Several months ago Mr. M.L., one of our church members at Rock Mills, introduced me to a new group called The Annie Moses Band. Believe me when I say that this group is an ensemble unlike any in America today. There is a clean sounding blend of fiddle, jazz, and classical influences that are fused with soaring, folk-inspired vocals and creates a sound that is both refreshing and familiar. The Annie Moses Band is a family bringing classicism to the common man. Well....you can imagine how excited I was when he told me they were going to be coming to Newnan in December....did I want to go.....Whooo hoooo.....you bet I said yes.....and so here it is the day of the concert and I am so excited I can hardly type straight. As soon as school is out I am jumping in my car and heading to Rock Mills to get Frank and then we are headed to Newnan. Never heard of The Annie Moses Band?....well let me tell you a little bit about them. "The band has 500+ hours of airings on PBS stations across the country (the highest debut for any artist on public television to date), a top-ten Classical Crossover album (Billboard Magazine), a bustling tour schedule of over 80 concerts a year before 100,000+ people, and a plethora of appearances in print and on television, this family is pulling new fans from across musical genres to their eclectic style of music making." "They are named in honor of the children’s great-grandmother, the group is poised to broaden its impact with their new project and public television special, Pilgrims & Prodigals. Scheduled for release in 2011, Pilgrims & Prodigals is a two-disc cd/dvd package giving audiences the visual thrill of the group’s live performance, as well as the accessibility of a studio album. Their music is a tapestry of Americana favorites and original tunes. Jazz re-imaginings (“Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim”), Copland-esque renditions of Celtic classics (“Blarney Pilgrim”), Appalachian echoes (“Girl of Constant Sorrow” and “Trail Mix”), and progressive strings and vocals (“The Road Well Traveled”) make Pilgrims & Prodigals the Band’s definitive project thus far. Beyond this success, the Annie Moses Band enjoys the fact that their music is an inspiration to a new generation of young artisans. “Everywhere we perform there are returning children, who say to us, “I started playing a couple of years ago after we saw your concert.’ This scenario is exactly what we hope will happen,” Annie explains. How cool is that! The band consists of: Bill Wolaver (composer/arranger/pianist) and his wife, Robin (vocalist/lyricist/composer/ speaker) along with their children: Annie (lead vocals, violin), Alex (lead vocals, viola), Benjamin (cello), Camille (harp, keyboard, vocals), Gretchen (violin, mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Jeremiah (guitar). The parents are award-winning songwriters. The children’s background is classical music — the older siblings trained at the Juilliard School, and the youngest are well on their way to similar distinction. All have studied with renowned instructors, earning awards and achievements that testify to the depth of their artistry. Talk about impressive....I am thoroughly impressed with this outstanding family of musicians. Mom and Dad, Bill and Robin, met as music students at Oklahoma City University. He was a classical pianist and jazz lover, while she was a vocal performance major raised on mountain music played back home in the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma. Their tastes merged in writing popular music, and after their marriage they began their journey in the music industry. On the heels of their first hit song, the Wolavers moved to Nashville where they began to raise their family. Robin, especially, was convinced that learning to play music was fundamental to the learning experience. “If I ruled the world,” she insists, “all children would start their education with music, because music enhances and prepares the brain for every other musical endeavor.” So when each child was three or four years old, the lessons began. “The goal is to span not only generations but also genres. If you love rock, that doesn’t mean you can’t love jazz or fiddle. The common denominator is, simply, good music well played.” The journey of the Annie Moses Band is, admittedly, a long one. From concert tours to a discography of more than 10 projects and educational endeavors like the Fine Arts Summer Academy, the Annie Moses Band is a group with a mission to help others capture the creative call God has placed on every person. They play to inspire all generations to join in the discipline, beauty, and excitement of highly-skilled musicianship. They are worth hearing. And once heard, they will not be forgotten." I know I will be in heaven for a brief period tonight....and I wanted to take you along with me....so I have put in a copy of one of my favorite Annie Moses songs. I hope you enjoy it. BTW I cannot wait to hear their Christmas music....I imagine it will be heavenly as well.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.