Music Therapy 110 Tour provides free concerts at Wayland

Release Date: February 23, 2009    

PLAINVIEW –Christian music artists Red Umbrella and Alisa Turner will present free concerts Wednesday at Wayland Baptist University as part of the Music Therapy 110 Tour.

Promoted by the Quick Artists Agency as a “two-hour course designed to rehabilitate you from the wear and tear of college life,” the Music Therapy Tour includes performances by Canadian new-wave rockers Red Umbrella and singer/songwriter Alisa Turner. The first concert will be a brief performance as part of Wayland’s weekly chapel service at 11 a.m. in Harral Auditorium, which is always free to the public.

Then that evening, both groups will take the stage at Harral at 7 p.m. for a full concert, also free to the public. Youth groups are especially encouraged to attend the concert.

Composed of brother Jeremy and Dennis Michaelis and friends Jason Rosewell and Kevin Swartwood, Red Umbrella features original songs with simple elements of pop-rock music: singable choruses, poetic lyrics and classic song structure. Jeremy sings and plays guitar, while brother Dennis plays lead guitar and keyboard. Swartwood on bass guitar and Rosewell on drums rounds out the quartet. The group recorded their first album, “Wishing for Boardwalk” in a studio they built above the family garage, before being picked up by indie music label 7 Spin Music. After playing more than 400 dates in a four-year period and moving to Indiana, the band took a break from touring to focus on their second album, “Living and Surviving,” self-recorded and produced by the Michaelis brothers, released in November 2008.

Red Umbrella has a urban feel about its simple, catchy music which is memorable but not shallow in meaning.

Turner grew up a pastor’s daughter with her parents and brother as her biggest fans of her music, which she began writing and recording at age 15. She credits dealing with her father’s death and her own painful medical issues – she was diagnosed with mercury toxicity a few years ago – as shaping her as a musician and as a person of faith.

“My life IS my music. It just is. I’ve written through the pain, just to keep breathing and stay alive,” she writes on her Web page. “God has given me music to keep me alive. He’s given me the ability to love the little things when all the big things keep crumbling.”

Turner released two independent works before joining the Quick Artists Agency. She enjoys doing small house shows called “Pancake and a Performance,” built around intimate settings where she plays the piano and sings after the group enjoys a pancake dinner. Audience relate Turner’s style to Sarah McLaughlin and Fiona Apple, and she has an honest, openness about her music that gets to the heart of issues that young people are dealing with regularly.