Acappella Classic’s Last Concert… of 2014

George and gangMarch 7, 2014 was a fun night. I had the wonderful opportunity to take the stage once again with many of my old friends. Acappella Classic was in concert in Longview, TX and the joint was definitely jumping.

I was joined by founder Keith Lancaster, bass Rodney Britt, lead vocalists George Pendergrass and Steve Maxwell, baritone Robert Guy and tenor Kevin Schaffer. As far as I can tell, this was the only scheduled appearance of “Classic” in the 2014 calendar year.

The event took place on Friday evening, but most of us arrived around lunch on Wednesday. The next couple of days were packed with rehearsal, laughter and food. It’s really hard to get anything done when all these guys get together. We spend way too much time laughing and telling old stories.

The event was a full house. We sang at Pine View Church of Christ, which officially seats 750 or so. We had 850 or so in attendance. It was one of those nights that you just hope the Fire Marshall doesn’t show up. It probably would have blessed him if he had, but only for as long as it took him to shut us down.

As usual, satan always throws a hitch in the plans. We conducted a quick sound check on Thursday evening… without lights. Friday afternoon, we cranked up the system (with lights) and promptly started blowing fuses. After 3 different attempts with 3 miniature explosions and a couple of busted speakers, the system was finally working. We didn’t get a chance to sing on the system until 5:30, with doors opening at 6:00. In other words, we didn’t really get a chance at all.

That proved rather interesting, as there were several songs that we never had a chance to completely rehearse. One, in fact, that I don’t think we ever sang until that night. Sure, we’ve sung them all many times before… but it’s a bit different with each configuration. Memories fade over time.

Consequently, we made some mistakes. I don’t think most of the crowd even knew it, though – unless someone realized that we completely skipped the bridge of Criminal on the Cross. Or sang the middle section of Holy City twice. Roll with the punches… that’s about all you can do.

For those interested here is the set list for the evening:

Longview setlist

That set list is pretty accurate with one exception. After Teaching the Truth in the first set, we immediately launched into For the Lost. It was basically one long song. They fit together very nicely.

Also, thanks to Randy Lamp for the concert shot. That’s me that you can’t see standing right behind George. Lord willing, this will not be the last time you see us together, but who knows?

The Acappella Show on Chap Radio

LCU-logo3I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on Lubbock Christian’s Chap Radio. Shawn Hughes brought me on for his program, The Acappella Show. We had a great time talking about the group Acappella, their history, how I became involved, my influences, the state of a capella music in general and many other passing thoughts. He sent me a copy of the show and I present it here for your listening pleasure. At least I hope it’s a pleasure. Save 30 minutes and give it a listen. Let me know what you think.

Kickstarter Success

follow us on kickstarterIf you have followed me on Facebook or any other social media outlets, you’ve probably seen that the Kickstarter campaign I mentioned a few posts ago has finished. And finished very well. We set our goal at $26,500 and we received $31,660… 120% of our goal. To say we are excited about it is somewhat of an understatement. I’ll have a lot more to say about Chasing David and where we go from here in future posts. For now, I thought I’d address a question I’ve already been asked… “What did you guys do to make sure your Kickstarter campaign was a success?”

I’ve seen several books and e-books on this very subject. Here’s my take on it and I’m not charging a thing.

We relied heavily on the social aspect of Kickstarter. We did several big pushes on Facebook and used the promoted post feature 3 or 4 times. Also, every time we did an update on our campaign we would post a link to the update page on our facebook profile.

We were counseled early on to not be afraid to use the “a” word – Ask. Whenever we would post something on Facebook, we would always ask everyone to please share it on their own personal profile along with a message for support. That got a lot of traction.

Also , the use of videos helped tremendously. We took our time and did a humorous, upbeat and yet serious video for our campaign. You need to make sure that it is embedded into your Kickstarter page. They walk you through that and they make it part of the box at the top of the page. That’s important. You don’t want people to have to leave your Kickstarter page to go watch your video because most of them won’t come back. That’s not a statement on quality, that’s just the way the Internet is.

Also, about halfway through our campaign, my daughter suggested that we do some kind of music video. Up to that point we did not have anything showing our musical style. We got together and shot a video with just a few simple cameras and did a quick mix on it. We posted this on Facebook, YouTube, the Kickstarter page, and just about everywhere we could post it. We noticed a considerable up-tick in pledges after the video went live.

And last but not least, since there are 3 of us, we were able to tell people about it at church and get support there. Thats 3 different churches.

Other than that and copious amounts of prayer, that was pretty much the formula. Kickstarter allows you to tap into social media pretty easily. You have to take advantage of that and get people to share your Kickstarter page. It’s the same concept as the “street team” in concert publicity… just all online.

If you have a Kickstarter campaign coming up or are considering it, let me know. Sound off! For now, I leave you with the music video we recorded with cheap cameras and iPhones. Enjoy…

Kickstarter: Day One for Chasing David

Support us on KickstarterFor those of you who have not seen it, we launched our Kickstarter campaign this morning around 8:00 AM. By “we,” I mean Duane Adams, Kevin Schaffer and me. Maybe I should back up and explain.

About a year ago, the three of us started talking about a strong feeling we’ve all had to return to music ministry. Granted, we are all music ministers at our respective churches and thoroughly enjoy serving in that role. At the same time, we felt like God might not be finished with us quite yet regarding professional Christian music. I almost hate using that term, because that’s not what we want to be known for.

Like it or not, God placed us in a position with Acappella that allowed us to have a pretty strong impact on the church and people as individuals. It was all out of our hands and God did the work. We were just young guys who loved the Lord and enjoyed singing about him to anyone who would listen. Through that fun and singing (along with a lot of hard work), God did some amazing stuff.

It left a legacy that we are still trying to understand. It’s been 13 years since the last of us left Acappella, and we still get emails and comments on an almost daily basis. This is what has led us to consider trying it again. Apparently, the opportunity for God to work through us in that same manner is still open. Consequently, we’ve been writing songs for the past year in anticipation of starting a group. Chasing David was born out of this year of consideration, praying and song writing.

And so,  our fund raising campaign was launched today at It’s been a flurry of activity all day long with Facebook feeding most of the frenzy. In the first 12 hours, we’ve had 26 people back us with a total commitment of just over $2,000. Our Facebook Page has skyrocketed in attention. We’ve even had inquiries about doing concerts in Houston, Japan and Korea.

Indeed, it seems that God might not be done yet. We shall see. 27 more days to go.

If you’d like to know more, you can read about it at these links:

Chasing David Kickstarter page

Chasing David website

Chasing David Facebook Page

Chasing David Twitter

Acappella Memories: He Leadeth Me

He Leadeth MeEven to this day, I still get comments about the song He Leadeth Me. This song was the title track to an early hymns album by Acappella and friends. The album was out of print for quite a while, although I think it has been reprinted and is available once again. What strikes most people when they hear the album is the diversity of styles present and the joy that permeates throughout. What very few know is that this album grew from a funeral.

The year was 1989 and I had been in Acappella almost a year. We were on tour through Oklahoma, on the way to another extended run through Texas. That particular night we had stopped for an event in a town somewhere in southwest Oklahoma, I can’t remember the name now. Late in the afternoon at our host home, I received a phone call from my dear friend Craig Martin. Craig and I had grown up together in Lubbock and he was the CFO for Acappella Ministries at the time. I was surprised to hear his voice, but it changed quickly when his first words were, “Gary, are you sitting down? You need to sit down.” Those are never good words to begin a phone conversation.

Orlando Moyers

Orlando Moyers

He went on to tell me that my father, Orlando Moyers, had suffered a massive stroke and was in the hospital in Lubbock. I was still single at the time, although my reconnection with my future wife grew out of this event (another blog post coming up). Before I really knew what was happening, the youth minister at the church (I can’t remember his name, bless his heart) had given me the keys to his car and Keith had told me to get to Lubbock quickly. They would cover for me at the concert.

Six hours later I pulled into the hospital parking lot and walked into the ICU waiting room. It was filled with people from church and my mother was sitting in the middle of them. The next 24 hours were a blur of hospital, home and family. My father was in a coma, but I had time to speak to him and pray over him. He passed away the next night.

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An Inside Look at Vocal Arrangements


Today’s guest post is an article by Deke Sharon, who, as Wikipedia puts it, is an American singer, arranger, composer, director, producer and teacher of a cappella music, and is one of the leaders of the contemporary a cappella community and a pioneer of the contemporary a cappella style, referred to as “the father of contemporary a cappella” by many. That’s high praise and not completely unjustified. If you watched “The Sing-Off” on national television, you’ve heard many of his arrangements. He was the main force behind the sound of many of the groups who performed. He’s done MUCH more and you can find out more about him at

The following article was written in response to multiple requests for him to critique arrangements. I think his response is spot on and I would like to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m frequently asked to look over an arrangement and offer my thoughts. I find an alarming number of my responses contain the same comments, the same thoughts.

So I’ve decided to create a one-size-fits-all, universal arrangement critique. If you want to know what I probably would say about your arrangement, read below:

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Top 15 Posts for 2012

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. It’s a good time to look back and see what has worked and what hasn’t. I read a post from Michael Hyatt this morning that offered a good suggestion. Pull up the year’s stats and see what you top, most-viewed posts were. This kind of thing can be very helpful in determining the direction of posts for the next year.

He was right. It was rather intriguing. My stats are nowhere near as large as his (he ranges from 60,000 to 200,00 per post), but they still tell me something. Here are my top 15.

  1. Is Chinese a Language of the Tower of Babel? (306)
  2. Photoshop Tutorial: Adding Grass to an Image (192)
  3. Here’s a Good iGoogle Alternative (179)
  4. Acappella Memories: Kathisophobia or I’ll Stand, Thank You (173)
  5. Acappella Memories: The Seat of Questioning (170)
  6. Acappella Memories: Entertaining Angels Unaware (149)
  7. Acafest 2012 Review (143)
  8. Acappella Memories: Alvin! (142)
  9. Lose 10 Pounds Without Really Trying (142)
  10. Acappella Memories: Duane Adams at Acafest 2012 Pt. 2 (132)
  11. Acappella Memories: Grounded in Texas (130)
  12. Arranging (129) – this one is actually a page, not a post, for those of you who know the difference.
  13. The Power of Introverts (129)
  14. Acappella Memories: The Original Well on my Way (109)
  15. Acappella Memories: Duane Adams at Acafest 2012 Pt. 1 (107)

I removed the “About Gary” page, which actually fell at #2 on the list.

So what does this tell me? First, it seems there’s a great interest in the mysteries of history as they pertain to the Bible. Who would’ve thought that the Chinese/Babel connection would’ve come in first? I will need to explore more topics along this line.

Next, 2 of the top 3 posts were about productivity. Looking at the top 50, I could see that it placed very strongly as a topic. I should do more productivity.

But obviously, the thing that easily stands out the most is the number of top 15 posts that were Acappella-related. 9 of the top 15 were about my time with Acappella. I guess I need to brush off the cobwebs and revive more memories.

If you have a blog, have you checked your top posts for the year? It’s rather revealing.

Acappella Memories: George Pendergrass at Acafest 2012

George PendergrassGeorge Pendergrass was part of the roundtable discussion at Acafest 2012 this past summer in Nashville, TN. He shared the floor with me, Duane Adams and Robert Guy… Acappella from 1992 to 1995 (I think that’s correct… I lose track).

Anyway, we had been discussing life on the road from the single man’s point of view as Robert shared his memories. We were about to open it up for questions when George spoke up and added something to the discussion. Many people have asked us what life is like on the road with families. George shared the joys and the trials of such a life.

Acappella Memories: Robert Guy at Acafest 2012

Robert C. GuyRobert joined Acappella about 5 years after I jumped into the group. He replaced Wayburn Dean and sang as bass for the combination of himself, me, Duane and George for several years. He brought a new dimension to the group and it was wonderful to have him as part of the gang. You can hear Robert stand out in his first couple of albums with the group, Beyond a Doubt and Hymns for all the World. He went on to sing with various combinations of Acappella over the years and now sings often with ACAPPELLA CLASSIC, the collection of former Acappella members who sing here and there from time to time.

In the following audio clip from Acafest 2012, Robert shares his views of life on the road with families as a single guy. He handled it with style and grace, I can tell you that much. Thanks Robert…

Acappella Memories: The Original Well on my Way

Well on my WayAt this past Acafest in the summer of 2012, many of the members of Acappella gathered to share stories of the past with the attendees. George Pendergrass shared a great story of a particularly stressful time in the ministry – the departure of Rodney Britt. It’s a wonderful story that I will probably post in the future. As he finished telling the tale, I jumped in with another anecdote about how Keith writes.

Many people have heard Well on my Way in concert. If you’ve seen Acappella, you’ve heard it. It’s been a concert ender since I was a member and I think they still do it. Remember that song where everyone claps once on the 4th beat of each line of the chorus? That’s the one. Well, here’s what I shared about the birth of that song.