Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hoppers Kick Off Summer Schedule With Extended Tour

Popular, multi-award winning musical group, The Hoppers kicked off the summer with a four-day concert tour in New England, featuring two sold-out concerts and near-capacity crowds at the other two events. On May 28, the trip officially began with the first stop in Georgetown, DE, at the Crossroads Community Church. From Delaware, The Hoppers traveled to Maine, where they were joined by popular musical family, The Hyssongs, for stops in Vermont and Massachusetts.

The Hoppers were thrilled with the success of the four dates, and according to Hoppers’ spokesperson, Dean Hopper, the trip included many special highlights, incuding fresh lobster in Maine, courtesy of Augusta’s 88.9 Christian Radio. “We had such a great time,” Hopper stated. “We haven't visited the New England states in quite some time, and I had forgotten just how gorgeous the scenery is. We enjoyed singing to sold out crowds in almost all four venues, and we greatly appreciate all the intricate and monotonous work done by the promoters, pastors, church staff and church members, who helped make each event such a success.”

On Monday, June 1, The Hoppers departed New England for the European leg of their summer tour. The European trip included concerts in three countries. On June 3 the first stop took place at the Belfast Church of God in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From Ireland, the group made their way to Norway for six concerts in eight days, performing in Drammen, Skien, Vennesia, Stavanger, Bergen and Alesund. The tour concluded in Amsterdam, Holland on June 13.

The Finsland Gaither Music Club served as coordinator of the European tour, spending countless hours making travel arrangements and making certain every aspect of the Tour ran smoothly. “We were so blessed to have FGMC coordinating everything for us,” Hopper stated. “They graciously arranged travel plans, provided tours for us on our days off\ and treated us with first class hospitality. A very special thank you must be extended to Martin and ‘Dr. No’ (Kolbjorn) for their hospitality and humor throughout the tour. In fact, they arranged for translators for us in the countries where a translator was needed, and those translators were often hard pressed to bridge the language barrier.”

According to Hopper, several memorable moments on stage came as a result of the variations in interpretation. “Since being funny is arguably one of my dad’s greatest talents, it quickly became apparent that some of his stories lost anecdotal meaning in the punch line as they were being translated. Laughter quickly spread on stage when this happened, and in turn, became the engaging point for the laughter that spilled into the audience.”

The comedy aspect of The Hoppers’ ministry may have experienced language barriers; however, as the senior member of The Hoppers explained, language barriers were broken as the clear message of the music needed no translation. “The presence of the Spirit easily overcame language barriers, and the message was understood and received well by everyone,” Claude Hopper shared. “We felt blessed to be able to play to capacity crowds in each of the eight venues we visited. It was exciting to see how receiving the people were to our kind of music and the message of the music. We are eternally thankful for the opportunity to share our ministry with so many people who took it to heart.”

The Hoppers have spent 52 years bringing the sound of hope and healing through Christ into the lives of countless people and are thankful the musical message they have proclaimed for a half century is a universal language that knows no boundaries.

Throughout July and August, The Hoppers’ tour schedule will include stops in nearly a dozen states and Canada. The group will also travel to Alaska for the Gaither Alaskan Cruise with The Gaither Vocal Band and dozens of popular Gaither Homecoming artists. In addition to their extensive touring schedule, the group is finishing a brand new recording to be released this September entitled, Unforgettable.

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