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Traditional hymns bring new inspirations

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Justin Williams and David Wion released their first soulful collection of remade traditional church hymns, ‘How Sweet the Sound.’ The debut of their new album was kicked off at the West Milton United Church of Christ just before Thanksgiving. With a packed church and encouraging supporters, their new album is set for success. If you missed this lively performance, another concert is scheduled for December 8 at Miami Shores Baptist Church in Moraine at 6 p.m.

“We found that hymns have a special place in people’s hearts,” said Williams. “My hope is that this CD will provide people with hope in the midst of despair, joy in midst of sorrow, and peace in the midst of turmoil. These hymns share with us the promises of God’s grace and God’s presence with us. The promise of God’s grace reminds us that we are not defined by our mistakes.”

Wion has an enormous passion for sacred music. When Williams heard him play, he knew he wanted to work with him. Through the three years, they become good friends. Williams asked Wion if he would be willing to accompany him on a CD, and he said, "of course."

Williams’ sweet vocals bring the music and words together to bring life to the revised hymns. Williams received his Bachelors in Music Education at Wright State University and received a Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies at United Theological Seminary. He has been serving as the pastor of Hoffman United Methodist Church since August 2010. Although he was not sure how music would fit into his role of pastor at the Hoffman United Methodist Church, he has been encouraged by the church and the community to continue with his ministry in music.

“Music certainly touches our souls in many different ways, music expresses emotion and feeling. Those emotions and feelings touch each person in a different way. For me personally, music conveys feelings of comfort, peace, hope, joy, and love,” said Williams. “As a pastor and a musician, I realize that music can touch our hearts much better than a sermon. For example, preaching a sermon on peace in the midst of a tragic situation may not convey the idea of peace as well as the song, ‘It is Well with My Soul’ might do. Music has an amazing impact on our souls.”

Wion is an accomplished pianist, a published composer, and the director of Young Spirits. He graduated from Wittenburg University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performances and a Master’s Degree in Composition. His work with the Young Spirits has inspired hundreds of eager students throughout the years. Young Spirits is a Christian Youth Choir developed in 1971 that performs each Palm Sunday weekend. The group is made up of youths from area churches in the West Milton area.

“I believe that the power of the song comes in the power of God’s spirit working through the music,” Williams said. “I believe music builds you up and draws you closer to God and one another.”

When Williams and Wion first met at Hoffman Church and worked together with Young Spirits. When they decided to create their album, they posted an inquiry on Facebook to get a feel of follower’s favorite hymns. After polling a list, they chose hymns that had special meaning to them. Wion took the song and arranged the music in a way that provided a fresh and unique sound and feel. Together their talents come together to give their album a spiritual and uplifting message from God.

The album contains 13 new traditional hymns that are guaranteed to warm hearts. “The song, ‘My Tribute’ is a song that I sang in high school. The song says “To God Be the Glory.” That idea has become a theme of my life and ministry. I do not want the glory to come to me, but I want to bring glory to God,” said Williams. “I want my ministry to help others experience his love and grace.”

Williams and Wion donated $5 from the sale of each CD, during the release concert to Young Spirits for a total of $500.

To get your copy of ‘How Sweet the Sound,’ contact Justin Williams at (937) 698-4747. For more information regarding Young Spirits, visit http://www.youngspirits.com.

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