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| Savannah Church
Savannah Church, the lead vocalist and fiddler of the group was born on December 11, 1995. With no formal vocal training, Savannah attributes her vocal ability to God. Born a twin in Norton Virginia, she later moved to the coal mining area of Dickenson County where she and her family lived in Haysi, McClure, and Clinchco VA. Savannah and her family are now calling Galax VA home. Savannah has worked very hard to use the abilities that God gave her in a way most admired by many.
Savannah tried to begin a solo career in early 2006 when she sent an audition tape to a local talent competition in Danville, Virginia. Her audition was not picked to be in the competition until a year later when her twin sister, Sarah, joined in harmony and they auditioned live together and were chosen to enter. It was most certainly like it was not meant for them to pursue separate careers but only sing together. After winning first place in their age group there, Savannah, with her twin sister Sarah by her side, has sung on stages all over the United States in churches, theaters and many different venues.
Their talent led to many opportunities and collaborations with other musicians. They joined forces with Georgia musician, Barry Waldrep on his latest recording project: "The Band of Brothers and Sisters", as well as the likes of Brad Paisley and Sheryl Crow on the project: "Mark Twain, Words and Music" Produced by non-other than Grammy award winning, singer, songwriter, and producer Carl Jackson. They are now appearing on numerous TV specials including "The Joey and Rory Show", "Larry's Country Diner" and "Country's Family Reunion". In late 2012, they were honored to join Christian superstar, Brandon Heath on his "Blue Mountain Tour".They traveled the entire East coast and as far mid west as Texas for a total of 14,000 miles. Savannah wishes to continue to pursue a music career and has recently begun writing her own material which she plans to release in late 2013 and early 2014.
| Sarah Church
Sarah Church, often mistaken for the "little" sister due to her stature, is in fact the twin sister of Savannah Church. For more than three years, she has sung alongside her sister and added the most beautiful angelic harmony often spoken of as “blood harmony”.
Sarah also plays mandolin for the group and offers a rhythmic “chop” in perfect time as well as lead breaks that are breathtaking and captivating to audiences everywhere. Sarah plays a Loar LM-600 mandolin endorsed by The Music Link Corporation in Hayward, California. Sarah recently began singing lead vocals on songs at the request of her audiences; and, the crowds love it. This proves that her harmonies are not just solid, but her lead vocals are equally stellar. Sarah also adds some hand-held percussion to the group.
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.
| Jay Duncan
Jay Duncan is stepfather of The Church Sisters, but they consider him “Dad”. Jay brings with him years of experience in music. Beginning his career in a different genre, rock and roll, he has since left that and began a new love of country, bluegrass and bluegrass gospel. His experience was mostly with electric guitar. He was pert of the highly popular Danville VA group known as first "Jagged Edge" and then later the band changed it's name to "Uncle Kiljoy". Having laid that down, he was faced with learning a completely new style. He now brings a smooth, Rhythmic bass line to the group.
Jay says: “After we discovered that my daughters could sing so well, I was listening to a Gaither video and felt much moved by the song Farther Along, as sung by the Peasall sisters. I went to the mall and purchased the video. The girls learned it and sang it very well. We entered the WAKG rising stars talent competition, they won first place and the rest is history.” Jay thanks God for saving his family the way He has. It is an indescribable blessing.
| Seth Church
Seth Church, brother of Sarah and Savannah, was born on October 25, 1993 and has only been playing guitar since 2008. He has quickly advanced from just a rhythm guitar player to the lead. His guitar breaks are solid and in perfect timing. Seth recently began adding a different element to the group with a percussion styling on an instrument known as a cajon. It's simply a box type drum played with the hands. Seth has a close relationship with his sister's and family. His hard work and dedication are what helps make the band so successful. Along with his fantastic guitar playing and rhythmic drumming goes his willingness to help set up all of the band's performances and even do some of the extensive van driving. Seth has recently placed high in guitar competition's including A win at Merle-Fest in 2012.Seth was featured on Cajon alongside Sarah and Savannah on the popular RFD show"Larry's Country Diner". The show also featured Producer Carl Jackson. Seth love's playing with his family band and also enjoy's all the new cities they visit together.
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". He is currently touring with The Church Sisters and Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time. In his spare time he enjoys Golfing, Teaching and anything 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 enjoys teaching students of all ages and musical abilities. Having nearly 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 www.acnsl.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.
| 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
WVMR-AM, WVMR-FM, WVLS-FM, WCHG-FM
Dunmore, WV; Hillsboro, WV; Monterey, Va; Hot Springs, VA
|The Church Sisters Featured In November, 2011 Issue of Showcase Magazine. |
|The Church Sisters Featured In Americana Rhythm Magazine.|
The Church Sisters featured in CD celebrating the legacy of Mark Twain.
Blue Chip Picks
The Loar Mandolins
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