Women's Trio Glorifies God With Their Singing
They call themselves the 3-4-1 Trio; Jennifer Johnson, of Mosinee, Kay Pickar, of Rothschild, and Wausau resident, Janice Grimes. Three women singing acappella gospel songs for the sole purpose of glorifying the One in heaven, their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For the past six years, the 3-4-1 Trio has performed at various festivals, concerts, churches and private events. The three ladies especially enjoy singing at hospitals, hospice settings, and nursing homes. On three occasions theyve shared their gospel singing at the Christian Outreach Center to the Blind held at Wausaus Trinity Lutheran Church. The relationship the 3-4-1 Trio has with the Lord is clearly evident in each of their singing performances, acknowledged Pastor Dennis Pegorsch, spiritual advisor for the blind group. The blind and visually impaired always express their appreciation for the musical witness of these three ladies.
Jennifer Johnson, the organizer and alto of the group, dreamed of singing in a gospel acappella group ever since listening to the mens quartet, Acappella, in the 80s. Her mother and father also sang professionally with the gospel group, His Loving Kindness, and helped influence her love for music. Jennifer joined the Sweet Adelines singing group in college and fell in love with the close harmonies of barbershop style music. In 2004 she saw her long time dream finally come true. It was through our worship team at Highland Community Church in Wausau that I met Janice and shared my idea of forming a gospel trio, explained the groups spokesperson. Janice liked the idea so we placed an ad for a 3rd singer in the classified section of our local paper. A short time later, Kay Pickar, responded to the ad, not realizing that Janice and Jennifer were also members of Highland where she herself was attending. God clearly helped bring us all together, acknowledged Pickar.
Janice Grimes, the groups 2nd soprano also came from a musical background. As a youngster, Janice often sang with her family in nursing homes, churches and various events. Too shy to sing on her own, she often spent time alone in her room, quietly playing her guitar and singing softly. As she outgrew her shyness Janice gradually began singing solo, either with family members who had bands of their own, at churches or other events. I always wanted to be a singer for the Lord, and when Jennifer suggested we form a trio I jumped at the opportunity, said the La Grange Il. native.
Kay Pickar, soprano and MC for the group, grew up with a variety of music in her life as well. It wasnt hard to imagine that Id grow up singing, said Pickar. My mother played opera music while I was in the crib, my dad played piano and accordion by ear, and my grandparents loved Lawrence Welk. My sister and I were encouraged to take piano lessons and later band instrument lessons, said the former Manitowoc resident. Loving music as we did, we were active in church, local theater productions and community groups.
This past spring the group celebrated their 75th concert, singing at the National Day of Prayer Breakfast in Wausau. Ask any of the ladies and they will tell you their 3-4-1 Trio is an answer to prayer. Having the opportunity to sing for Jesus, considering what He did for us, is a blessing that is difficult to describe, said Grimes.
Jennifers father, Paul Huseby, a long time southern gospel fan, provides most of the music arrangements for the trio. Dad tries to attend as many of our concerts as he can, said the Appleton native. Often times that means traveling all the way from his home in Alabama to attend 34-1 concerts during cold Wisconsin months. Ive heard them sing the same songs over and over again, acknowledged their number one fan. But I dont mind. I just love listening to their singing.
Each member of the 3-4-1 Trio has their own favorite scripture verse that guide their daily lives. For Jennifer its Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Janice identifies with John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosesoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. One of Kays favorite verses is Philippians 4:8: Fix your thoughts on what is true and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
In 2008, the 3-4-1 Trio participated in the National Quartet Convention talent search competition in Louisville, KY. They were the only all womens trio and came in 6th. In June of 2010, 3-4-1 was invited to Nashville to perform at an international acappella singing festival sponsored by Keith Lancaster, executive producer of the original group called, Acappella. While at the concert the ladies met Randy Lamp, manger of the Acappella Ministry, who encouraged them to record a CD of their gospel singing. With Randys financial support, the recording engineering of Melissa Lancaster, Keiths daughter, and financial support of many friends and fans, the trios very first CD called, Simply 3-4-1, will soon be released. Plans are to introduce the CD at the Trios February 5th concert to be held at United Methodist Church in Mosinee. Having a CD is a natural extension to our mission to share the gospel and encourage worship, said a delighted Jennifer Johnson, founder of the group. God has truly blessed us.
The gospel music of the 3-4-1 Trio is a blessing to all who hear them as well.