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| Savannah Church
Savannah Church, the lead vocalist, fiddler and now newly named songwriter of the group holds true to what the word "Special" means. With no formal vocal training, Savannah attributes her vocal ability to GOD. She has worked very hard to use the abilities that GOD gave her in a way most admired by many.
Savannah's talent has certainly lead to many opportunities over the last several years as well as accomplishments that most people would only dream of after a lifetime of performing. Performing for The President of The United States, Veteran Medal of Honor Recipients as well as singing The Star Spangled Banner on national television are just a few of the accomplishments she is proud to have achieved.
She attended public school but left right before her junior year and began home schooling due to her busy road schedule. She spends her days practicing fiddle, writing songs, and keeping up with her fans on social media. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, river tubing, kayaking and reading. Most recently Savannah was honored to learn her name had made it to the second round ballot for IBMA's female vocalist of the year.
| Sarah Church
Sarah Church, the harmony singer, mandolin player and hand held percussionist of the group , is in fact the twin sister of Savannah Church. For several years now, she has sung alongside her sister and added the most beautiful angelic harmony often spoken of as “blood harmony”.
She is quiet and soft spoken in nature but her singing is strong willed and precisely in pitch perfect sync with sister Savannah. She also sings lead vocal on many of their stage show song selections. Her lead vocals are first showcased on the pairs second album "There's You" with a rendition of the popular Claire Lynch song "My name is Judas." She has a very tender and kind personality making it easy to fall in love with her. Her accomplishments also stretch across a lengthy distance as her sister Savannah's, for they have been experiencing everything together thus far.
Sarah is a very important part of this gift from GOD and wishes to continue on by her sister’s side as long as it’s in the Lord’s will. She enjoys making crafts of all types and has a very creative personality. Activities she enjoys include biking, walking, and anything involving water related activities on The New River in Galax Va.
To anyone following the music scene, Josh is certainly no stranger. His tasteful lead work and hard-driving rhythm playing, and tasteful session work make him one of the top guitarists in the industry. Josh started his musical career at age eleven. A cousin that played at family gatherings sparked his interest in music. His parents got him a guitar for Christmas, and from that point on it seemed that a guitar was always in his hands.
Josh started playing with local band Fast Forward. They played mostly on week-ends and at various festivals around the state. The band also released an album called "1420 Broken Heart Avenue." At the time high school graduation came, Josh had several major accomplishments under his musical belt. In 2001 Josh won the International Guitar Championship at Merle-Fest, being the youngest ever to hold this title at age 17. From there things only got better. Josh went on to play music full-time with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, They toured though out the US at major festivals and various venues. In 2005 he was a founding member of the band No Speed Limit. They were a favorite Bluegrass band of Virginia's governor, Tim Kaine, and they performed at his 2006 inaugural celebration along with the legendary Beach Boys. Then, had the privilege of playing American's Cup of Polo and sharing the stage with Journey. In 2007, they also had the honor of being chosen to play at the welcome ceremonies for Queen Elizabeth in Williamsburg, Virginia as part of America's 400th Anniversary celebration. Josh most recently was asked to perform for The President of The United States at a ceremony in Roanoke with his cousins "The Church Sisters".
In his spare time he enjoys Golfing, teaching and anything to do with the outdoors. Having taken his career to an all new level, Josh owns his own recording studio and does session work as well as studio rentals and producing. Josh teaches, guitar, mandolin and Bass in his studio and via Skype for students of all ages and musical abilities. Having over ten years teaching experience Josh says he enjoys passing the art of music on to others. Josh can be reached at: 276-733-7199 email@example.com
| Spencer Strickland
Spencer Strickland joined The Church Sisters in March of 2013, playing mandolin, rhythm guitar, fiddle, and harmony vocals for the sisters. He grew up in a family steeped in music from Lambsburg, VA. His mother sang, and father played guitar in a family gospel band that performed at churches and community events. At the age of ten, Spencer began mandolin lessons with local musician and sound engineer, Wesley Easter.
Since his first mandolin lesson, Strickland has gone on to win prestigious awards such as 1st place mandolin in 2004 and 2008 at the Old Fiddlers' Convention held in Galax, VA, 1st place in the 2005 Merle Watson Mandolin Championship held at MerleFest, as well as the "Best All Around Performer" award at the 2004 Galax Old Fiddlers' Convention. Strickland has also won numerous other blue ribbons from fiddler's conventions he has attended since childhood.
In the fall of 2004, Spencer began an apprenticeship through the Virginia Folklife Program with guitar and mandolin builder, Gerald Anderson. The apprenticeship, in turn, led to a partnership business known as Anderson & Strickland String Instruments. Together, Gerald Anderson and Spencer Strickland made up the performing act "Anderson-Strickland". The two friends still perform together occasionally to this day.
Currently, Spencer works for himself under the name of "Strickland String Instruments", and has built over 40 guitars, 10 mandolins, and assisted Gerald Anderson in the making of over 100 instruments.
In August of 2009, Spencer began playing professionally for the award winning Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, and toured the roads for over two years as the band’s mandolin player. To date, Strickland has opened his case to perform as far from his SW Virginia home as Scotland, Ireland, Canada, England, Wales, and many other venues across the United States.
When approached with the opportunity to play for the sisters, Strickland couldn’t turn it down.
| Jacob Eller
A native Virginian, Jacob was born in Marion, Virginia and grew up in the neighboring town of Chilhowie. He learned to play bass at age of 15 on an instrument given to him by his father. Jacob began playing professionally in 2003, when he relocated to Berea, KY to play with his good friend Ryan Blevins' band, Canebreak. That same year he started playing with the bluegrass band No Speed Limit before joining Sierra Hull in 2007, and then beginning to work with The Church Sisters towards the end of 2014.
Jacob has been an active participant in The Crooked Road Tours, which is part of Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, which promotes the musical heritage of southwest Virginia. Jacob participated in three of The Crooked Road Tours; one tour of Scotland in 2005, a second on the west coast in 2008, and a third on the east coast in 2010. He plays and endorses D'Addario Strings and Fishman Transducers.
| Ricky Grubbs
On percussion, The Church Sisters are pleased to welcome a longtime friend, Ricky Grubbs, into the fold. He has known the family for years, and is excited to become a member of the band. Ricky first sat in with the band at the 2013 IBMA convention in Raleigh , North Carolina, and has been with them ever since.
Born and raised in Danville, Virginia, Ricky began his musical journey at the age of thirteen. He had always had an infatuation with music, and got his first set of drums after his parents realized how serious he was about learning to play. Having a late start, Ricky proved his dedication by earning a spot in the George Washington High School band and orchestra programs at the age of fifteen. He proudly went on to earn letters for his efforts in those programs, and was first chair of the orchestra's percussion section his senior year.
Since then Ricky has forged a reputation as a diverse musician, by performing in a variety of groups, covering a wide range of genres. He has toured nationally, and has shared the stage with a lot of great artists including members of The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, and The Marshall Tucker Band, just to name a few.
Ricky has a great love for the music, and strives to consistently lay down a foundation for the other members to build on. He get's your hands clapping, and your toes tapping. He lives to be on the road performing, and works hard toward becoming the best musician possible. He is looking forward to being in a city near you very soon. If you see him out on the road, stop him and say hello. He'd like that.
| Eddie Day
Eddie Day is the sound engineer and general technology guru of the group. Eddie, also an accomplished musician and guitar teacher, runs sound using a musician's ear, knowing where each instrument fits in the overall sound behind the vocals. He started running sound at a small weekly bluegrass venue in King, NC and soon signed on as the sound engineer for the high energy bluegrass group "Amber Collins and No Speed Limit". This opened the door to many opportunities such as traveling to Scotland, engineering for Virginia's "Crooked Road", traveling all over the east coast engineering for countless music festivals as well as running sound during the celebration when Queen Elizabeth made her visit to Virginia. Eddie joined the Church Sisters in 2011 as their full-time sound engineer. He uses his wit and comical personality to dispel any anxiety before a high pressure show.
|What People Are Saying About The Church Sisters ||"I've had the pleasure of working with so many great singers in my career. I can honestly say Savannah & Sarah, The Church Sisters, are as good as it gets. I’m not talking about being “good for their age” either… (14 years old, by the way)… I’m talking about being GREAT singers for any age and compared to anyone. God has blessed these young ladies with so much talent, it’s almost unbelievable… and you will be just as blessed to hear them… trust me."
"With the passing of each day, the vocals of the Church Sisters become more mature and solid. Savannah Church's voice is surely a force to be recognized with. I consider her to be the #1 young female vocalist in 2011."
Allegheny Mountain Radio
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Dunmore, WV; Hillsboro, WV; Monterey, Va; Hot Springs, VA
|The Church Sisters Featured In the June, 2014 Issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. |
|The Church Sisters Featured In Americana Rhythm Magazine.|
|The Church Sisters Featured In Tricities.com.|
|The Church Sisters Featured In AlanCackett.com.|
|The Church Sisters Featured In Bluegrass Today.|
The Church Sisters featured in CD celebrating the legacy of Mark Twain.
Blue Chip Picks
The Loar Mandolins
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