Friends team up to produce holiday CD
Christmas is a favourite time of year for Roxanne Ford and this year she is looking forward to it more than ever.
The reason? She is planning to put out her first CD, ‘I Got Joy', in mid-December.
It is a project she is working on with Bermudian Kamila Burgess and Americans Lafael Banks and Andrew Greek.
The CD includes a couple of original songs, as well as more traditional tunes “with a twist”.
“A lot of the desire came from us seeing an opportunity to bring newer music for people to gravitate towards over Christmas,” Ms Ford said. “I'm 20 years older than Kamila, so just bringing those generations together to do music and do it for such a stoic holiday will be unique.”
Miss Burgess, 25, said she hoped their music helped to transform lives.
“We want people to know that God is more than a history book,” she said. “He's real and just waiting for us to move and do the work on the Earth.
“People these days are looking for a lot of things, but they get confused because they're not exactly sure what.
“I believe that the strongest way to reach a young person, or people in general, is through music. It makes you dance whether you know the lyrics or not. Bermudians, in general, love music and the culture of going out to dance and have fun.
“This is a way for them to get that without feeling like ‘I'm holier than thou', or being in a religious setting.”
Ms Ford is dean of women at Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. She spent most of her summers as a child here, because her mother Albertha Furbert Ford is Bermudian.
Her plan was to do mission work until God intervened.
“I knew once I got into the ministry that God was asking me to do something in my culture,” she said.
“Over time, as I got to know more of my relatives and during my visits to different churches in Bermuda, I kind of felt that young people all over were needing some direction.
“I already knew that I was going to be part of ministry in some form, God just made it very clear for me where to begin. So we began preparing for trips that we would do through Bermuda.”
She started bringing young artists to the Island in 2009. That first group of 25 ranged in age from 18 to 25, and used music, art or dance to share the Gospel.
“On our first visit we went to local churches there, then in 2010 we were featured in the newspaper because we started having lot of success with young people in the schools,” Ms Ford said. “We performed at any school that would open its doors and put on events that we felt young people could relate to.
“Music is a really powerful tool and teaches them the things of God and how to live out their Christian walk. A lot of students were touched. We saw 680 salvations between 2009 and 2012. We saw young people in many schools just running up and saying ‘I need to change my life'.”
It was during one of those recent trips that she reconnected with Miss Burgess, the daughter of Rev Dr Milton Burgess at St Luke AME Church in St David's.
“Kamila was already in the US going to school when we connected,” Ms Ford said. “She heard about the Bible college where I worked and is now a student there. She shared with me about her passion for music; she's very gifted.
“She plays more than five instruments including the drums and piano — everything by ear. She has not been trained to do so, but plays almost classically in piano. We had that in common.
“I have also done music my whole life and have been singing and performing since I was young. Then once I got saved and became a Christian I made sure that I used all these giftings within that arena and well as whatever else people asked me to do.”
The group are hoping to raise $2,500 to finish their CD. If successful they will have an official launch here in December.
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