The following article was first published for Surrender magazine out of Seattle.
A couple of years ago, Tony (our lead guitarist), was asked to explain how our band came into existence. His reply was “The band came to exist as the result of poor communication, bad decisions, hurt feelings, rebellion, love, caring, support, and a passion for God. Started sometime back in 1999 with many ups and downs along the way.” I could never succinctly surmise the last dozen years any better if I tried. To fill you in on some of the details, I will give you a general timeline of major events:
- AwakenUs originated with praise and worship music for Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Overland Park, KS in the early 2000s.
- Moved performances to weekly Thursday night gatherings for Praxis services around 2005. These were loosely bound music and bible study gatherings targeted for teens to thirty-somethings.
- Then, in 2008, things got really exciting. Holly (our lead vocalist) had a vision for an original song given to her. “Mirror” took form within the group; quickly followed by “Awaken”, our first single.
- It was late 2008 when our group departed ways with the Praxis gatherings and focused on recording a full length, completely independent album of original material. The 11 tracks on the album “Reveal” came together under months of writing, rewriting, and recording in 2009 at Rundown Studios in Topeka, KS. In the past we have posted ““Reveal” shows the musical diversity of AwakenUs. These songs contain themes close to the band members that everyone can relate to in their own lives.” The brooding lament that is scattered throughout the album is always supported by the notion we are undeniably saved by grace from a God who loves us.
- During this time, we set up Reveal Ministries; a not-for-profit organization to promote God’s message of grace.
- To support our album release, we have performed various shows to get our music heard. In November 2009, we helped raise money for the Bethany House in Lawrence, KS for Lutheran Campus Ministries.
- In January 2010, we put on a show to help in aid of the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. The following year, April 2011, we held another show to benefit the Red Cross for Haiti.
- Over the last 3 years, we have performed annually at the Avila University new student gathering.
- Semi-annually AwakenUs has been asked to play for Grand Avenue Temple in Kansas City, MO for the Alpha program. This is targeted to help introduce the fundamentals of the Christian faith to those who are ‘unchurched’ in the inner Kansas City metro area.
- Recently, we have been given the opportunity to play for the nightly chapel service at the Kansas City Rescue Mission. This organization does a remarkable job of hosting and witnessing to a hundred clients in need of a hot meal and a bed every night.
- Finally, we are currently in the creative process again. With a more polished sound, our new EP, "the Forgotten", has a release date of 1/29/2013. Very exciting!