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Gospel concert helps fund music program

Trio of singers to perform Oct. 28 at Smith Memorial

Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church is hosting a stellar lineup of gospel musicians Friday, Oct. 28, in order to raise money for Soundwave, its after-school music program.

Rodgers Company and Roland Keyboards are sponsoring the show, and all proceeds go to Soundwave, according to the Rev. Cynthia O'Brien, pastor.

Here's some biographical information on the performers:

Gary Hemenway

As a 4-year-old, Hemenway's first musical question to his mother was, 'When do I get to play piano in church?'

Raised in Pilot Rock in Eastern Oregon, he was entranced by the sounds of Andre Crouch and the Disciples, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Chicago and The Temptations. He studied music at Warner Pacific College in Portland, and has created soundtracks and worked in music production, direction, composing and arranging as well as live performance.

Hemenway's music has been used for Nike and Avia videos as well as the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, which garnered him a Portland Advertising Federation Rosie award for Best Musical Composition.

Hemenway is music director for the Northwest Community Gospel Choir, which works with the Oregon Symphony's Gospel to create Christmas concerts of gospel and classical music. He has also worked the Portland Rose Festival, the Home Shopping Network, Baskerville Recording, Billy Graham Crusades, Vineyard Music Group and George Fox University.

His collaborators have included the Novum Chamber Singers, Mick Gillette and Lenny Pickett of Tower of Power and Portland jazz musician Patrick Lamb.

Hemenway works with schools, colleges and churches as a guest musician, clinician and director and is a highly sought after accompanist.

Don Lewis

Lewis has taught classes and performed at church music conventions and seminars such as the Gospel Music Workshop of America, National Pastoral Musicians, Bobby Jones Gospel Explosion, Saddleback Church, Christian Musicians Summit and the Northwest Ministers Conference.

An enthusiastic instructor, Lewis teaches the course 'Gospel Music a Passionate Heritage,' which was originally developed at the University of California at Berkeley.

As a recording artist, Lewis has worked with Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendez, Michael Jackson, The Brothers Johnson and Marvin Hamlisch. He also has scored and produced music for television, film and commercials, and has several solo albums to his credit.

Marilyn Keller

A 27-year veteran of music and stage performance, Keller performs jazz, gospel, rhythm 'n' blues and pop. The Portland singer has performed in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia and Great Britain and her voice can be heard on multiple recordings, movie soundtracks, commercials and documentaries. She is a former member of the Mt. Hood Community College Vocal Jazz Ensemble and fronted the award-winning Jazz Lab Band.

In 1997, Keller joined the Black Swan Classic Jazz Band, quickly establishing a loyal following in the Dixieland and ragtime scene. She is featured at the Jazz Worship Service at Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland every Sunday and can be seen frequently at restaurants, clubs, festivals and holiday events throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her latest solo release is titled 'At Last.'

If you go

WHO: Gary Hemenway, Don Lewis, Marilyn Keller

WHAT: Performing gospel music

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28

WHERE: Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2420 Fairview Ave.

BENEFITS: Soundwave music and arts program

COST: $10 adults, $5 children 17 and younger

INFO: 503-667-6800