22 06 2009

The Doorpost Songs: Next Generation is finally here!  We had our release concert on Friday, June 12 at Tallowood with a full band backed by a choir of 100 kids.  The night was incredibly exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling for us.  It was wonderful to see the fruits of our labor over these last six months, and it was touching to see the kids sing these timeless truths with such enthusiasm!

The band was filled out by new and old friends.  Clint Milburn, the guitar player that I played with in Better Days Ahead, flew down from Nashville to be a part of the concert.  He was also heading out to Camp Tallowood the next day with us.  Seth Marcum, a new friend, also flew down to play bass.  He would be a part of the Camp band as well.  John Stanley, a new friend from Second Baptist who attended the band sessions in Nashville and actually played on one of the tracks, played drums, and Jeremy Good, a local musician, arranger, and producer played keys.  Finally, Lisa Pierre join us on background vocals.

We had a great rehearsal on Thursday with the band, which turned out to be an all-star cast.  They had all been listening to the music and had the songs down flat.  The only thing we had to do was put it together.  Having Lisa on BGVs was also a huge help, allowing us to pull off some of the more complex background vocal parts on the album.  The only question that remained was how the kids would sing on Friday night.

Just before 5:00 on Friday we finally gathered to soundcheck with the kids.  I was nervous about whether or not the kids would sing out and know the songs well, but those nerves were quickly put to rest.  They knew the songs cold, and sang their little hearts out.  There were multiple moments when I got choked up listening to them sing these words from Scripture.

Once we had soundchecked we dismissed the kids, put some finishing touches on our monitor mixes, and then grabbed a quick dinner.  (Regrettably I was only able to get a couple bites of my ice cream cookie sandwich!)  Before I knew it the clock struck 7:00 and we stepped on stage to begin the concert.  The lights dimmed and we played the opening video segment before launching into If God is For Us.  I tried to savor each moment, but they passed incredibly quickly.  Each song was met with enthusiastic response from the audience, for which the most credit must go to the kids.  Their energetic, enthusiastic singing carried the night.  In the blink of an eye we went from the first song all the way to Stand Firm, the final track.  The kids sang the final refrain, “Death is swallowed up in victory,” and after one last “trash can” ending, the night was completed.

It has been wonderful since then to receive feedback from kids and parents alike about how they are experiencing the new album.  I’ll try to share some of their stories in upcoming posts.  But for now it’s enough to say that I am both exhilarated and relieved to finally have the album out.  The CD release concert was a wonderful, memorable experience, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the media team (Gary Revis, Miguel Ortiz, Stefan Gerrard, Kyle Smith, Jonathan Lafferty); Alicia Music, the director of the kids choir; and, of course, the kids themselves.  We continue to pray that God would use this album to plant His truth in the lives of the next generation!