Celebrating a Hazen music tradition
By Daniel Arens
As Tigirlily prepares to head away from Hazen for their new adventure in Tennessee, another Hazen music group is about to bid farewell as well.
Brad Heinzer, Keith Johnson, Curt Melland, and Bill Wagner have been singing together as the Occasional Gospel Quartet for 18 years. On Aug. 16, they came together one last time, joining with English Lutheran Church for the final Music in the Park performance of 2017.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Wagner said. “We had a great 18 years, and it’s kind of sad to have it over with.”
“That’s a long time, especially in music,” Johnson said. “One of the things that made me initially settle in Hazen was the number of men who could sing here. And the quartet was the pinnacle for me.”
Heinzer is preparing to move with his wife to Fargo, so they can be closer to their children and grandchildren.
“We’ve been thinking about moving for a number of years now,” Heinzer said.