MEET THE MUSIC TEAM
These musicians, each in their specific area of expertise, are dedicated to connecting with each student to provide enhanced techniques and expanded knowledge building the musical skills of each guest. And each guest better equipped to convey the hope, love, truth and passion for Christ to their world!
Matt Combe -
Music Director @ The Story
Matt Combe has been studying the affects music can have on the listener throughout his entire life. To him, music is a vehicle that carries words on its back. Through blues and folk he’s found ways to reveal truth to listeners through his meaningful lyrics and guitar.
His music has an existentially thoughtful, intense, and bluesy quality. It has also been transported and influenced by his travels with missions trips and pure curiosity. Matt will be teaching tracks on song composition, worship and vocal training.
Musician/Songwriter/Worship Leader @ Rogue Valley Fellowship
A musician, worship leader, and actor, Jeremy is passionate about integrating his creative gifts to be used as a vessel of the Holy Spirit and connect others to Jesus. He delivers with a bluesy acoustic folk sound, with warm captivating vocals. He records and produces artists through a ministry based record label called Eleos Records. He has acted in and collaborated on several film projects and dramatic presentations. Currently he is working at Rogue Valley Fellowship in Southern Oregon as a worship leader .
Creative Arts Pastor/Musician/Author
Piano-driven, jazz-influenced, and lyrically-evocative—Manuel Luz has released four albums of original music over the last fifteen years, from his debut, A Bridge Called Surrender, in 2001 to his latest effort, Unraveled, in 2013. Manuel performs: as a solo pianist/vocalist; with the Manuel Luz Trio (ML3), featuring Matt Sawhill and Chad Jackson; and with the duo Waiting For Sunday, featuring Kent Peterson. He has also produced, arranged, performed, and/or written for scores of independent music albums over the last few decades, including albums for Christian icons, Bob Kilpatrick and Randy Stonehill. You can order his music through cdbaby.com or iTunes.
Jennifer Davis is a performer and vocalist with a vivacious and contagious energy and vocal presence. With extensive theater and performance and teaching experience she will be leading the vocal track at Ascend 2020, helping young vocalists expand their capacities and target areas of vocal challenge, emerging with new tools to enhance the power and presence of voice. She now serves on staff in worship and youth ministries. She is soooooooo much fun!
Gaetano is a renaissance man's musician and creative singer/songwriter/guitarist whose passionate expression in songs has touched all who listen to him. His raw, real, emotional ballads and folk music express a depth of heart borne form real lifethat is reminiscent of David the Psalmist. He day-jobs in Bend, Oregon for the company he founded, the Northwest Center for Dental Technology.
Worship leader/piano/keyboard instructor
Zach grew up thinking music all the time was just normal. His father David Sprunger was a well loved worship leader, songwriter and launched the family business playpianonow.com. Zach is now the manager of the family business, teaches piano/keyboard and guitar and draws from this exceptional curriculum to take basic chording transforming them into full rich augmented sounds in easy patterns and steps.
Michael spent his youth playing guitar in bands, eventually touring the USA and parts of the world. Michael's life revolves around music, the music industry, and music ministry. He owned and operated retail music stores, ran music schools, and taught guitar, banjo, and bass through the years. It wasn't until the year 2000 that Michael realized he had some creative genes, as in inventive entrepreneurial talents. He conceived and launched the world's first battery operated, clip-on musicians light, better known as The Mighty Bright Musician's Light, distributed worldwide. He performs of the USA, in schools, colleges, churches, and in private homes. His latest musical project is called: Jesus and Me, a work that incorporates original music, art, storytelling, and writing. He is married and has four children with his wife Cathy.
Jim Abdo/ Recording Studio
BrokenWorks Productions, LLC
Jim and his wife, Diane, own and operate BrokenWorks Productions, a professional recording studio in Ashland, Oregon. Jim is a music producer, recording engineer, composer, and musician. BrokenWorks Productions' 1,100 sq. ft. facility was designed by Chris Pelonis (www.PelonisSound.com). Custom-built for live audio and video production, this well-equipped studio features a large live room and two isolation booths, with high ceilings and natural light.
Collaborating with/Leading a Worship Team
Pastor of Worship Ministries Medford Nazarene
Trevor Bowen is Pastor of Worship Ministries at Medford First Church of the Nazarene in Southern Oregon. His passion is to grow teams and create environments where people can encounter the truth of God’s unfailing love. And he likes making music—that part is pretty cool too. Trevor has led worship in churches, schools, camps, and retreats for more than 20 years.
Jesse has a unique set of skills. Whether its a unique eye for photography, video technician for web design, or making the coolest old school tin type photographs. Jesse will weigh in with us as to how to use home production equipment to record and post your own home music productions with a professional look.