Central Ohio barbershop harmonizers, the Singing Buckeyes, will perform with a global-touring, nontraditional gospel quartet from Georgia this month in Pickerington.

Barbershop, gospel, American folk and salutes to U.S. military forces will be in order as the Singing Buckeyes and the Ball Brothers, from Chickamauga, Georgia, present "Songs of Inspiration" at 7 p.m. May 19 in Peace United Methodist Church, 235 Diley Road.

Tickets for the show are $25 for preferred seating and $20 general admission.

They can be purchased online at singingbuckeyes.com or by calling 614-459-0400.

John Long, a retired vocal-music director at Pickerington High School and Pickerington High School Central, is one of five Singing Buckeyes from Pickerington who will perform.

Long is vice president of music and performance for the group.

He said the Ball Brothers were recruited for the local concert after Singing Buckeyes Assistant Director Gary Wulf heard them and appreciated their singing and thought that their gospel stylings would pair well with the Singing Buckeyes.

"The Ball Brothers are a gospel quartet, and we felt that it was a good union of barbershop and the gospel quartet sound," Long said.

"We also felt that we should branch out to expose our art form to those that follow gospel music.

"One of the exciting parts of the concerts will be both the Ball Brothers and Singing Buckeyes combining to do the Ball Brothers' signature song, 'It's About the Cross,' " he said.

Long said the majority of the concert will be of the sacred variety but also will feature American folk and classic rock, among other genres, including nods to the U.S. military.

"There will be a lot of variety in the show," Long said. "Since the day of our concert is Armed Forces Day, we will feature our rendition of 'The Armed Forces Salute.'

"Another special part of our portion of the concert will be to bring back retired director and famous Bowling Green University director, Richard Mathey to conduct a number and then sing his famed selection, 'Amen,' " Long said.

"The Singing Buckeyes will provide the first half of the program and the Ball Brothers will entertain us in the second half before the grand finale."

In addition to Long, Pickerington will be represented by Singing Buckeyes members Keith Ebright, Larry Landon, Mike Renner and Tim Kuenzli.

Long said the concert should provide entertainment to music lovers of ages, and it also will help the nonprofit Singing Buckeyes continue to sponsor students attending the Ohio Harmony Experience, a barbershop singing camp for high school students.

"We try to raise funds annually to help these students," Long said. "It's our way of supporting the next generation of singers."

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