Over the summer I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jennifer Miller to talk about recording her first CD.
Jennifer was a student in my Youth Ministry and served with me for several years on the church Worship Team. She is a wonderful young lady with a bright future ahead of her. She has a heart for the LORD and is currently studying at Rosedale Bible College to build a solid, biblical foundation for the rest of her life.
She is also a gifted singer and songwriter. Several years ago Polen Band gave away a guitar at our “Seasons” CD release concert at New Grounds Café. Jennifer had her name in the drawing. At the time, she was asking Jesus about her future and what she should focus on. She made a sort of “deal” with the LORD (as so many of us have done from time to time) and said that if she won the guitar she would focus on making music for Him.
I’m not encouraging anyone to make any such “deal” with the LORD, but in this case it really worked out. She won the guitar and began to really focus on using her gifts and talents to make music that really honored and glorified the LORD.
As a student in the Youth Ministry and a member of the Worship Team that I Pastored, she heard me talking about the importance of using our gifts for the LORD and was challenged to write new songs of praise for Jesus.
She took me serious.
When she showed up at the studio and shared her songs with me, I got excited about helping her turn her dreams into a reality. I felt that her songs were strong, and I really believed I could help her take them to the next level.
I believe we did!
It was a hard summer for me and there were a lot of distractions and deviations from my original recording schedule and plan, but we made it! Jennifer did a great job with her part and she was a lot of fun to work with.
Nick Mast played drums for most of the songs. Nick is always fun to work with, and this particular project was even more fun because I had some pretty challenging beats for him to work through.
Nick’s brother, Austin, also played drums on the album. Nick and Austin were also members of my Youth Group and Worship Team, so it was fun to have them as a part of the project.
Heather Schlabach and Kayla Schlabach spent late nights in the studio again adding background vocals. This project was quite a challenge for them, but they rose to the challenge and nailed it!
Elijah Beachy helped with recording the electric guitar. I was glad for him to get a little more studio experience under his belt. I would expect to hear more from him in the years to come as we continue to produce projects in Taylor’s Playground.
Elijah, Nate Brown, and Mark Rowe assisted in the studio. Mark is always helpful. Nate is new to the studio, but he is catching on quickly and was a big help to this project.
Mark Rowe also played keyboard for one of the songs on the project. I was having issues with the MIDI control, so we had to do it old school… he used my Nord Electro 4D and nailed it.
I played the keyboard on the rest of the songs, as well as the acoustic guitars, bass guitar, and majority of the electric guitars. I also spent a bit of time programming some background tracks, which I feel really good about.
When we were finished recording I spent a week mixing the songs and sent it off to be duplicated.
The CD features four great songs written by Jennifer (“Your Love Is Shining”, “You Never Change”, “Surrender It All”, and “Lay It All At Your Feet”) and an acoustic recording of the hymn “It Is Well”.
Jennifer will be having her CD release party at New Grounds Café on Saturday, November 19 at 7pm.