Some good things have been happening recently to several musicians who were featured in past issues of The Interim.
Whitby, Ont. singer George Olliver, who was profiled in the May 2005 issue, was named male vocalist of the year at the Durham Music Awards this fall. He was also nominated, along with his Christian band Caught Away, in the category of best gospel group. Olliver had earlier been involved in lobbying to have that category added to the awards showcase, in order to give a greater spotlight to the gospel music scene.
The awards event, organized by representatives of the Durham Music Society, was held at the Centennial Building in Whitby. Olliver and Caught Away also became the first Christian band to appear at the Oshawa, Ont. Ribfest in September. With the group Mandala in the 1960s, Olliver enjoyed a big hit with that band’s single, Opportunity. His 1980s album Dream Girl was nominated for a Juno Award and he continues to be a regular on the southern Ontario club circuit.
Meanwhile, Kitchener, Ont. Catholic band Critical Mass won best rock album of the year honours at the 27th annual Canadian Gospel Music Association Covenant Awards in October in Toronto. The recognition was for their third album, Grasping for Hope in the Darkness. The band had captured the same award in 2000 for their second album, Completely. A single from Grasping for Hope in the Darkness, a remake of the Kansas hit Carry On Wayward Son, was nominated for best rock song.
Lead singer David Wang characterized the award as “an incredible honour” and noted the Canadian Christian music scene has been improving in leaps and bounds during the last five years. “The quality of the nominees this year (was) better than I have ever seen,” he said.
Grasping for Hope in the Darkness is a modern rock concept album tracing a man’s journey from darkness to redemption. More information on the album is available at the group’s website: www.catholicrock.com. Along with Wang, Critical Mass includes Luke Kupczyk, Lawrence Lam, Scott McKendrick, Tracey Doyle and Paul Kieffer.
Finally, Lynn Geyer, who was featured as part of the Concerts for Life ministry in the September 2005 issue of The Interim, has reported that inquiries have been received about bringing some of the ministry’s musicians to Canada to perform as part of pro-life fundraising events, including one in Ontario.
“So far, it looks like we can come up and do this,” she wrote in an e-mail. “It’ll be (fellow musicians) Donna Lee, myself and a gal named Michelle LaMassa, who was date raped, got pregnant, had the baby and gave him up for adoption. It’s a powerful testimony.”
Persons interested in having musicians from Concerts for Life perform at their pro-life event can get in touch with Geyer through the ministry’s website at http://www.colorblindmusic.com/Rachel/rachel.html or call (914) 699-1953.