Mid Valley Quartet achieves regional fame for gospel music

Staff Report

Two decades of singing, five albums and a Web site loaded with audio have propelled the Mid Valley Quartet to regional fame in the gospel music world.

The Basalt quartet will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, at the Glenwood Springs Church of the Nazarene.

The quartet includes three brothers and a woman named Jacque (pronounced Jack).

Brothers Lyle, Kim, and Don Schoon make their living as drywallers, and Jacque Schoon, Lyle’s wife, is vice-president of operations at Wells Fargo Bank in Aspen.

Lyle and Jacque live outside of Basalt, Kim resides in New Castle, and Don lives in Silt, where he builds spec homes. All but Lyle are graduates of Basalt High School.

They turned toward this singing ministry in the 1970s, after accepting Jesus Christ.

First, the brothers sang special music at Mid Valley Baptist Church with their church song leader, John Jayne, and pianist, Beth Jayne, formerly of Carbondale.

Local congregations invited this nervous group of five singers to Sunday evening gospel sings. Couples invited them to sing at weddings, families asked them to sing at funerals.

They got the name Mid Valley Quartet at their first gospel sing in New Castle, and the name stuck.

For a long time, they turned down invitations to sing in other churches on Sunday mornings so that they could serve in their own church.

But popular acclaim pushed them beyond their home base. The Colorado Baptist General Convention invited the quartet to sing at the state pastors’ conference. Churches in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska invited the quartet to sing.

Because of so many requests for their songs, the quartet recorded their favorites on two albums, “Feelin’ Fine” and “He’s Still God.”

In the early ’80s, Don Schoon began writing a few songs, including “Somewhere.” It became their most requested song, so it was included on the “He’s Still God” and “I Will Serve Thee” recordings.

In 1995, John and Beth Jayne were called to full-time ministry and moved to Kansas. The Mid Valley Quartet lost its musical accompanist-arranger, tenor, alto, and group manager. Was God finished with the group?

Not yet.

After prayer and encouragement, Jacque Schoon auditioned for the alto part.

Mike Elliott, a world-class guitarist, music arranger and engineer, put the musical arrangements together, including several of Don’s songs. Elliott’s creativity helped the Mid Valley Quartet to establish its own distinct style.

Today, the quartet uses Southern gospel, jazz, bluegrass, folk, country and contemporary gospel to tell its message. The recordings “Love Has A Name” in 2000 and “I Can Live Forever” in 2002 reflect their commitment to sharing God’s redeeming grace.

The reborn Mid Valley Quartet has performed at the Pella (Iowa) Gospel Music Festival, the Henderson (Nebraska) Gospel Music Festival, the Paola (Kansas) Festival and the Rocky Mountain Quartet Convention in Denver.

They will be singing with the Allen Family on Saturday, May 31, at the Avalon Theater in Grand Junction.

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