Jim Thirsk holds a copy of Class Brass and Company’s Gospel CD Highway to Heaven.

Highway to Heaven

Local gospel band Class Brass and Company entertains audiences from the Lower Mainland to the Vatican

It was something Jim Thirsk did on a whim.

While sending out copies of Class Brass and Company’s gospel CD Highway to Heaven last spring, the Langley musician decided to send one right to the man himself: the Pope.

After placing a copy in an envelope addressed to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association in Ottawa (CNEWA), Thirsk thought nothing more of it, until June when he received a shocking email.

Sent by CNEWA National Director Carl Hétu, it read:

“Dear Jim, I wanted to inform you that last week I delivered your CD as you asked to the Pope in person. I was in Rome for meetings and we had an audience with him. I brought your CD with me at the audience and give it to the Pope usher.

“Thank you for the idea of sharing your creation with him. I am not sure what will happened (sic) from here, but at least you can be assured that the Pope got it.”

Thirsk was over the moon with excitement.

“My wife says, ‘You won’t believe this,’” he recalled.

“No, this is not April Fools’ Day.”

Although he doesn’t know for certain if the Pope has had an opportunity to listen to their music yet, Thirsk did say “it’s opened up a lot of doors for the album.

“But he (the Pope) hasn’t called me yet,” he laughed.

Class Brass and Company, a gospel band made up of Vic Schofield (trumpet and flugel horn), Dave Barker (trumpet and flugel horn), Phil Burr (piano), John Barker (drums), Linda Criss (organ, keyboard and percussion) and Lorna Adams (keyboard, congas and percussion), is one of several groups Thirsk has been a member of.

He is also a founder of The Royal Heirs, a gospel group established in 1962.

Now, music lovers in Langley have the opportunity to hear Class Brass and Company live at  the Gospel Music Festival in Cloverdale on June 11.

Also playing the festival are eight-time Grammy award winners The Blackwood Brothers Quartet from Memphis, Tenn., the Liberty Quartet from Boise Idaho, Vancouver Canucks national anthem singer Mark Donnelly, pianist Christine Schafrick and host Bill Ashbee.

The festival is being held at the Cloverdale Baptist Church, 18685 64 Ave. in Surrey. Doors open at 6 p.m., show beings at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and are available online at http://bit.do/Gospel, in person at Christian Life Assembly Church, 21277 56 Ave. and Tom Lee Music, 19638 Fraser Highway, or at the door, if any tickets remain.

Just Posted

Where to find community holiday feasts in Langley

A variety of groups are hosting free meals for the Langley community to fill up on.

Looking for the buzz on Langley tree chipping events

Send us details on tree chipping events so we can help spread the word.

Surrey boy’s birthday wish raises $13,500 for rescued farm animals in Aldergrove

Matthew Farden received a large donation from the mister Blake Foundation towards a sanctuary farm.

Langley Mounties get new tool to find drunk drivers

New legislation take effect this week that will allow broader breathalyzer testing.

BCIHL Young Stars lose hard-fought hockey game to Kazakhstan at Langley Events Centre

Coach calls it ‘a great opportunity for those guys to have an international experience’

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Coquihalla closed between Hope and Merritt

The highway is closed in the northbound lane

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Lower Mainland man receives apology after getting kicked out of library

Mike Wilson fears the same treatment he received Nov. 2 by security guards will happen to others

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Most Read