas, Michael W. Smith’s The Spirit of Christmas and Jordan Smith’s ’Tis The Season.

“I started looking forward to this year’s tour after the final encore of last year’s tour!” exclaims Michael W. Smith. “Performing with Amy and Jordan – in front of a full Symphony Orchestra – is about as good as it gets for me!”

“Michael, Jordan and I have been looking forward to touring together again all year!” confirms Grant. “We had so much fun together last year, and it felt like our creative gifts complemented one another in a unique way.

“As we started to plan the show, it was our goal to enhance people's experience of the Christmas season by providing them a night of exquisite music and a message of hope,” continues Grant. “We are especially thrilled to be partnering with Balsam Hill this year and incorporating some of their beautiful pieces into our production. Creativity happens on many different levels and similarly to the music Michael, Jordan and I have recorded for the holidays, Balsam Hill's products exists to add beauty and magic to the Christmas season.”

The tour has Ohio dates Dec. 14 in Van Wert and Dec. 15 in Columbus.

MVNU celebrates the life of Larry Houck

Former religion professor Dr. Larry Houck, 70, passed away on July 22 in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He served in many roles at Mount Vernon Nazarene University from 2000-2010.

Larry was born on Oct. 8, 1946, in Bellefonte, Penn., to the late James and Pauline Houck. He was a 1970 graduate of God’s Bible College in Cincinnati, Ohio; a 1977 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., where he earned a Master of Divinity degree; and a 1989 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary where he earned a Doctorate of Ministry.

Larry pastored many churches in Erie, New Castle, and Oil City, Penn., as well as Wesley Chapel United Methodist in Danville, Ohio. He taught in the religion department at Greenville College in Greenville, Ill., for six years, and at MVNU for 10 years. He was also involved in missions in Indonesia for two years and in the Philippines for two years. Larry was the World Missions Director of the Free Methodist Church for six years.

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