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Trinity River Band to perform in concert at Spring Hill Baptist

By Gail Hollenbeck, Times Correspondent
The Trinity River Band will perform at 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at Spring Hill Baptist Church, 3140 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. [Photo courtesy of Trinity River Band]

SPRING HILL — People who would like to help feed those in need have an opportunity to do so while enjoying a bluegrass gospel music concert being hosted by Spring Hill Baptist Church.

The Trinity River Band will perform at the church at 6 p.m. Nov. 12. While the concert is free — an offering for the group will be taken — the church is asking those who attend to bring a nonperishable grocery item.

The groceries will be presented to representatives from Jericho Road Ministries at the concert to be used during the holiday season.

Pastor Ray Rouse likened the food drive to an old-fashioned church tradition of giving food to a new pastor and his family.

"This is what they used to call a ‘pounding,’ " Rouse said about the practice of parishioners each giving a pound of food. "But instead of being given to a family, these dry goods will be given to a ministry in time to use it for Thanksgiving. People can bring canned foods or bags of noodles or whatever will keep and last awhile."

Rouse said church members have already been bringing in lots of food for the drive.

"Several men from Jericho Road will bring tubs to cart the food back with them after the concert," he said, noting that the men and the ministry will be introduced so audience members will understand where their contributions are being used.

The pastor thinks it’s a great idea to combine the food drive with a concert.

"Our people love sacred music, whether it’s Southern gospel or bluegrass, and so does the community," Rouse said.

"When we have a group like this, we advertise it on our sign, and a lot of people come because they want to see a beautiful family playing outstanding Christian music."

The band, originally known as the Harris family, is based in Jacksonville and is made up of the father, Michael (guitar, vocals); mother, Lisa (bass, vocals); daughter Sarah (mandolin, lead vocals); son, Joshua (banjo, dobro, vocals), and daughter Brianna (fiddle, vocals).

Rouse sees something special in the group.

"When I was a teenager, my father and brother played the guitar, and I played the mandolin," he said. "We’d sing as a family in the living room or Sunday night at our church. That’s what it reminds me of. A family grows up on Christian music, and it’s a special, wonderful time for the family."

In the 10 years they’ve been performing, the Harris family has released several recordings, some making it to the top five of the Bluegrass Today Top 20 chart, including their last three albums, which remained on the chart for a total of 60 weeks.

Their music has also been among the most played albums on Sirius XM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction.

They’ve appeared on television on the Heartland Network and were headliners on the first Willie’s Duck Jam for Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

According to the band’s website, lead singer Sarah Harris won her first individual award in 2015 when Strictly Country magazine honored her with the Spirit of Christmas Award for her original song, This Christmas. That year, she was also inducted into the Daughters of Bluegrass.