On Friday, December 2, Chase Oaks Church will release Let it Echo – our second worship album. Unlike our first album, Jesus Victorious, which was a collection of new and original songs, Let it Echo will be a collection of songs that we already know and love and sing on the weekends at Chase Oaks. To capture the fact that these are already our songs in this season as a church, our worship teams decided to record this project as a live, concert album. Many of you reading this were part of that memorable night just a couple of months ago. All of our worship leaders along with different worship team members from each campus contributed to an extraordinary evening of worship. The heart behind this project has always been to give each of us the ability to take our worship songs with us wherever we go. We are all eagerly anticipating getting our hands on this CD!
As you might imagine, creating a concert album requires a tremendous amount of work, preparation, and coordination leading up to a single concert (giving the worship leaders and bands only one shot to get it right). But, along with the stress and hard work came the opportunity for our musicians and worship leaders to bond and create something extraordinary together. To get a behind the scenes glimpse, check out these journal entries below written by Wendy Child (our Sloan Creek Worship Pastor) as she records her thoughts and emotions through that memorable weekend.
Thursday Night, 6:00pm: The band slowly arrives for rehearsal in the main auditorium at the Legacy campus. This is the final rehearsal before the big album recording, and everyone is feeling the weight of the whole thing. We start practicing each song, one after the other, then we do the whole set all over again. Our feet ache. Our voices scratch. We are the kind of tired that makes you suspect someone unleashed laughing gas into the auditorium. We practice transitions, we make Facebook videos, we run parts. We are ready.
Saturday Morning, 9:00am: I’m nervous because this is a HUGE weekend. Sloan Creek is starting the new Saturday night service, and hopes are high for what this new adventure will bring. I sit at home with my coffee and my puppy and practice all the songs for the worship set. I take a few deep breaths and try to prepare myself for what the next 36 hours will bring.
Sunday Morning, 9:25am: We are about to start services at Sloan Creek. Last night’s Saturday service was a success—that’s one big milestone down, one more to go. The Sloan Creek band leads our campus in worship, and I wonder about what is happening at all the other campuses. I know everyone is anxious for what is about to be an insanely long yet thrilling day.
Sunday Afternoon, 2:30pm: The band starts trickling into the Legacy campus auditorium for a final run-through. I arrive early to bring Michael, my husband who also serves as Chase Oaks Music Director, some lunch. He’s been feverishly checking, double checking and triple checking all the recording equipment. The thing about a live event is that you have one shot at it. If even one piece of gear goes out during the recording, that’s the game, folks. It’s a lot of pressure, but I’ve seen my husband under this type of stress before, and I know that’s when he’s at his best.
Sunday Afternoon, 3:00pm: The thing that hits hardest about this short time before the concert is the strange sense of joy I feel…that we all feel. To be honest, there has been a lot of life happening in the week leading up to this event. Heartbreak and pain has hit like a freight train in the lives of many members of the team. There is an unmistakable heaviness to our hearts. But even in the midst of it all when the music starts, like someone flipped a switch, everything somehow feels like it’s going to be all right. We’re together, the love between all the people on stage seems to radiate like a light bulb. We’re singing these songs about a God who is above it all, who is good to us, who knows us, who loves us. The lyrics to these songs speak life into our souls. The mood shifts—we get goofy, we get excited, we’re ready to go. Final sound checks are made, finishing touches are added, lights and video transitions are rehearsed. It’s go time!
Sunday Evening, 5:30pm: The band waits anxiously backstage. Tyrone, Krista and I get ready to walk out on stage and welcome the crowd. Nerves mingle with excitement for what God is about to do in our midst. We perform our little speech that we’ve prepared together, the stage goes black, the video starts, and then… well to be honest, the rest is a bit of a blur.
Sunday Evening, 7:45pm: Pictures have been taken, hugs and high fives have flowed freely. The crowd stays long after the event is over, and there is an energy in the room that makes everyone want to soak in it for a while. People eventually start to filter out and the band packs up their gear. Exhaustion and adrenaline create a strange pair as we all realize that this crazy weekend is over. We did it. I check in with Michael to see how he thinks the whole thing went. He is beaming.
Sunday Evening, 11:00pm: We’re finally home and all the recording gear is unpacked. I sit down to mentally survey the weekend. I’m beyond tired, but I’m also thankful. These people that I get to create with, that I get to sing with and make music with, are some of my best friends. I breathe a sigh of relief that the day is over and say a prayer of thanks for all of the unforgettable memories.