Western Pennsylvania gospel group New Journey lands Dollywood gig

Members of a Western Pennsylvania gospel trio reluctantly turned down their initially chance to sing at Dollywood. When a next probability arrived close to, they took it.

New Journey, with two members from Westmoreland County, is booked for a day’s really worth of reveals on May perhaps 22 at the Tennessee amusement park founded by nation audio megastar Dolly Parton.

“How many persons can say they sang at Dollywood?” reported member Michelle Tantlinger of Fairfield. “We’re all in our 50s now, so we claimed it’s now or hardly ever.

“We ended up going to do it two a long time ago, but we could only get a Wednesday day. And we all function whole-time employment, and singing with the team is just aspect time. It would’ve been much too tough to just take off function to go down in the center of the week, lacking time at operate,” Tantlinger stated. “Last yr, we have been heading to do it and covid strike and messed everyone’s options up, so we just place it off till this calendar year.”

Fortunately, the day presented this 12 months is a Saturday. They’ll do four or five 30- to 40-moment reveals that working day, singing in entrance of their possess prerecorded track record music.

The group, which formed in 2013, was contacted for the gig by a radio station in Knoxville, Tenn., which textbooks acts for a person of the Dollywood levels. They’ll just take family associates alongside and make a mini-getaway of it.

Lifelong mates

Alongside with Tantlinger, group members are her sister, Melissa Tressler of Mt. Pleasurable, and their close friend, Kelli Moore of Roaring Spring, Blair County.

Tantlinger and Tressler began singing at ages 11 and 9, respectively, with the Gospel Rays, a team fashioned by their mom and dad, Ray and Audrey Eutsey. The sisters fulfilled Moore on the gospel circuit, the place she began singing at age 3 with her very own father’s team.

https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=rI_p09mZuf8

“We’ve been buddies because we ended up little ones,” Tantlinger stated. “Melissa and I usually liked Kelli’s voice.”

Tantlinger stated Moore also sang as a soloist at gospel festivals, wherever the rule was that a team would get a half-hour of phase time, but a soloist was only permitted two tracks.

“We didn’t believe it was honest that she only acquired two music, so we shaped a backup team to sing with her, so she would get more time,” she stated.

Tantlinger reported that do the job and spouse and children obligations brought on her to retire from the Gospel Rays following 30 yrs. A number of years later on, she was talking with Tressler about seeking to sing once again, when Moore invited them to sing with her at church.

They reformed as New Journey.

“We constantly say that the a few of us have well more than 100 a long time of expertise, but this is a new journey for us,” she claimed.

In typical occasions, New Journey will have about 40 bookings concerning March and November and just take the winter off. Very last year, that number dropped to 15. They are at 15 for 2021 and hope to add about 5 additional, Tantlinger claimed.

They sing at churches and festivals and carry out the countrywide anthem and “God Bless America” for the Altoona Curve baseball crew. They’ve been on call to sing the anthem for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which they hope potential customers to an real date at PNC Park, Tantlinger reported.

Their seem is progressive Southern gospel, which Tantlinger mentioned mixes present-day touches with a classic gospel sound.

That is what the Dollywood audience will hear, she stated.

“The only stipulation, at Dolly’s request, is that all the music are upbeat, so that usually means no ballads,” she mentioned.

“People convey to us, ‘If you girls sang secular audio, you could make a whole lot of revenue,’” she added. “But that’s not what we’re in it for. It is a ministry.”

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Overview staff members writer. You can get hold of Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or by using Twitter .

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Area | Extra A&E | Songs | Westmoreland

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