In this episode of the Love Good podcast, Jimmy chats with a handful of the members of the Annie Moses Band, a classical cross-over ensemble of six siblings based in Nashville. The band’s front woman, Annie, shares her thoughts on the purpose of the band and what it symbolizes to each of them and to the audiences they play for across the world.
To start, Jimmy asks the siblings to share a bit about how they’ve gotten to where they are today. Their parents wrote a song in 1988 that ended up being a hit on Christian radio. Soon thereafter, the entire family moved to Nashville, and music became a way of life. The children began playing instruments at very young ages and even ended up studying in Juilliard, such was their dedication.
Jimmy asks when they realized that their career was gaining enough steam that it would be sustainable, and how they balance their lives as siblings, performers, and spouses (all but two of the siblings are married). How do they meet the grind? How do they handle the expectations? The oldest brother Ben shares that performing from a young age helps a person lose their self-consciousness fairly early on. “It becomes about expanding the circle of family love and helping the audience feel included,” he says.
Speaking of family, Jimmy then asks the siblings how their parents process what’s become of their children’s musicality. Did they see it coming? “I don’t think so,” says Ben. “We all played together when we were young, but nobody conceived of it becoming a band. They are people who have had a lot of varying types of experience, and they were critical of our being able to launch the band when we did.” However, he adds, “They’ve remained a key part of the creative team.”
Annie, the front-woman and eldest sibling, chimes in. “I think back a lot on the early days. My dad was the breadwinner, paying our way for lessons. My mother approached music like it was an olympic sport. But it wasn’t through the lens of selfish ambition. This was a key philosophy: we grew up with this idea that God deserved the very, very best. The concept of praising the Lord with music was all around us when we were growing up. I never thought of that pursuit applying to Christian music: I always thought we’d play symphonies or chamber music. But we found that when we played together, something magical and spiritual happened.” She expresses how their family is a symbol in a culture where intact families are not common. “There’s a spiritual principle – a deep well that at some time hit the overflow,” she says. “People experience this at our shows and in our non-profits.”
Jimmy brings up the risk-taking that’s involved along the way, the need to lean into trust. He asks them to share about their foundation, The Annie Moses Foundation, which exists to empower a new generation of young artists with the excellence needed to transform society. What inspired it?
Ben replies. “Much like the band, it grew in the telling. We performed a lot. Other families starting seeing it and wanting to know how they did it. There was a desire, so we found a way to plug into that need.” The foundation provided a setting in which the family could impart the lessons they’d learned – both practical and spiritual – in order to make a living as artists. Annie states emphatically about how they believe in setting high expectations for the people/young people they work with, because they believe that they can rise to those expectations, if given the chance. They firmly believe every person is called to create, and helping young people find this power has become a huge part of their calling.
Ben adds: “Our culture is built on artistic medium. When people have been trained artistically, they have artistic discernment that isn’t there when they’re merely a consumer. This gives them a whole other way of analyzing what is broadcast to them. For us, it’s a missional drive. If we’re not helping people hone this, they become passive consumers.”
Jimmy asks how they find time to work and write, even with all of this mentorship going on. They’re currently recording a new album. With all of the things they juggle, they have to fight for a creative space: but they do find that it also flows intuitively within their sibling relationships, and arises naturally out of conversation amongst them.
In closing, Jimmy expresses gratitude for the way they share their family and interior space with the public.
To stay in touch and keep abreast of their many projects and announcements, follow the Annie Moses band on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Go to anniemoses.org to learn more about their foundation, and visit www.anniemosesband.com to learn more about the band and each sibling.
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