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Bagley to host Jason Gray concert

Jason Gray will be performing Saturday at the Bagley High School. Submitted Photo

BAGLEY -- This weekend may mark the first time the high school here hosts a concert featuring a national recording artist.

Jason Gray, a contemporary Christian recording artist whose song "Nothing Is Wasted," earned him his first No. 1 single in May, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Bagley High School.

"Jason's on fire right now," said Phil Ehlke, the general manager of YourQfm, the radio station that is bringing Gray to town as part of its Higher Height to Shine the Light event, which celebrates the station's plans to construct its own radio tower. "He's got some really great songs out there right now."

"Remind Me Who I Am" is one of them, which like "Nothing is Wasted" is included on his latest album, 2011's "A Way to See in the Dark."

Gray released four independent albums before his 2007 Centricity Music debut, "All the Lovely Losers." The Pioneer attempted to line up a phone interview with Gray but was unsuccessful.

Ben Stowe of Bemidji, owner of NLFX Professional, is responsible for setting up the sound and light systems for Gray's concert.

Ehlke said he believes the Gray concert would mark the first national act to perform in Bagley High School's auditorium. Stowe said he, too, does not know that for certain, but he suspects that to be true.

"I think it's kind of exciting to see the venue used in this way, in a way that it (perhaps) hasn't been used in before," he said.

Gray, in writing for The Rabbit Room, said he grew up in Lynd, Minn., a town of about 400 in southwest Minnesota.

Stowe said he has spoken with a couple of people within his industry in the last two weeks who are quite familiar with Gray, including a friend who used to sell him guitar picks.

"It's kind of neat, a homecoming of sorts," Stowe said of the upcoming concert. "He's gotten very big and he's doing very well in the international Christian music scene."

NLFX Professional has done work throughout the world, but Stowe said there is something special about doing work in his home region.

"I love working local," Stowe said, speaking on his cell phone while driving along Twin Cities roadways. "I've worked on four continents and that's kind of neat, but my favorite place to work is in town. I love doing things in my community. I love doing things that improve the quality of life here and I love enriching the life here.

"Bagley might as well be my next-door neighbor."

If you go

The Higher Height to Shine the Light is a fundraiser event for YourQfm, a Christian radio station that broadcasts at 107.1 in Bemidji.

The radio station is not specifically selling concert tickets for Jason Gray, but is seeking foundation partners willing to contribute toward the cost of the foundation needed to construct its radio tower.

Foundation partners, after making an initial $75 contribution, have the option of buying additional concert tickets at $10 each, as long as tickets remain.

For details, call (800) 435-1071