Yorba Linda, CA – The sound of higher praise is filling the house at Crossroads Christian Center in Yorba Linda these days. Praise in a higher key-signature, that is, thanks to the hard work an dedication of renowned Christian vocal coach Tim Speers. Speers was brought in by the church’s executive leadership in order to help the church grow in their need to learn how to sing in the same key as worship leader Derick Newsome, the twenty three year old worship leader and guitarist who joined the ministry team last November.
“There were a lot of factors at play,” according to Crossroads lead pastor Brian Thorpe. “For one thing, Derrick believes in staying true to the way we hear the songs on the radio. He is a purist, and doesn’t want to do anything to diminish the artistic intentions of the people who originally wrote the music. I stretch them in the area of learning to follow Jesus, and Derick stretches them in the area of needing to really engage in worship at his comfort level.”
Stretching the congregation’s capacity to sing along with him was front-and-center in Newsom’s excitement about the vocal coaching being offered by Speers during the ten-minute warm-ups before each worship service.
“Look, I was born with a naturally high, tenor, resonant voice. That’s just how I sing. Call it a gift. A God-given talent. It’s also hard to free-flow on the oohs and the aaaaahs, and highlight my ad-lib capacities in the higher ranges if I have to come down two, three, or even four whole steps in order for novice singers to keep up with me” Newsome said.
“Before Tim came in to help us, the guys in the crowd were just going down a whole octave, or not singing at all, and the girls were all singing my note and I was getting lost in the clutter. It might as well have just been a concert. I’m the professional. I’m the guy who has to lead, so I have to do what works for me. I have to be who I am and lead out of my strengths.” – ChristianSatirePost