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Award-winning duo to brighten Belcher at Christmas concert

By Becky Bell
Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:30 p.m.

Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey

Christian award-winning artists Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey will help ring in the holidays in Longview.

Their "Celebrate Christmas" tour stops in Longview for a concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at LeTourneau University's Belcher Center.

Grant, a six-time Grammy nominee and five-time Dove Award-winning female vocalist of the year, joins with Gokey, an eight-time Dove nominee and two-time K-Love male artist of the year.

Their show is under the musical direction of Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Bernie Herms, who has also worked with Josh Groban and Barbra Streisand.

Herms is Grant's husband; they have three children.

According to ChristianMusic.com, Grant is a Seattle native and the youngest of five children. Her entire family sang at their home church. By 17, Grant was assisting the church's musical director in selecting and arranging music for a youth choir.

Gokey was the third-place winner in season eight of "American Idol" in 2009. According to www.dannygokey.com, he was once a truck driver in Milwaukee. He married his high school sweetheart, but she died during a surgery one month before he auditioned for "Idol."

Gokey is now remarried and is a father.

The "Celebrate Christmas" tour allows Grant and Gokey to perform a combination of Christmas classics along with original selections from Grant's critically acclaimed Christmas project, "Believe," and Gokey's Dove Award-winning album "Christmas is Here." Selections will include such favorites as "O Holy Night," "Joy to the World" and "Mary Did You Know?"

The concert is being brought to Longview by the Longview Greggton Rotary Club. The concert is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club.

In the past two years, the club has raised $133,000 for Longview-area charities through its Christmas concerts, said Keith Bailey, who is serving as sponsorship chairman.

Organizations that will benefit this year are Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, Newgate Mission, the Seesaw Children's Place, D.O.R.S. (Developing Opportunities Realizing Success) Youth Transition Center, Thrive 360 and First Tee Youth Golf.

This is the third year for the Longview Greggton Rotary Club bring a holiday concert to Longview.

The past two years, the club has featured Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God" concert.

Bailey said he expects this year to be just as successful as the last two.

"Well of course we loved the concert we had for two years, but this year the singers are more recognizable, more popular if you will," Bailey said. "Natalie Grant is an award-winning singer female vocalist of the year and David Gokey is a Dove Award winner, and they are going to bring a great traditional Christmas music event which will be a good night for young and old, all age groups."

Tickets to the show, which range from $30 to $50, are available at belchercenter.com.

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