Sunday, August 16, 2009


Ascension. The name popped up on the day of Ascension the day that Jesus left earth for heaven. Sounds like a good name for a band, right?!

Well a twisted version of Ascension performed at the Huntsville Fairgrounds on Saturday for Gospel Music Day and afternoon of mostly traditional gospel, country, bluegrass and a bit of contemporary worship.

Normally our band plays worship music with a very slight edge, with the background vocals of Nancy and Charles West. However, Saturday afternoon, our was comprised of singer Pauli Pine, Adam Cormier on guitar, Eric Helliwell on bass, who was on loan to us, and me on drums. We wondered can we pull it off? Will it be an embarrassing mess? Will this be the end of our music careers? Haha!

Fueled by a rockin' practice on Friday, we four were ready to take to the stage with this "new sound" of Ascension.

Upon arrival at the Fairgrounds, we found the agenda running behind, just like a typical festival. In fact, the early performers forced Ascension to hit the stage an hour late. But when we did, we played hard.
Our "bass player on loan", Eric, told us to just have fun. "Guys, don't worry about technique. Don't worry about wrong notes. The practice is over. Just have fun." He was a real encouragement and put my mind at ease.

The emcee introduced the sponsors, including LIFE 100.3, which he managed to botch up into a name something like FM 98 LIFE radio. Obviously he has not listened to the station. It always irks me when we take the time to sponsor an event by pouring thousands of air time into the promotion and, from the stage, they don't get our name right. Ah well.

Blam! Our first song kicked "Holy Is The Lord." We feared our opening song would "flip the house" and send the older country music fans back to the horseshoe pit because this version of Ascension was a four piece rock band, not the nice worship band as before. Remember, our lead was on vacation and haha so were we!

Fans stayed. They clapped along. Applauded! Sang!

In the middle of the set, Eric comes over to the kit and shouts at me "anytime you want to just get together and jam, let me know!" I said " like us don't you!" Quite a compliment from a guy on loan. Gosh, we had fun!

Our three original songs came off quite tasty, too. "Set Me Free" written by Charles West is a mostly softer song about asking God to help us through the regular trials of life". "Lord Let Us Love You" was written by our singer Pauli Pine a beautiful, melodic song with a fun rhythm, humbling asking God to use us as we are. And, "Victorious", written by Adam Cormier is a straight ahead rocker that simply "Praises the Lord".

The drum kit the promoter provided was an acoustic kit from Bethel Church. Our sound guy Dave spent an excessive amount of time on miking it and balancing each drum so we would have the punch to cut through the outdoor pavilion. Not using a digital kit, I switched from regular sticks to "hotrods" which are sticks make up of a dozen little wooden straws glued together into a half inch stick. I can put a little muscle into the rhythm without the regular noise level. The hotrods chipped and after the first three songs, splintered into the air with each beating, barely missing my eyes and by song four I was back to the regular Headhunters maple sticks.

I've played gigs with Ascension before. All church gigs. Church is nice. But this turned out to be the most fun show for me. It was "the 4 piece rock band version of Pauli Pine and Ascension. We didn't have our leader "the warden" checking every beat and note for perfection. We just played what was inside us we just had fun.

That's why I joined... for fun!

Another dream come true that I never thought would happen. I figured that being a drummer in a band had passed me by. Not so. Hmmm. I may never go on tour and I may never play with Switchfoot, but Ascension is just what I need at just the right time.

Hope Blake, Dottie and Doug bring us back next year!

Setlist - August 15, 2009

Holy Is the Lord
Sing To The King
Lord Let Us Love You (original)
Mighty To Save
Set Me Free (original)
Lord I Lift Your Name On High
Victorious (original)
Beautiful One


  1. I still don't know why I took off the hat when it was time to play keyboard! Keyboard is just more serious I guess!

    Anyways, a long time friend of Alex's was at the show and told her she had never heard Christian music like this before (the music that Ascension and Eric Halliwell's band played). She said it was exciting and upbeat and is very interested in coming to check out the Harvest Church after hearing the bands play! She has recently had some problems at her church and is looking for somewhere else to attend.

    Feedback from everyone I talked to was extremely positive!

    Thanks again to the organizers of the Huntville Gospel Music Festival.

    Next time let's not plan the event when the Olympic Torch is coming through town! I did have my Vancouver Olympic hat on, though.


    Adam Cormier

  2. that was sooooooooooooooo muuch fun guys!


  3. Shadowfeet is on my top 10 song list. Brooke Fraser can sing!

  4. "The Warden" says way to go guys and thanks to Eric for filling in sooooo well while Nancy and I were camping. Just remember you need us! we will not be replaced!!!! (nervous laughter) NO CAMPING NEXT YEAR!

  5. Ascension played very well doing their job of helping people feel the enjoyment and fun aspects to God's character.

    The "older" crowd didn't run, they just went to get their lawn chairs!

    Looking forward to hearing you again!


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