Bios Page

        Dale and Susan Worthington are the proud parents of 10 children, six of whom still play music in the family ministry.

        Their oldest son, Christopher, lives in St. Louis, Missouri and has served in the United States Air Force, and another son is safe in the arms of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

        Their oldest daughter, Katarina, is married to Heston Mays from Belle Rive, Illinois. She teaches piano from their home and occasionally you may find them both singing and playing guitar with the family ministry. Heston is an American Family Insurance salesman in Benton, Illinois and also trains and shoes horses on the side. He is an excellent trainer!! In 2017, they gave the family their first Grandson!! 

        Dale is a wonderful father, husband and person. His unique personality makes him fun to be around! He plays the stand up bass in the band and leads his family daily under the instruction and Grace of the Lord. He enjoys serving the Lord through preaching God's Word wherever the Lord opens up the opportunity, as well as through the family's music ministry. He continues on serving God through this ministry despite the current health obstacles of the Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Myeloproliferative Disease called Myelofibrosis Neoplasm, which affects his red blood cells, casuing him to have repeated blood transfusions several times each month. Praise God for His Grace and Mercy which gets him through each day!

        Susan is wife, mother, home educator, band manager, house keeper, errand runner, and graphic artist for all of the family's CD covers, etc. She does her best to keep things organized daily with schedules running smoothly- all while fighting the wolves and pains of Fibromyalgia which plague her daily. She leans on the Lord for all her strength to get her through each moment of each day. She currently plays the "camera" at their events, is the one you call to book the music dates, and does her best to keep the family's website and Facebook pages up-to-date. She is an amazing woman!!

Emily

Emily is the family's wonderful 23 year old fiddle and mandolin player. She sings harmonies and adds a touch of grace to their performances. She and her brothers are wonderful MC's and have a great time ministering through our music by weaving a bit of comedy into their song sets. Chris Talley is her inspiration and Emily gives all credit to the Lord for giving her the ability to play and bringing Chris into her life. She pours her heart into everything she does and everyone who meets her leaves feeling peaceful and blessed! Emily is their level-headed child who helps keep things running smoothly with her natural ability for order and peace. She is truly a blessing to the family! Emily raises AKC Dachshunds. Please visit her website at www.dolliescountrydachshunds.com or click thelink at the top of this page to take you there. She pours her heart into everything she does!

In January 2019, Emily was married to a wonderful man named Josh Norris, who has been blessed with musical talent and a desire to play with our family band...we pray you will all get to hear him play with us as the months go by! 

*2018-Won 4th Place at the Illinois State Fair's Open Division Fiddle Contest

*2017-Won 3rd Place at the Perry Biggs Fiddle Contest

 

*2014-Won 3rd Place Mandolin in the Bluegrass Shack's 11th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Fiddle-18+

 

*2013-Won 4th Place Fiddle in the Bluegrass Shack's 10th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Fiddle-13-17

 

*2013-Won 3rd Place Fiddle at George Portz' Annual Perry Biggs Fiddle Contest in Patoka, Illinois

 

 

Lucas

Lucas is our 21 year old Navy Third Class Petty Officer who is also one amazing banjo player! It is awesome watching his fingers fly over the strings in a effortless blur! Earl Scruggs, Don Reno and Bill Keith are some of his inspirations and his parents are so blessed by Lucas' desire to continue his practice and learn all he can where the banjo is concerned, even while serving our country! Back in 2012, 2013 and 2014 he won the Illinois State Junior Banjo Contest making him the three-time Illinois State Junior Banjo Champion! He is also the 2012 Missouri State Banjo Champion! Before he joined the Navy, Lucas played with us regularly, he sang lead with JoyAnn, complimenting her voice beautifully and sang lead vocals in most of our songs. Lucas is also an accomplished piano player. He truly has a gift from God for music. Lucas has an incredible testimony of God's graciousness in his young life that he shares every chance he can get. Check out his "Ode to a Banjo" and read his amazing banjo testimony. In October of 2014, Lucas had the opportunity to meet and play on stage with Roni Stoneman! Such a wonderful treat he got at that young age! Lucas has such a heart for ministry, His testimony on how the Lord is working in his life is awesome to hear!

 

He joined the United States Navy in October 2016, became AROC in Basic, happily singing the cadences, and graduated Basic as an E3 in December 2016.

In August 2017, he left for his first deployment, finished all his Qualifications in less than 3 months and received his Dolphin pin in Norway. He returned from  deployment, received the Blue Jacket Award for the 2nd Quarter of 2018 for his "go-get-'em" work ethic and is currently stationed state-side, continuing his qualifications in everything he possible can. He had the opportunity to teach banjo and guitar while on board the submarine, as well as hold Bible studies on the submarine each week. In summer 2018, he was Meritoriously Advanced to E4 because of his "can-do-never-stop-determined-spirit." He passed his E5 test in the spring. In September 2019, he began the Navy Seal Diver Program. Please pray for him to continue to be used by God and bless others...in every area of his life!!

 

*2017-While home on Leave, Lucas won 2nd Place in the Chris Talley Open Banjo Competiton

*2016-Won 1st Place in the Open Banjo Competition at the Murphysboro, Illinois Apple Festival

 

*2015-Won Second Place in the Open Banjo Competition at the Illinois State Fair

*2014-Won First Place in the Junior Banjo Competiton at the Illinois State Fair

*2014-Won First Place in the Banjo Competition at the Murphysboro Illinois Apple Festival for the Open Division

*2013-Won First Place in the Junior Banjo Competiton at the Illinois State Fair

*2013-Won First Place Banjo at the MABC Bluegrass America's 13th Annual Gene Roberts Memorial Bluegrass Festival in St. Louis, Mo

*2013-Won First Place in the Talent Competition at the MABC Bluegrass America's 13th Annual Gene Roberts Memorial Bluegrass Festival in St. Louis, Mo

*2012-Won First Place in the Junior Banjo Competiton at the Illinois State Fair

*2012-Won First Place in the Open Banjo Competition at the Missouri State Fair

 

*In October 2016 Lucas left for Basic Training in the United States Navy. Please keep him in prayer as he serves our country.

 

Matthew

Matthew is 20 years old and the tallest male in the family-at 6' 4"  he plays the acoustic guitar. His witty personality and quirky facial expressions keep the family laughing even during stressful practice times. He is an excellent guitarist and seeing him hone his gift has been a blessing to watch. He plays the piano and does an incredible job. Matthew also sings lead vocals on many of our songs and MC's our events. He truly enjoys being used by God in the ministry. His deep barotone voice adds a wonderful touch to our songs. Matthew works at Regions Bank and is studying business finance/accounting at the local college until he leaves to serve our country in the United States Marine Corp. 

 

*2014-Won Second Place at the Bluegrass Shack's Annual Flat-pick Guitar Contest

 

 

Nathanael

Nathanael is 18 years old and plays the fiddle and mandolin and also sings lead and harmony in the band. He is quite talented at playing that mandolin, too!!! His mandolin breaks are awesome to hear! He is just over 6' tall and his sweet, quiet nature and musical ability makes playing together a lot of fun! He has a unique personality that makes watching him play very amusing! He enjoys playing in the family band, playing the piano and practices his music every chance he gets. Nathanael works at The Bluegrass Shack in New Athens, Illinois and has enlisted in the United States Marine Corp.

 

*2018-Won 3rd Place at the Illinois State Fair's Open Division Fiddle Contest

*2018- Won 3rd Place in the Junior Division in the George Portz Fiddle Contest O'Fallon, Illinois

*2017-Won 1st Place in the Open Division at the Perry Biggs Fiddle Contest and also won the Grand Champion Winner over all award

 

*2017-Won 4th Place in the Chris Talley Junior Banjo Competition

 

*2016-Won 3rd Place in the Open Fiddle at the Murphysboro, Illinois Apple Festival

 

*2015-Won Third Place in the Junior Fiddle Competition at the Illinois State Fair

*2014-Won First Place in the Fiddle Competition at the Murphysboro Illinois Apple Festival for the Junior Division

*2014-Won First Place in the Fiddle Competition at the Perry Biggs Memorial Fiddle Contest in Patoka, Illinois for the Junior Division

*2014-Won Fifth Place in the Junior Fiddle Competition at the Illinois State Fair

*2014-Won Second Place Mandolin in the Bluegrass Shack's 11th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Fiddle-13-17

*2014-Won Fourth Place Fiddle in the Bluegrass Shack's 11th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Fiddle-13-17

*2013-Won First Place Mandolin in the Bluegrass Shack's 10th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Mandolin-16 and under

*2013-Won Third Place Fiddle in the Bluegrass Shack's 10th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Fiddle-12 and under

*2013-Won Second Place Fiddle at George Portz' Annual Perry Biggs Fiddle Contest in Patoka, Illinois

*2013-Won Fourth Place Fiddle at the MABC Bluegrass America's 13th Annual Gene Roberts Memorial Bluegrass Festival in St. Louis, Mo

*2013-Won Third Place in the Talent Competition at the MABC Bluegrass America's 13th Annual Gene Roberts Memorial Bluegrass Festival in St. Louis, Mo

JoyAnn

JoyAnn is their effervescent 15 year old! She plays many bluegrass instruments including the guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo (her brother, Lucas, is her inspiration!) and many times, the bass. The Lord has blessed her with an amazing singing voice as well! Since she was very little the family knew God would use her voice for His Glory! She is a blessing to the family and always brings "joy" to those who meet her! Joy has become a great song writer, too, writing songs that the Lord gives her. She has a special gift and talent for this. She sings harmonies very well and it will be exciting to see where the Lord takes her with her music. She has begun to emcee many of the music events, as well!

*2018-Won 1st Place at the Illinois State Fair's Junior Division Banjo Competition

 

*2017-Won 2nd Place in the Chris Talley "Autumn" Junior Banjo Competiton

*2017-Won 2nd Place in the Chris Talley "Spring" Junior Banjo Competiton

*2014-Won Fourth Place Mandolin in the Bluegrass Shack's 11th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Fiddle-12 and under

*2013-Won Second Place at the Illinois State Fair's Fiddle and Banjo Competition in Springfield, IL-for Banjo-16 and under

*2013-Won Third Place in the Bluegrass Shack's 10th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Mandolin-16 and under

Isabella

Isabella is their sweet and level-headed fiddle player. At age 12, she plays a version of Swallow-tail Jig that delights all who hears it! She offers a genuine, loving stage presence that is very real and a part of her natural personality. She sings "Unclouded Day" in a snappy, "Gaither-style" which is her inspiration! We all are blessed to have her and her cute-"Bella ways!"

*2018-Won 2nd Place at the Illinois State Fair's Junior Division Fiddle Competition

 

*2017-Won 4th Place at the Perry Biggs Fiddle Contest

*2015-Won 4th Place in the Junior Fiddle Competition at the Illinois State Fair

*2014-Won 4th Place Fiddle in the Bluegrass Shack's 11th Annual Fiddle and Mandolin Contest-for Fiddle-12 and under

Judith

Judith Mercy is 10 and her personality brings smiles to those who watch her perform. She is learning the fiddle and banjo and has an amazing ability to sing on any key that is played. Probably because she has heard music played from the womb! She sings many songs including "Somebody Touched Me" and her version of "Cowboy Sweetheart" with that beautiful yodel is truly a treat to hear! We all look forward to seeing what God does with her in music as the years go by!!

*2018-Won 2nd Place at the Illinois State Fair's Junior Division Banjo Competition

 

*2017-Won 5th Place in the Chris Talley "Spring" Junior Banjo Competiton

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