Kemah, TX, February 25, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- If you are old enough to have grown up in the sixties, you may remember how bleak the contemporary musical landscape was for the youth-based Christian culture. While the mainstream rock/pop explosion had literally turned the world upside down, the ‘church’ seemed to be at least a decade or more behind the curve. But in 1968, a southern California production company inspired by the ‘Jesus Movement’ recruited the finest talent available and produced the first of five annual tours of cutting edge contemporary music by two Christian bands who shattered the barriers of cultural non-relevance. They offered an answer to life's futility in a language young people understood, combating the prevailing message of their generation who claimed that God was no longer relevant if he existed at all.
New Hope and Renaissance were more than pioneers of a musical genre, more than an underground phenomenon worshiped by a few rabid fans or promoted by record companies desperate to establish the newest musical idols -- these groups played in front of more than a half-million concert-goers annually. And in many ways, New Hope and Renaissance were some of the first cross-over Christian bands in history; Christian musicians playing in front of largely mainstream, un-churched audiences. Along the way, these smokin' troubadours of Truth inspired and gave hope to young, emerging Christian wannabe musicians who until then, felt alone and isolated because of the musical and cultural wasteland they lived in.
Many of today’s notable CCM writers, performers, producers, publishers, and industry leaders still remember a defining moment that changed their lives forever, the day they walked into an auditorium and heard an unknown rock band knock their socks off. It was a day they saw a group of musicians leave the stage with a thousand of their friends and classmates on their feet yelling for more -- a day a kickin' band of Christians had just told a secular audience about Jesus and they loved them.
So what has happened to these musical and cultural pioneers in the last 40 years? Some 75 musicians and support personnel toured between 1968 and 1972 while most in their late teens and early twenties. Do the math and it would appear that all are now old enough to be members of the AARP or in hiding from that organization. Like veteran pop artists Mick Jagger and Tina Turner, many still perform professionally in a variety of professional settings. Some have become producers, writers, publishers or captains of industry. Others have transitioned from playing music professionally to developing skill sets that have served them well in ministry, business, education, public service, and the arts. What's interesting however, is the common thread that seems to have impacted these very different people from diverse backgrounds through four decades of growing older: The experience of being 'on the road' at an early age forever shaped them and helped form their world-life view. The net result has been a group of remarkable people who set out to change the world when they were young and have been doing so ever since.
These 75 innovators and their families, along with writers, arrangers, record company personnel, booking agents, and 'friends of the band' will be reuniting for the very first time the summer of 2009. A four day reunion, Thursday, July 30 - Sunday, August 2 is being produced at the South Shore Harbour Resort near Galveston Bay in Kemah, Texas, 30 minutes south of greater Houston. Attendees will enjoy vacation amenities including boating, golf, tennis, and sightseeing. NASA and Galveston Island are within a few miles of the reunion venue.
A documentary will be shot on site during the reunion and all five tours will have the opportunity to play together again. Original musical scores have been located and are being restored. Other reunion activities include a final banquet on Sunday night where a house band has been retained to provide entertainment and New Hope and Renaissance band-mates will be encouraged to 'sit in'. Solo performances by selected alumni will also be featured.
Sponsor positions and advertising opportunities are available for the reunion by e-mailing the Steering Committee at info@NewHope-Renaissance.com
Updated information about the reunion, registration for the event, and a current list of all New Hope and Renaissance personnel is available online by visiting the:
Official Reunion Website | http://NewHope-Renaissance.com
Official Reunion Blog | http://NewHope-RenaissanceReunionBlog.blogspot.com/
Official Reunion Photo Archive | http://picasaweb.google.com/NewHope.Renaissance.Reunion
To register by phone, call 713-467-0020. To pay by check, make checks payable to "New Hope - Renaissance Reunion 2009" and mail to 4722 Dunleigh Ct., Sugar Land, TX 77479.