A University of Rochester-based band that performs spiritual music ranging from reggae to rock styles has just released its first CD and will celebrate the event with a free concert.
Under Sky, a four-year-old group that evolved from annual musical celebrations of faith at the University, recorded original music and other songs for Before the Wind. They'll play selections from the CD at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in the Interfaith Chapel on the River Campus. The concert is open to the public.
Band members, who include University graduates, are headed by the Rev. Dr. Greg Osterberg, the Protestant chaplain at the University, who plays guitar and sings. The group also features Boegart Bibby '98, drums and percussion; Robert Baldwin '98, who received his master's degree from the Eastman School of Music, on piano and keyboards; Jonathan Rickert '99, guitar and bass; and Osterberg's wife, Deborah, who also provides vocals.
Osterberg describes Under Sky's style as eclectic, bringing together musical influences and ideas from cultures around the world. Before the Wind features reggae, rhythm and blues, acoustic rock, and Celtic sounds. The group recorded the CD over the summer with the assistance of audio engineer Jorge Martinez '00.
The group's Dec. 4 concert also will feature additional music not on its recording, including other original pieces written by the ensemble members and a work based on text from the Torah.
Under Sky began by playing for the Protestant Chapel Community's "Worship ROCKS!", a service conducted entirely in rock music in an effort both to reach those who are not attracted to traditional church music and to celebrate faith in creative ways. Last year more than 230 people, including worshippers from outside campus, attended "Worship ROCKS!" The next event will be held in the spring. The band has also performed off-campus for local congregations and at other church events.
Copies of the Before the Wind CD are available by contacting the Protestant Community Office at the Interfaith Chapel. The group also has a web site with audio at http://www.underskymusic.com.