From: Va. Morton
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM
Subject: MTC Updates: Nashville recording of 2 show songs & auditions
To: Joseph Peck
This story is so exciting and inspiring, I encourage you to read it all. It’s fantastic that two of our songs will be recorded before we even bring the show to the stage!
Two of the love songs written by Rod Stone of Anacortes, Washington for the August 2012 Marching Through Culpeper stage production have captured the attention of a California promoter and one of Nashville’s top music arrangers.
My Love Will Never Die and Our Union Shall Be Strong will be professionally recorded in Nashville the week of Feb. 27, 2012, with a full orchestra, male and female vocalists, and a choir. These songs will be marketed nationwide as wedding songs.
What amazing sequence of events connected me to Washington state songwriter Rod Stone, to California promoter Dave Yancey, to Nashville music arranger Dave Huntsinger?
Prayer! I started weekly prayer conference calls in 2007 with a core group of my readers across the country. The group began praying for Marching Through Culpeper to be made into a movie. Minnesota native Rick Heeren of Harvest Evangelism, who visited Culpeper on several occasions to teach community transformation through prayer, joined the calls. In 2008 his book Marketplace Miracles highlighted the faith journeys of people who were taking their faith into the marketplace. My story caught the eye of Carrie Stone, wife of song writer Rod Stone. Carrie contacted Rick and suggested that her husband write the music for the Marching Through Culpeper movie.
Rod Stone spent twenty years in Nashville where he had several songs recorded in the Country genre from artists like George Hamilton IV, Ricky Lee Watson, Crystal Gayle, and Jeff and Sheri Easter to Lee Greenwood who recorded and released his song, USA Today for the twenty-fifth anniversary of his famous song, God Bless the USA.”
After reading Marching Through Culpeper, Rod began turning out songs that were perfect! They brought tears to my eyes! Eventually the movie concept was transformed into a stage production with the hope that someday this show will lead to a movie.
When asked why someone from the West Coast would want to invest so much time in a Civil War story, Rod responded, “Truth! This story is dripping with real events and real history in a high-paced, dramatic form. Also, the characters were very captivating to me-Constance Armstrong, Aaron Ames and Frank Stringfellow in particular. Their personalities were so well defined that it was a joy to write their songs.”
Dave Yancey, maketing expert and song promoter, said he admired Rod’s song, USA Today, and contacted him about it, thus beginning their friendship. When Yancey heard these two Marching Through Culpeper songs for the first time, the sound of war was long gone, and in his heart he heard the gentle yet powerful words of two people dedicating their lives to each other with the commitment that, Their Union Shall Be Strong. Dave believed the song was both pre-and post-wedding music in a message that never grows old or out of vogue.
He was caught off guard when he heard the words to the twin song, My Love Will Never Die. He said, “The same beautiful emotion swelled up in my heart again. And from a marketing perspective this song speaks of a love relationship that is seasoned and when tried and tested, embraces the assurance that My Love Will Never Die. These twin songs have a natural fit for funeral settings, as well as love relationships.”
Dave intends to market the sheet music and CDs of the songs through his Sacramento based company, Creative Marketing Plus. Dave believes the dual application will be immediately embraced and give a fresh face on Love and Loss that can only be experienced through these newly inspired songs written by Rod Stone.
David Huntsinger, pianist, composer, songwriter, and arranger, moved from his native California to Nashville, TN, in 1976 and played for the Rambos. He co-wrote the song, Holy Spirit, Thou Art Welcome, with Dottie Rambo, as well as the children’s musical, Down By The Creek Bank. In 1979 he left the Rambos to pursue a career as a studio pianist. He wrote and arranged music for the 1989 Grammy-winning album A Child’s Gift of Lullabyes, and arranged for and co-produced Andy Griffith’s 1996 Grammy-winning album, I Love To Tell The Story: 25 Timeless Hymns. He has worked with many artists, such as Sandi Patti, Steve Green, Kathy Troccoli, Michael Crawford, Glen Campbell, Carman, Larnelle Harris, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton. He toured with Vince Gill for a Christmas tour in 1999, and in 2001 for the Amy Grant/Vince Gill Christmas tour. He has also written a number of children’s musicals, as well as produced many albums of his own original works and arrangements.
Dave says, “When Rod Stone called me to help him arrange and record two songs that he wrote for a theatrical production of Virginia’s Marching Through Culpeper I was excited. I love history and music from the American Civil War era. Then Virginia sent me her novel, which enthralled me from the first page. Very soon I felt as though I was in Culpeper County, Virginia 150 years ago. I knew if the play captured the heart-tugging story that I’d read in Virginia’s novel, it would be compelling on stage.”
He added, “I have known Rod Stone and his songs for almost twenty years, and when I heard the first two written for this production, I was struck by their timelessness and universality. They reflect his sophisticated song craftsmanship, a skill honed in Rod’s years as a commercial songwriter in Nashville, but they also sound as though they could have been written in the 19th century.”
“The timeless classic quality of these songs must in a theatrical work not only define setting and time, but also transcend it,” he continued. “The upcoming Nashville recordings will feature compelling, American voices to portray the lead characters Constance and Aaron. We will also work with musicians whose credits include contributions to films like Cold Mountain and O, Brother, Where Art Thou? I look forward to these recording sessions and to capturing the heart of Rod Stone’s songs in the service of what I believe will be a stellar production.”
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for your faithfulness. Your word does not come back void. Your eyes scan the hearts of your children around the world and you bring them together to answer many prayers simultanteously. Thank you for connecting me to Rod Stone, Dave Yancey, and Dave Huntsinger. Pour your creativity into them as they record these songs, so the resulting CDs will be heard around the world as couples pledge their love to each other forever. I ask you to bring forth the performers you have selected to play our four leading characters so we may produce a stellar show that honors you. In the precious name of Jesus, Your greatest gift!
Your humble servant,
Twitter: vamorton http://twitter.com/vamorton
Facebook: Virginia Beard Morton
for 4 leading roles
March 4 & 11, 2 p.m.
Tuesday March 6, 6:30 p.m.
Culpeper United Methodist Church
1233 Oaklawn Drive, Culpeper, Va 22701
(use upper-front parking lot, door on right)
The search is on! What talented performers/singers will be selected to bring Marching Through Culpeper’s four leading characters vividly to life on stage? Auditions are scheduled for March 4, 6, and 11 in order to give college students home on spring break an opportunity to audition. So please help us get the word out by forwarding this to anyone you think might be interested.
The story revolves around the unlikely romance between a young Culpeper lady and a Union soldier.
Constance Armstrong – Female, 18-20, Caucasian, strong-willed, forward thinking Culpeper native, loyal to Confederacy and family, mezzo soprano, solo, duets with Aaron, and group numbers.
Aaron Ames – Male, 22-30, Caucasian, Union officer from New England, “ruggedly handsome” romantic lead, gentlemen, baritone range, has solo ballad, duets with Constance, and comic group piece.
Frank Stringfellow – Male, 18-22, Caucasian, small, wiry-built Confederate scout from Culpeper, comical part, (Stringfellow is one of the many non-fictional characters in the play) baritone-tenor range; has up-tempo solo.
Sadie Jordan – Female, African American, over 40, high-spirited loyal Armstrong family servant, no singing required.
Please come prepared to do cold readings from the script. Bring sheet music of your choice; an accompanist will be provided. If possible, email Patricia at Kapak Talent Direct email@example.com and tell her your dates of availability and which role you will be auditioning for. Auditions for other roles and extras will take place at a later date.
Production dates are August 3-5 and 10-12, 2012, in the Eastern View High School auditorium, Culpeper, VA.
This show is the cornerstone event of two weekends of activities planned to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Mountain. It is being widely marketed, is attracting tour buses, and should draw large audiences. This story of love across the battlelines has the potential to become an annual event. So be a part not only of bringing history alive, but of making history!
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Edgehill Books and Civil War Tours | 19117 Edgehill Place | Culpeper | VA | 22701