Jingle bell rock: Wheeler & Young offer special concert
Wheeler and Young decked the halls of The Friedhof Building two days before Christmas with quite the festive performance.
The duo, made of Columbus’ North Park Church pastors Jason Wheeler and Ryan Young, played to a crowd of about 100 people on Dec. 23 in the downtown venue, offering their unique blend of tunes that feature an uplifting message “in honor of our Savior and who He is.”
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” said Rob Gasper, co-owner of The Friedhof Oak Room, 1270 27th Ave. in Columbus, of the show that was open to people of all ages. “We want to be a cultural and entertainment venue for everyone. This was just really nice for people to come and enjoy the building who might have not otherwise come in.”
The night was also enjoyable for the performers. Wheeler said he loved playing in the town he calls home in what he called a special venue.
“I felt the show went very well. I loved the spot … the atmosphere was great, the crowd was really great,” Wheeler said on Dec. 24. “I really loved the opportunity to be part of the community in that way. I had a really good time playing - it was an easy place to play. I just thought it went great all around.”
There was a $5 door charge that included complimentary refreshments. But keeping in with the Christmas spirit, the majority of funds raised from the night (more than $150) was donated to the Columbus Rescue Mission, according to Gasper. The goal of the local nonprofit is to “equip the hurting and the homeless to become responsible, contributing members of the Church and society by providing food, shelter, and guidance to those in need,” according to its website.
“It’s one of the charities in town I’ve always admired,” Gasper said, who noted he was appreciative of Matt Casey, of Norfolk, for providing the great sound to showcase the talent and put together a great show.
Wheeler said he and Young were also familiar with the organization through their work with the church, adding he was happy the concert could help the community in different ways.
It won’t be the last time either, Gasper and Wheeler said. Gasper noted the plan is to have a holiday concert annually around the same time of year moving forward. He said he would like Wheeler and Young to continue to headline it, to which Wheeler said in a separate conversation was something the group is interested in doing.
“It was just a wonderful event,” Gasper said. “We hope to grow it every year … (Wheeler and Young) are definitely the best talent in Columbus that most people do not know about. Paul Ehernburger with Pfree Spirit Media was instrumental in setting up the connection between Wheeler and Young and The Friedhof Building. Without Paul, the concert likely would not have happened.”