Gospel group invited to perform impromptu concert for the Bush family in Maine

CROSSVILLE, Ala. – An impromptu moment led to memories that will last one Crossville man a lifetime.

Dustin Hood is a baritone for the gospel group MARK209. A few weeks ago when the group was in Maine in the middle of a 23-day-tour through New England, on their only day off, opportunity knocked.

While sightseeing and touring the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, the quartet was invited to sing a song for Margaret Bush, an accomplished singer and actress, and the wife of President George H.W. Bush’s youngest son, Marvin Bush.

After they left the property, the group received a call back to perform for several members of the Bush family.

Nathaniel Justice, tenor singer for MARK209, said, “When we came to the door, we were greeted by President George W. Bush. I was humbled by their gratitude, generosity, and willingness to invite us, someone they did not know, into their home last-minute.”

The gospel group sang several songs including “Amazing Grace,” “Sweet, Sweet, Spirit,” “Crying In The Chapel,” and even “Elvira” by special request. Among those attending the impromptu concert were President George H.W. and First Lady Barbara Bush, President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush, Marvin and Margaret Bush, Doro Bush Koch and granddaughter Georgia (Jeb Bush’s daughter.)

The group performed a medley of gospel favorites, but for the first song they sang "Itsy, Bitsy, Spider," complete with hand motions for little Georgia.

Dustin Hood described the experience as surreal.  He said, "Barbara was a fireball and she spent a lot of time busting George W.'s chops during the conversation. They are American royalty, but at the same time they are everyday people who put on their pants the same as we do and have a family life just like we do."

“Only a handful of people get the opportunity to sing for distinguished people, let alone presidents, and today we were humbled by the opportunity to sing for not only one, but two presidents at their private residence,” shares Jym Howe, lead singer for MARK209.

Before the group left, they were invited by President George H. W. Bush to return to perform a full concert some time in the future.

MARK209 will be giving a free performance on September 15t at 6 p.m., during the Concerts in the Park Series at Heritage Park in Cullman, Ala.