Experimental Christian rock band To The Sky will embark on a tour that begins with a show in its hometown.
Entitled "A New Beginning Tour," the shows begin with a performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jamestown. In addition to a performance by To The Sky, the show will feature Christian speaker Jason DeZurik, CEO and founder of Worldview Warriors, a ministry that encourages 14- to 21-year-olds to live for Jesus Christ, and host of the radio show "Do Not Keep Silent."
According to Jeff Sanders, lead vocalist of To The Sky, the past year has been a struggle for the members of the band. So, the new tour is meant to signify a fresh start for a band that has several new members.
"There have been a lot of temptations and obstacles that have come our way," said Sanders. "But, we are finally able to go on a three-week tour with a national Christian speaker, and we're really excited about that. We wanted our first show of the tour to start in our hometown. It's going to have some high-energy worship with a great talk by Jason, and, it is totally free. This entire tour is actually totally free. We are not asking anybody to pay us anything, other than a free-will offering. Halfway through the concert we will pass a plate around so that those who want to us help us out can."
Being that To The Sky is a Christian band, Sanders says that the members are inspired to make music by the Heavenly Father.
"The Heavenly Father pursues us as we travel all over the country to lead worship at various churches," said Sanders. "What we do is high-energy worship with lots of instrumentals, harmonies and high vocals that really get you pumped up."
Sanders focuses on writing lyrics, while the other members of the band - drummer Cody Pacheco, guitarist Floyd Confere and bassist Brandon Sage - focus on writing the music. Sanders, Pacheco and Confere are from Jamestown, and Sage is from Franklinville.
"How we write a song is very simple; they write a riff and I think about it and the lyrics come up," said Sanders. "We also do lots of worship covers by artists such as David Crowder Band and Chris Tomlin that we kind of add our own twist to."
The band formed in 2011, and since then there have been several occasions that have moved the members to indicate that they are on the right path, said Sanders.
"The biggest thing for us was last year when we led worship for 600 college students in Syracuse at the Intervarsity Expedition Conference," said Sanders. "That opened our eyes, and it was a moment for us where we knew that this is what we are supposed to be doing with our lives."
To The Sky signed a one-album recording contract with Tate Music Group earlier this year, which helped the band release it first studio album entitled "Rise Up." The eight-track album can be previewed and purchased at www.riseupnow.bandcamp.com.
"I really like the intro song on the CD," said Sanders. "The lyrics come from Psalm 58. King David at the time was being attacked, and he was very angry so he cried out to God. We thought it would be a really cool song, so we wrote it. But, depending on what the audience member likes to hear, we also have an acoustic song called 'Falling.' If they like metal we've got a couple of those called 'Rise Up' and 'We Are The Losers.' Or if they just want some laid-back contemporary music we have 'He Is God' and 'Awake And Rise.' The album itself is experimental in that it has so many different genres, and so far people have really liked it."
To The Sky also independently released an album via Silent Home Records in 2011 entitled "Miraculous Escape." The album can be streamed in its entirety and purchased at www.miraculousescape.bandcamp.com.
To The Sky is also in the process of recording material locally for a new album, some of which will be presented during the upcoming tour.
"A lot of opportunities are starting to happen, and there is nothing holding us back," said Sanders.
Hillcrest Baptist Church is located at 40 Hallock St. in Jamestown. For more information visit totheskymusic.com.