MP3 One Hope - Real
From Amarillo, Texas, the young ladies of One Hope have teamed with producer Scott Houdashell to create a truly beautiful collection of faith inspired songs. "Hold On" will put you on your knees.
11 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, FOLK: Folk Pop
Close your eyes. Listen to them. Listen to the music. Listen carefully to the words. Forget they are eighteen years old and from a small West Texas town. Hearing them sing, or rather pray aloud musically, is a blessing that touches hearts, revives spirits. It is so personal and intimate an experience, it catches souls unaware, and breaks down facades. Seek out an opportunity to experience One Hope live as soon as possible. Don''t miss them. Though the girls modestly admit perfer not to speculate about where in the future their talent might take them, it is apparent to many that terrific opportunities and larger venues are ahead of them. Hear them now. Their powerful CD ("Real") is bold and masterfully produced. It will give you goosebumps. If you catch it playing you might think it was a nationally-established older group. But it seems Nashville doesn''t have the corner on Christian artists.
God has been powerfully working in the lives of One Hope, creating not only the women He wants them to be, but also the ministry He has intended for them. The possibilities of that purpose may be beyond our simple grasp but God has a plan and He will make perfect in His timing the chord of their friendship, talent and lives.
Mary Taylor Rogers, Alicia Brandon and Lana Terry, who make up One Hope, are closer than sisters: not only do they complete each other''s thoughts, they anticipate each other''s jokes and start to smile. The joy they share when they are united is real and it isn''t too long after they''re in each other''s company that they''re singing, once again completing each other, melding their voices together.
The trio grew up in Borger and they have been friends since childhood. Though they started singing together in the eighth grade, it was truly in the last year that they have grown into the splendid sound, which even they are hesitant to classify. They do have a contemporary Christian sound all their own and it is irresistible.
"Country, Gospel and Classical influences are all evident in our music," says Mary Taylor, "plus Blues, Jazz and Bluegrass have shaped our sound as well. Some of the artists that inspire us are Point of Grace, Zoe Girl, Nicole Nordeman and Bethany Dillon. We are drawn to their depth and quality of their songs, and their lyrics encourage us to go deeper spiritually in our own writing."
The girls'' musical talent was evident early in their lives, and was encouraged by having deep musical roots in each of their respective families. All studied piano growing up, plus all three had voice lessons with Rosemary Scott in Borger. "I grew up on Country Music," smiled Mary Taylor. "My dad loved it, and my mother has always loved music (she even toured with the USO). Then, too, my grandmother toured the country with a lady accompanist that later became our vocal coach. My grandmother was classically trained as a singer and she sang at little parties."
Alicia''s family also loved music. "I was singing harmony when I was four!"
And, for Lana, "Music was a part of our family, for instance my mother plays the piano and my uncle is the music minister at Second Baptist Church in Houston. But my dad and Alicia''s dad both can really run a sound board!"
"In 5th grade we were all in Sunrise Singers which was something our music teacher had developed since we really didn''t have choir. Then in 6th grade, Alicia and Lana took choir, but I was a band nerd," confessed Mary Taylor. "My mother insisted on my being in band because she had loved it. I played the clarinet and the bass clarinet and although at the time I really missed being in the choir, now I''m thankful because it helped me with reading music.
"However, by the 8th grade," continued Mary Taylor, "I was finally in choir and I loved it, especially performing. (Our high school choir director, Johnny Miller, remains a friend and mentor.) At some point, Lana and Alicia decided (after I made All-District!) that I could sing, and we sang together as ''Charmed'', which was somewhat on the order of Wilson Phillips. At the end of the 8th grade, we sang together in a school talent show.
"Actually, there were five of us then and we were billed as the ''Ditsy Chicks,'' because we did the Dixie Chicks'' song ''Cowboy Take Me Away.''"
"We were really something - we had ''moves'' - we danced," smiled Alicia. "Then, the fifth girl in our group moved away, so we were now four. At that time in Borger, there was another group of four girls, actually four years older than we were, and they sang songs from the ''50s and ''60s. They had quite a following and sang at banquets and parties, which we thought would be a lot of fun. However, Mary Taylor for one was really opposed to singing music from that era, and frankly, we did not want to be a copycat group. We were (and are!) pretty independent and wanted to be something new, something different."
"We struggled with our identity at that point - especially what we would call ourselves. Our music was all over the place," shared Lana. "We still did some Country music and we were still dancing. But we were also doing Christian music (and dancing too!). We became known for our original version of ''Amazing Grace'', which we always included in our performances. We finally decided to call ourselves ''4 for 1'' as truly our base was Christian music."
"We had been singing at churches, civic groups, youth rallies, various events. Then Rick Gage came to Borger for a Crusade," said Alicia. "We were going to sing at Keeler Baptist Church that Sunday morning, but also featured at the service, unknown to us, was the Crusade''s Youth Speaker. He told us afterwards that we must sing at the Crusade, and as a result we sang for Closing Night. Afterwards we met Rick Gage and talked with him for a while. Later we visited with Rodney Weatherly, who was the administrator of the Rick Gage Ministry locally. Both men encouraged us to be a part of the Rick Gage summer GO-TELL! youth camps in Georgia and Virginia. We had thought the camp would last only a portion of the summer, but soon realized we would be there the whole summer! We prayed about that experience and then accepted."
When the girls returned from their summer, they were seniors in high school, and were beginning to think about their choices for college.
Earlier, the girls had recorded a CD at Studio 66 in Amarillo which included their versions of well-known songs. When Mary Taylor returned to ask Scott Houdashell''s help in recording an audition tape as she prepared to apply for college, he asked her when the group was going to record another CD, this time with their original music.
"This was a big step for us," remembered Alicia. "Writing a song is very personal; sharing it is really stepping out there. We were not sure we were ready to do that. Then, Scott sat down and played his original songs for us. We were so struck by his honesty and talent - and what he had to say in his writing. He inspired us to go home and write!"
"I remember that for several nights, Alicia and I would literally put everything else aside and write songs," said Mary Taylor. "We had written together (and separately) before but this time it was in a completely different spirit. It was an exciting break-through for us. And it was fun! Ever since I can remember, tunes have come into my head constantly so coming up with a melody is not really the issue for me. But for those consecutive nights, it was an amazing experience composing. Actually, I remember we had a ball that we''d toss back and forth as we worked on melodies or lyrics (you got to keep the ball and play with it if you came up with the next line). Each time we had something we''d like, we''d run out of the room and share it with our parents. It was a true time of discovery."
"That was the beginning," Alicia added. "Lana would build on what we had written with her sweet harmonies.
"Then, we''d take all our ideas to Scott who invited some gifted musicians in to sit and jam with us. It was awesome - thrilling to see our music take shape out of each one. We''d sing, edit, rework lyrics, melodies, arrangements in a positive, creative environment, all orchestrated and encouraged by Scott. There were no ''wrong'' ideas. We''d share and build off each other''s input."
The girls were finishing their senior year of high school when they recorded the CD ("I wondered if we''d ever finish," laughed Scott, "they were all so involved in school - they''re good students and in lots of clubs.")
Completing the CD came at a meaningful time in the girls'' lives in another way as well. They were about to return for a second summer to the Rick Gage summer GO-TELL! youth camps in Georgia and Virginia. Though they had been there the summer before, this time it would be a completely different experience.
"To me this second summer was just new growth, an orchestration of God''s hand working in us," said Alicia. "The first summer, we grew more as Christians in our walk. Last summer we unloaded our souls. We were stretched, hurt and molded. We definitely grew as a group. But we were really insecure. We questioned were we good enough? We struggled with acceptance, communication, interaction. We were brought to our knees. As we did the previous summer, we would pray before we sang and empty ourselves and let God sing through us. Before the summer had been an awesome time, we were blessed in many ways. The second summer we were not happy with ourselves, our performances. We were definitely humbled. We actually reached a point where we were so down on ourselves that we were ready to not only go home, but give up singing together. We prayed a lot and realized we were looking for answers - a response from the audience rather than just listening to God.
"One night we were gathered around a table backstage, praying and at that point, weeping. The praise band began playing ''Blessed be the name of the Lord'' and that really opened our ears, opened our eyes. It became so clear to us that truly, whether we were walking through the shadow or walking along a blessed path....no matter what - God was with us, blessing us always. And suddenly for us everything changed completely. We - all three - knew that we were suppose to be together and that was our calling. We had experienced the peaks the summer before and this second summer, the valleys, and although the peaks are glorious, the valleys teach lessons that are enriching to the spiritual life" said Alicia.
"When we returned home," she continued, "we were solidified in our calling. We knew who we were to be as individuals and as a group. We may not know each bend of the road ahead, but we know we are to be together on that road and that''s enough for us to have a glimpse of now."
All three girls keep journals, writing every night. They journal to God of their prayers, hopes, fears. "When you look back at what you have written," shared Lana, "it is amazing to see how God has led us and shaped our lives. God is faithful He answers prayers - I have seen it clearly when I read over my prayer journals!"
"I believe we are living journals for each other," said Alicia. "The three of us know each other so completely. We are so honest with each other and can read each other so thoroughly! I think that openness is essential for what God has planned for us."
"We''re continually developing," added Alicia. "Mary Taylor is now pursuing opera studies at Tech, but may broaden that to include pre-med or nursing. Lana is studying to become an Elementary school teacher, and I am majoring in engineering. It is hard in many ways for Lana and me to be separated from Mary Taylor, but we are together occasionally on weekends when we sing at church services in the Panhandle. The thing is, this is another way God is growing us. And we still keep writing, working on songs, talking to each other!
"Our harmonics are classic but our writing is from the heart," she continued, "coming out of our own experiences, things we have observed, or things God has put on our hearts. Except for two of the songs, everything on our CD ("Real") is original. The concepts, themes and the person we''re writing about are all absolutely universal. Although we don''t have a specific group in mind when we write, our target audience is whoever Christ wants to touch at that moment with that song."
Those who have heard One Hope want to hold on to that memorable encounter, want to listen to the group''s wide mix of styles, emotions, and messages over and over. Their CD quickly sells out after the group sings at a church service. It is also available online through their website, https://www.tradebit.com, or through the studio in Amarillo that produced it, Studio 66. (The first-class CD was totally produced in Amarillo using all area talent.) This is dynamic music, with a wide mix of styles, emotions, and ranges, from the prayerful "Hold On," with its soul-rousing climax, and the incredibly affecting anthem of trust "Set Me Free," to the vibrant, positive and compelling song of praise, "I Believe."
"We don''t know what God has ahead for us," Mary Taylor said, "but we don''t have to know. We just have to be faithful. We would like to continue singing together if that is part of the plan. We would like to take part in the future shaping and growing of the Christian music industry, perhaps promoting other singers. But no matter which direction, we want God to be at the center, directing and inspiring our lives."
One Hope has already touched many lives, both in person at their local appearances and via their current CD, which has already received national airplay (New York and California). From their deep well of creativity their music calls one to listen to their honesty, listen to them praying, affirming their commitment to Christ their King. "We want to keep our vision on Him," said Alicia. "It is no mere coincidence that we were all born within five months of each other, in musical families in Borger, where we grew up knowing each other first as friends. Our talent has nothing to do with us. We fully believe the songs we sing were written at His throne and He has blessed us completely through them."