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The Church Ladies

THE CHURCH LADIES, a harmony-based, vocal trio, will delight you with polished performances of folk, country, gospel, and old-time pop/rock.

City:Manhattan, KS
Email:[email protected]


THE CHURCH LADIES, a harmony-based vocal trio, will delight you with polished performances of folk, country, gospel, and old-time rock. Playing acoustic instruments – Joan Nelson, guitar; Mary Louise Stahl, upright bass, mandolin, banjo; Cindy Carlyon, upright bass, melodica – THE CHURCH LADIES are an energetic and humorous ensemble.

CHURCH LADIES shows are tailored to individual communities and a promotional tag is often added to their name to indicate unique event qualities. They have been billed as THE CHURCH LADIES: UNSUPERVISED! and THE CHURCH LADIES: OUT AND ABOUT! Performance selections included songs by many different artists, and you will enjoy audience participation and friendly banter during their vocal-instrumental concerts. Hailing from 3 rural Kansas communities, their hearts are steeped in the prairie as they travel their home state.

Public Performance/Exhibition Information

“The Church Ladies” can provide a 60 – 90 minute vocal/instrumental acoustic concert, streamlined for your unique setting/event. This would feature selections from different musical genres, based on the needs and requests of the client. A Question and Answer time may be included during a performance to concentrate on topics that the audience may wish to understand more fully.

Program Fee

“The Church Ladies” fee is $600.00 plus mileage for a 60 – 90 minute concert. Overnight accommodations may be extra. We provide our own sound system.

2023 Performance Schedule
  • 17 Feb. Manhattan, KS. Flight Crew Coffee
  • 26 Feb. Auburn, KS. Kansas Prairie Pickers stage
  • 05 Mar. Junction City, KS. Girl Jam
  • 15 April Manhattan, KS. Private event
  • 21 April Topeka, KS. Tulips at Twilight
  • 3 May Manhattan, KS. Private event
  • 25 May Manhattan, KS. Liquid Art Winery and Estate
  • 23 June Manhattan, KS. Meadowlark Hills
  • 30 June Manhattan, KS. The BASSment: One Love Pub
  • 1 July Goff, KS. Independence Day Celebration
  • 9 July Manhattan, KS. Prairiewood Retreat & Preserve house concert
  • 15 July Wakefield, KS. Private event
  • 28 July Topeka, KS. Classic Bean Espresso Coffee House
  • 27 Aug. Junction City, KS. First United Methodist Church
  • 07 Sept. Manhattan, KS. The Little Grill
  • 22 Sept. Topeka, KS. Garden Glow
  • 23 Sept. Junction City, KS. Private event
  • 07 Oct. Junction City, KS. Acoustic Junction
  • 02 Dec. Manhattan, KS. Flight Crew Coffee
  • 15 Dec. Manhattan, KS. Meadowlark Hills-Christmas Carousel
  • 21 Dec. Manhattan, KS. Private event
Educational Activity Information


Drawing on our years of combined community musicianship, THE CHURCH LADIES look forward to collaborating with you to create a jam session that will meet the needs of your community members. A jam session is very flexible and can happen with ease in a community building or even an outdoor setting. Jam sessions are a lifeline for beginners as well as professional musicians.

Goals and outcomes of a jam session:

1. Strengthen basic chord progressions and strumming
2. Learn new songs and chords
3. Share songs
4. Learn skills from other players
5. Ask questions in a supportive environment
6. Make new friends and build a network of musicians
7. Stress relief and fun

Necessary equipment:

1. People and instruments
2. Armless “picking chairs”
3. Optional printed song sheets

Sample 90-minute plan, to be adapted to your setting:

1. Tune-up and rules of the road
2. Warm-up in basic chord progression
3. Share 5-6 songs from printed song sheet
4. Group members share/lead songs of their choice
5. Question and answer time

Sample folk song suggestions:

1. Amazing Grace
2. I’ll Fly Away
3. Home On the Range
4. Will the Circle Be Unbroken
5. This Land Is Your Land

Rules of the road for a jam session:

1. Tune before you join the circle
2. Listen to what’s happening. Every jam is different
3. When it’s your turn, call out a song and the key or say “pass”
4. If you don’t want a lead (solo), say “pass”
5. Listen and blend with the group

Additional Activity Fee


Community Activity Information

We have performed at Senior Living communities in our region, fund raisers for various causes, including Farm to Heart -benefiting families with children hospitalized with congenital heart defects. We have played for a Kansas day Celebration. We enjoy celebrating at numerous Folk Festivals, including Celebration of the Flinthills – fund raiser for the Native Stone Scenic Byways in Eskridge, Kansas and the Tulip Festival in Wamego, Kansas.

Music Sample

Mary Louise Strome Stahl