Tenore, the three-time Gospel Music Association award-winning group that exploded onto the scene in 2011 and have soared to acclaim are hitting the road in support of their newly-released Christmas disc.
They perform at CrossRoads Church in Red Deer on Dec. 6, starting at 7 p.m.
The story behind lead single and title track Christmas With You indeed melds magic and providence.
Tenore (Mark Williams, Jason Catron, David Wise and swing tenor Kevin Pauls) met Heather Headley, one of Andrea Bocelli’s favourite singing partners during a spontaneous meeting in London where they had stopped on route to Uganda. The encounter resulted in a recording session between the group and Headley, who is both a Grammy and Tony Award winner.
Combining the power vocals of Tenore with Headley’s voice – Christmas With You is breathtaking and delightful. But ultimately, the entire disc captures the charming nature of the season.
“It’s always a labour of love, especially when there are multiple minds involved,” says Catron of selecting songs for the CD.
“We came up with our own individual lists of 10 that we each loved. Then we had a side list of those songs that we really felt strongly about. So we came up with about 20 or so, and just whittled it down from there.
“We wanted to make sure this record was timeless so we wanted the majority of it to be classics. We have a new one on there and a couple that aren’t as familiar, but for the most part you want to conjure up that nostalgia and those memories and moments that have happened in people’s lives in years past.
“We tried to give a cross-section, but we wanted to really hold true to the traditions of Christmas.”
The CD includes such classics as It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, O Holy Night and O Come all ye Faithful. And in addition to Headley the project also features the Watoto Children’s Choir who join Tenore on Where Are You Christmas?
As to the members, they each have fascinating backgrounds in their own right.
Catron travels frequently singing at Ruth Graham (daughter of Billy Graham) conferences. While often compared to Josh Groban, his influences range from classical artists Andrea Bocelli, Michael Crawford and Tony Bennett to recording artists Steve Green and Sandy Patty.
“I sang my first song when I was two years old at church. A lady came up after the service and gave me a dollar,” he recalls with a laugh. “So I learned pretty early that I could probably pay for college doing this.
“It was very natural – I started voice lessons at age seven, and always had a pretty mature voice for a kid. Over the years, I just cultivated it and trained with all kinds of people.”
After working as a soloist for years, he got a call about the formation of a new group of tenors. “We all decided to meet up, talk and sing together.
“It was obvious (it would work) because of the personalities and having the same vision to keep a lot of these songs alive, and to encourage people.”
Mark David Williams is a gifted singer and songwriter with a powerful story, after surviving multiple fractures from a head-on collision with a drunk driver in 2001 when he was told by doctors he would never sing again.
He studied music and theater and graduated with a degree in Commercial Music Performance from Belmont University in Nashville.
In 2004 he won the Minnesota Idol contest and in 2005 was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans.
Wise is one of Nashville’s most recognized session singer/arrangers.
Some of his clients include Word Music, Warner Brothers Music, Lillenas, Disney, Brentwood Benson, Daywind and Celebrity Cruise Lines. He has recorded background vocals for Lady Antebellum, Dolly Parton, Sandy Patty, Steve Green and many more.
Kevin Pauls is an industry veteran with more than two decades in the business. This longtime gospel artist has toured with The Gaithers, released seven indie albums and won the Hamilton Music Scene Award for Canadian Recording of the Year (2005).
Meanwhile, since their inception in 2010, Tenore has received much critical acclaim, having been nominated for awards in seven categories at the GMA Covenant Awards.
“To be able to do this with people I consider family and friends, and build a team together with the same cause and vision – there are many days I step back and think wow, how did we get here? We realize that aside from all the work we have done, that mission and purpose of this music is bigger than any of us individually,” says Catron.
“I think that’s what we all want out of life – to be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves – to help humanity, our friends and neighbours – to be part of lifting the human spirit. That means everything to me.”
Tickets are available at Scott’s Parable and online at www.singtenore.com.