no greater sky
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no greater sky

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Dec
29
no greater sky @ SpringHill Camps-State Church of God Winter Retreat

Evart, Michigan, USA

Evart, Michigan, USA

Dec
28
no greater sky @ SpringHill Camps-State Church of God Winter Retreat

Evart, Michigan, USA

Evart, Michigan, USA

Dec
27
no greater sky @ SpringHill Camps-State Church of God Winter Retreat

Evart, Michigan, USA

Evart, Michigan, USA

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Music

Press


by Marla Miller

The winner of Unity Christian Music Festival's Artist Ovation contest didn't intend to win -- the group didn't even enter.
Now, the Anderson, Ind.-based band, No Greater Sky, has a chance to win a national recording contract with one of the biggest labels in the Christian music business.


This is the first year that Unity Christian Music Festival has participated in the nationwide, online talent search.

No Greater Sky had submitted its music to Unity in hopes of playing on one of the stages during this year's festival, only to learn festival organizers had forwarded the band's material to the Artist Ovation contest. Even better, Artist Ovation and Word Records sponsored No Greater Sky's contest entrance fee.

After several months of online voting, which band member Curt Anderson said was encouraged by their friends, who sent out mass e-mails, No Greater Sky was declared the winner.

The band will perform at 7 p.m. today on the Unity A-Stage and 1:45 p.m. Saturday on the Main Stage.

Members of the band feel blessed to be one of the few acts to play twice at the festival, said Anderson, lead vocalist and keyboardist.

"It's an honor, a really amazing feeling," he said. "They put their reputation on the line. It's an honor to have them put their trust in us."

Playing music full time is No Greater Sky's goal. The band performs for churches and youth groups throughout the Midwest, but it hasn't ruled out the club circuit, Anderson said. The group's goal is to reach as many people with as many beliefs as it can.

"With our music and our whole mission, we don't want to shove anything down people's throats," Anderson said. "They'll hear a message of the love we believe God has given us. We try to witness in a way that's not putting pressure on people."

No Greater Sky formed in 2001 and three of its members hail from central Michigan, including Anderson. When Anderson moved to Indiana to attend college, high school friends, drummer Clark Hubbard, 19, and bassist Nic Byron, 21, followed. Matt Lloyd, 24, completes the group on guitar and backup vocals.

The band has released a debut album, "Hearts & Stars."

Unity became involved in the Artist Ovation competition as a member of the Christian Festival Association. Rock the Coast, which was created by Unity and was held in May at Michgian's Adventure amusement park north of Muskegon, also showcased its own Artist Ovation finalists this year.

Unity officials receive so many inquiries from bands about performing at the festival, it seemed like a good idea to let fans help determine who should have the opportunity to play, said Kevin Newton, the festival's executive director and Muskegon Chronicle advertising director.

It also was a good way to weed out groups, since contestants must go through the online registration process and in most cases pay the $195 entry fee, Newton said. Contest officials waive the entrance fee for a certain number of groups at every festival, Newton said.

Angela Josephine, an acoustic singer/songwriter from Traverse City and runner-up in the Unity contest, said the fee was worth the chance to gain new fans.

"I normally shy away from contests, but I really love Unity and really wanted to play," she said. "It's good exposure. You get seen by a lot of people."

Josephine, 40, is working on making music a full-time career and has released two CDs. She describes her style as eclectic folk pop. She plays acoustic guitar, keyboard, hammered dulcimer and mountain dulcimer and sees each performance as an opportunity to have a unique encounter with her audience. She performed Thursday at Unity.

"I try to bring the message we're created to be exactly who we are and God has a purpose for that," she said. "A lot of people are empty and searching, a lot of people in that place gravitate toward my music."

Another Unity runner-up Michael McCord, 24, hails from Grand Rapids and will bring a full band for today's 6 p.m. set on the Lake Stage. Being able to play on a Unity stage is "just awesome," he said.

McCord said he noticed the Artist Ovation contest on the Unity Web site and decided to sign up. He picked the Unity contest because it was close to home, he said.

"I had a really good time with it," he said. "Overall, everything was done very fairly and done with a fairly good intention. It did seem like I was getting votes from other places."

McCord started playing drums as a teen, then moved onto singing, playing guitar and leading worship. He has since branched into song writing and is learning to play piano. After playing in other bands, he decided to go soloi three years ago. He released "Slightly Confusing to a Stranger" on the independent label Powerline Records in November 2006. His sound is a mix between folk rock and Christian worship music.

"I try to write about things I go through and everyone else can relate to," he said. "I love to write music that relates to people wher - Muskegon Chronicle


by Kayley Frank
Andersonian Staff

GRADE: A

I’ll admit it: I get into music ruts.

Though I try to be intentional in consistently finding new things to listen to, I sometimes find myself listening to the same handful of artists that are always in my top five. And though there’s something to be said for perennial favorites, I am one that takes pleasure in finding new, fresh sounds.

Since I’ve recently been in one of the biggest music ruts of my entire adult life, you can imagine my delight in discovering a band that I’ve heard about for a long time but never really listened to in depth before: No Greater Sky.

In their most recent release, Hearts and Stars, No Greater Sky delivers a potent sound that, combined with the band’s heartfelt lyrics, doesn’t cease to impress.

According to the band’s MySpace page--which states that their music is “great for singing in the shower”--No Greater Sky was formed when AU senior Curt Anderson (vocals, piano/keys, guitar) met drummer Clark Hubbard during a summer theater production.

A few years later, after combining their musical talents with those of lead guitarist Matt Lloyd and bassist Nic Byron, No Greater Sky, as we know it today, came to be.

Hearts and Stars, which was released in June 2006, is a much-anticipated follow-up to the band’s 2004 EP Of Sonnets and Snowflakes. And the album doesn’t fail to impress.
Citing the influences of artists like Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World, and Jamie Cullum (which, incidentally, can all be found in my musical top five), No Greater Sky combines [piano and] guitar-driven melodies with electric harmonies to deliver a truly eclectic sound.

In fact, the diversity of their sound is one of the most impressive things about the album. When listening to it, I never find myself feeling like I’m listening to the same thing over and over again.

And it’s easy to see why--their variety of song styles make for good listening. No Greater Sky moves from powerful melodies like “Awake, My Cherished”--which begs to be sun at the top of your lungs in the car with the windows rolled down--to a blend of hip-hop and rock reminiscent of Linkin Park in “Lift Your Gaze” with ease and fluidity.

Anderson said his intention in “Lift Your Gaze” was to effectively bring hip-hop to “piano-based rock--like a lazy hip-hop.” And the effect is no less than stellar.

Other standouts on the record include the soaring “Take Me Away (Of Sonnets and Snowflakes” and the heavier “Silhouettes.”
However, though the band demonstrates impressive musical multiplicity in the album, they still manage a solid cohesion throughout its entirety.

But for this listener, No Greater Sky’s greatest strength lies in their lyrics.
Though the lyrics are mostly penned by Anderson--with the help of producer Mark Pay and Lloyd on one cut--the words are representative of the band’s image as a whole: people with real, raw emotions and experiences that have been set beautifully to music.

And honestly, I found myself and my own experiences in much of the lyrics--and so would any other listener.
With words that expose both the beauty and tragedy of love and faith, a listener can find solidarity and truth in the band’s lyrics. “I am trying to be me amidst the cliche lines of the mass,” they say. “Here am I, can this silhouette breathe?”

Currently, Hearts and Stars is available in the AU bookstore--a great way to spend those extra end-of-the-year points--as well as on http://www.myspace.com/nogreatersky.
Still not convinced? No Greater Sky will be playing at the Senior Send-Off this Saturday, April 28 at 9 p.m. In the valley. Come check it out--you’ll find that there really is no greater sound around. - Andersonian (2007)


by Kayley Frank
Andersonian Staff

GRADE: A

I’ll admit it: I get into music ruts.

Though I try to be intentional in consistently finding new things to listen to, I sometimes find myself listening to the same handful of artists that are always in my top five. And though there’s something to be said for perennial favorites, I am one that takes pleasure in finding new, fresh sounds.

Since I’ve recently been in one of the biggest music ruts of my entire adult life, you can imagine my delight in discovering a band that I’ve heard about for a long time but never really listened to in depth before: No Greater Sky.

In their most recent release, Hearts and Stars, No Greater Sky delivers a potent sound that, combined with the band’s heartfelt lyrics, doesn’t cease to impress.

According to the band’s MySpace page--which states that their music is “great for singing in the shower”--No Greater Sky was formed when AU senior Curt Anderson (vocals, piano/keys, guitar) met drummer Clark Hubbard during a summer theater production.

A few years later, after combining their musical talents with those of lead guitarist Matt Lloyd and bassist Nic Byron, No Greater Sky, as we know it today, came to be.

Hearts and Stars, which was released in June 2006, is a much-anticipated follow-up to the band’s 2004 EP Of Sonnets and Snowflakes. And the album doesn’t fail to impress.
Citing the influences of artists like Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World, and Jamie Cullum (which, incidentally, can all be found in my musical top five), No Greater Sky combines [piano and] guitar-driven melodies with electric harmonies to deliver a truly eclectic sound.

In fact, the diversity of their sound is one of the most impressive things about the album. When listening to it, I never find myself feeling like I’m listening to the same thing over and over again.

And it’s easy to see why--their variety of song styles make for good listening. No Greater Sky moves from powerful melodies like “Awake, My Cherished”--which begs to be sun at the top of your lungs in the car with the windows rolled down--to a blend of hip-hop and rock reminiscent of Linkin Park in “Lift Your Gaze” with ease and fluidity.

Anderson said his intention in “Lift Your Gaze” was to effectively bring hip-hop to “piano-based rock--like a lazy hip-hop.” And the effect is no less than stellar.

Other standouts on the record include the soaring “Take Me Away (Of Sonnets and Snowflakes” and the heavier “Silhouettes.”
However, though the band demonstrates impressive musical multiplicity in the album, they still manage a solid cohesion throughout its entirety.

But for this listener, No Greater Sky’s greatest strength lies in their lyrics.
Though the lyrics are mostly penned by Anderson--with the help of producer Mark Pay and Lloyd on one cut--the words are representative of the band’s image as a whole: people with real, raw emotions and experiences that have been set beautifully to music.

And honestly, I found myself and my own experiences in much of the lyrics--and so would any other listener.
With words that expose both the beauty and tragedy of love and faith, a listener can find solidarity and truth in the band’s lyrics. “I am trying to be me amidst the cliche lines of the mass,” they say. “Here am I, can this silhouette breathe?”

Currently, Hearts and Stars is available in the AU bookstore--a great way to spend those extra end-of-the-year points--as well as on http://www.myspace.com/nogreatersky.
Still not convinced? No Greater Sky will be playing at the Senior Send-Off this Saturday, April 28 at 9 p.m. In the valley. Come check it out--you’ll find that there really is no greater sound around. - Andersonian (2007)


Local Christian rock band looking for big future (2006)

By Erica Goff
Herald Staff Writer

With two graduations, two big moves and the release of their first major album “Hearts and Stars,” local Christian rock band No Greater Sky is preparing for an exciting future.

The four band members describe their sound as “pop/rock with heightened substance” and are preparing for one of few local shows the group has been able to perform. The occasion--the official release of the album they’ve spent nearly a year working on--was good enough reason to celebrate and bring the members [back into town].
“We’re really excited. We’ll have the CD’s there for people to buy,” said Curt Anderson, 21, of Ithaca.

Anderson, who serves as vocalist, guitar and piano player as well as main songwriter, is one of three Gratiot County natives in the band.

Clark Hubbard, 17, the youngest member and percussionist from Ithaca, and Nic Byron, 20, bass player from Alma, are other local members. Guitarist Matt Lloyd of Indiana is the sole non-Gratiot member who will join the group at His Place on Superior Street in Alma on Friday June 9 for the big show.

The group has faced distance challenges for some time, however, because Anderson and Lloyd have both been in Indiana for the past few years attending Anderson University while Hubbard and Byron remained in Michigan.

“It was really hard to practice or schedule shows with us so far apart,” Anderson said.

All that will change in August, however, when Hubbard, who graduated from Ithaca High School last week, and Byron move south to join their fellow No Greater Sky members. The group is looking forward to working hard on their shared goal: to find success with their music…

The group received some positive feedback from record labels and radio stations that received the demo, which the group found to be promising.

The success expanded later in 2005 thanks to some prominent musical contacts through Anderson University. While studying the art and the business of music, Anderson took an artist development class and got to know a professor, Mark Pay, who quickly got to be more than just another teacher.

Pay, a full-time producer and studio musician, is also president of Orangehaus Records, a recording label associated with the University. He became interested in Anderson and his band, and began working toward a goal of making an album.

“It was the biggest thing for us. He really pushed us toward getting stronger musically,” Anderson said.
With Pay’s help and professional connections, the band was able to get some studio recording time in Nashville, Tenn. last summer.

Byron said the studio time required a lot of work because it is so different from the live performances the group was used to.

“It was hard because you were always worried about getting off tempo when someone else was on,” he said. “We played each song at least ten times.”
In addition to having the opportunity to record--with the help of two Grammy Award winning veterans in the business--the group was overwhelmed by some quick and unexpected changes in their song list. Anderson said a spark of creativity and a lot of growth in song writing ability produced a number of new songs that took the place of most of the seven songs the group had planned to include on the album. Anderson said the decision to “ditch” the older songs was a good one.

The entire band has experienced growth in that area of their music, each playing a bigger role in the song-writing process. Byron said the changes from the original songs on the demo recorded before the album and the newer ones on the album reveal the group’s growth and potential…

Recording began last July with the rhythm section and another trip in August added some additional “layers” of sound. The recording was finished in Indiana in October and the group has been working to “mix and master” the final touches since that time.

“We are very excited about it. It is definitely what we were hoping for,” Byron said.

The group was “blessed” to have the help of Ronnie Brookshire and Chad Evans, both Grammy Award winners in the business, while putting the album together, Anderson said.
The group plans to perform [with] another local band Minors After Midnight [opening the show] at His Place June 9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. And music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $4, and a special deal--one ticket and one No Greater Sky album for $15--is also available. Anderson said the album will also be available for sale on the groups MySpace website. - Gratiot County Herald (2006)


Local Christian rock band looking for big future (2006)

By Erica Goff
Herald Staff Writer

With two graduations, two big moves and the release of their first major album “Hearts and Stars,” local Christian rock band No Greater Sky is preparing for an exciting future.

The four band members describe their sound as “pop/rock with heightened substance” and are preparing for one of few local shows the group has been able to perform. The occasion--the official release of the album they’ve spent nearly a year working on--was good enough reason to celebrate and bring the members [back into town].
“We’re really excited. We’ll have the CD’s there for people to buy,” said Curt Anderson, 21, of Ithaca.

Anderson, who serves as vocalist, guitar and piano player as well as main songwriter, is one of three Gratiot County natives in the band.

Clark Hubbard, 17, the youngest member and percussionist from Ithaca, and Nic Byron, 20, bass player from Alma, are other local members. Guitarist Matt Lloyd of Indiana is the sole non-Gratiot member who will join the group at His Place on Superior Street in Alma on Friday June 9 for the big show.

The group has faced distance challenges for some time, however, because Anderson and Lloyd have both been in Indiana for the past few years attending Anderson University while Hubbard and Byron remained in Michigan.

“It was really hard to practice or schedule shows with us so far apart,” Anderson said.

All that will change in August, however, when Hubbard, who graduated from Ithaca High School last week, and Byron move south to join their fellow No Greater Sky members. The group is looking forward to working hard on their shared goal: to find success with their music…

The group received some positive feedback from record labels and radio stations that received the demo, which the group found to be promising.

The success expanded later in 2005 thanks to some prominent musical contacts through Anderson University. While studying the art and the business of music, Anderson took an artist development class and got to know a professor, Mark Pay, who quickly got to be more than just another teacher.

Pay, a full-time producer and studio musician, is also president of Orangehaus Records, a recording label associated with the University. He became interested in Anderson and his band, and began working toward a goal of making an album.

“It was the biggest thing for us. He really pushed us toward getting stronger musically,” Anderson said.
With Pay’s help and professional connections, the band was able to get some studio recording time in Nashville, Tenn. last summer.

Byron said the studio time required a lot of work because it is so different from the live performances the group was used to.

“It was hard because you were always worried about getting off tempo when someone else was on,” he said. “We played each song at least ten times.”
In addition to having the opportunity to record--with the help of two Grammy Award winning veterans in the business--the group was overwhelmed by some quick and unexpected changes in their song list. Anderson said a spark of creativity and a lot of growth in song writing ability produced a number of new songs that took the place of most of the seven songs the group had planned to include on the album. Anderson said the decision to “ditch” the older songs was a good one.

The entire band has experienced growth in that area of their music, each playing a bigger role in the song-writing process. Byron said the changes from the original songs on the demo recorded before the album and the newer ones on the album reveal the group’s growth and potential…

Recording began last July with the rhythm section and another trip in August added some additional “layers” of sound. The recording was finished in Indiana in October and the group has been working to “mix and master” the final touches since that time.

“We are very excited about it. It is definitely what we were hoping for,” Byron said.

The group was “blessed” to have the help of Ronnie Brookshire and Chad Evans, both Grammy Award winners in the business, while putting the album together, Anderson said.
The group plans to perform [with] another local band Minors After Midnight [opening the show] at His Place June 9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. And music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $4, and a special deal--one ticket and one No Greater Sky album for $15--is also available. Anderson said the album will also be available for sale on the groups MySpace website. - Gratiot County Herald (2006)


Discography

HEARTS & STARS (2006 LP)
Of Sonnets and Snowflakes (2004 EP)

Photos

Bio

no greater sky delivers a potent sound that, combined with the band's heartfelt lyrics, doesn't cease to impress. Citing the influence of artists like Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World, and Jamie Cullum, no greater sky combines piano and guitar driven melodies with electric harmonies to deliver a truly eclectic sound. no greater sky moves from powerful melodies like "Awake, My Cherished"--which begs to be sung at the top of your lungs in the car with the windows rolled down--to a blend of hip-hop and rock reminiscent of Linkin Park in "Lift Your Gaze" with ease and fluidity. The diversity of their sound is one of the most impressive things about this band; I never find myself feeling like I'm listening to the same thing over and over again. Their songs portray both the beauty and tragedy of life to which any listener can relate.
-Kayley Frank, Andersonian (paraphrased)

This past August, the boys claimed the title of 2007 Unity Fest Artist Ovation winner. As the highest rated band in the online fan voting stage, they moved on to the final round where they were chosen as overall winning artist by Word Records. The win earned them two prime stage spots at Unity Fest in Michigan, including an opening slot on the Main Stage, playing with artists including Newsboys, Sanctus Real, MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Jars of Clay and Nevertheless. 

Their debut album, which was released in the summer of 2006, was co-produced by band frontman Curt Anderson and Mark Pay (whom also produced Island/Def Jam Records artist Jon McLaughlin's first two albums), engineered by Grammy Award winner Ronnie Brookshire (Rob Thomas, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman), and mixed & mastered by Grammy Award winner Chad Evans (Gaither Vocal Band).