Join us for “Dolce e Triste” (Sweet and Melancholy) Saturday, May 13th, 2017, 7pm-8pm at Christ Community Church for a concert to benefit the Adult Learning Center of Charlottesville, VA. featuring the music of Bach, Schumann, Fauré, and Dutilleux. $20 suggested donation.
The Charlottesville Worship Collective just released it’s third compilation EP featuring worship songs from local worship leaders and artists involved in the collective! Proceeds from this EP help to fund our city-wide Nights of Worship. You can download the EP for free from Noisetrade, or make a donation and support the collective. Thanks for your support!
Join us for a city-wide Night of Worship at The Jefferson Theater April 30th, 6pm! This event draws churches together from all over Central Virginia for the purpose of uniting the body of Christ in worship and adoration of Jesus. Join us as local worship leaders and teams come together to lead our city in worship! More info can be found on the event page. Hope to see you there!
As promised, here are more pictures from our Night of Hope and Reconciliation: For the City, Through the Arts. I was (and still am!) so encouraged at the humility in every heart poured out. Thank you, artists, for saying ‘YES’ to the vulnerability of this massive collaboration. We tasted unity, we tasted hope, and we tasted reconciliation which is the heart of God for our community. Be blessed as you look through these pictures of the many & multi-gifted folks involved in this event. Charlottesville, we are rich in humble hearts!
Community, hope, beauty, and reconciliation happening on stage in real time. So many beautiful moments we shared together! Photo by Maria Webb.
Friends, it is with a full heart that I write to you today. I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude at what took place at our Night of Hope and Reconciliation. Every artist and musician involved gave humbly and fully of themselves, the entire room was captivated in the awesome presence of God witnessing the many and exquisite gifts He has bestowed on His children to bring light, hope, and clarity to a hurting world. This night was literally my dream come true, a dream God planted in my heart more than 10 years ago: using the gifts and skill-set He has given me to strengthen and serve our community through artistic & worshipful expression. What He deposited in our hearts (and in the room) that night was nothing short of a massive visitation by His very Spirit and greater revelation of His heart for our community. He gave us HOPE for the future!
I was also blessed to bring you some of the deepest most heartfelt music I have ever written from the albums You Are My Joy and Fire In The Night. To see these songs come to life in the way I had always imagined was God’s personal gift to me that night. Who can ever forget the holy moments we all shared during “Seal,” which talks about the love of God that burns like a mighty flame, many waters cannot quench this Love! The prophetic gift of “Psalm45,” the wedding song that talks about the bride making herself ready and proclaiming with prophetic unction “GIRD YOUR SWORD UPON YOUR SIDE, O Mighty One!” And the gut-wrenching cry of “Help Me,” from Psalm 91, the emotion captured beautifully by the dancers. “The Cross,” featuring children’s choir Higher Voices and dancer Becca Lee, encapsulating the emotional depth of Philippians 2. And worshiping together to the song “My Desire,” joining together with the unified heartfelt desire to give to God all that we have and all that we are.
Thank you so much for your continued support in this ministry of writing and serving the community. The Charlottesville community tasted His goodness on Saturday night. And I am humbled to have been part of that process. I have many pictures from the night that I would like to share with you over the coming days. Here are a few to start!
Cari Shipp Kramer (flute) and I open the night with the 1st movement of Dutilleux’s Sonatine. Photo by Maria Webb
Friends, I am incredibly honored to have featured artist Cristina Rutkowski share about her journey as an artist and her journey in creating for our Night of Hope and Reconciliation. Cristina's work is another example of the months of heartfelt, Spirit-led preparations that went into this night to serve our community and to bring hope to our hurting world. Cristina's work reflects the process of reconciliation and the restoration of hope in her own life, and as you read her story, I pray you will be encouraged in your walk as well.
After reading this, you may want to view her work again, which will be on display through October and November at Christ Community Church during office hours, 9-5. Cristina, thank you for baring your heart and soul through your words and visual art for the healing and restoring of our community.
I am so honored to be working with choreographer (and friend!) Lauren Stonestreet who has been pouring into this concert and into the dancers who are preparing for this Night of Hope and Reconciliation. It is a dream come true for me to have dance for several of the pieces I’ve written being featured at this concert. What Lauren and the dancers have brought to these songs has had me in tears more than once! Lauren is also debuting one of her own songs at this concert, also with dance. I am privileged to be witnessing the ‘yes’ to all the Lord is calling forth from this extremely talented sister in Christ!
Lauren and violinist, Jon Bannan, rehearsing on stage for the first time.
I am excited to share our concert poster with you! As you can see, there are many artists and musicians involved - so many that I couldn’t fit them all on this poster! There are also many folks working behind the scenes (the stage build-out happened late last night) including my incredible comrade-in-arms and right-hand-man, Matt Bernstein. Please take a moment to read through the fine print and pray for the many artists putting the final touches on their work: painters, choreographers, stage designers, musicians, and stage hands / house managers are all making their final preparations for Saturday night. They are praying, listening, and putting their hand to the task of serving the community with their gifts. I am overjoyed at what I’m seeing as we’ve come together.
Would you join us this Saturday at Christ Community Church for a Night of Hope and Reconciliation: For the City, Through the Arts.
I have been so moved by the heart and story of Linnea White, one of the dancers for our Night of Hope and Reconciliation, who I met earlier this year just as the Lord was doing a huge transformative work in her life … literally from the inside out … as He called her out as a dancer once again. Linnea shares about how she gave herself to the vulnerability of this process of restoration in her life, which included the rebuilding and strengthening of her identity in the Lord as a dancer. Linnea was made to dance! I am incredibly humbled and honored that she will be dancing to one of my pieces at our concert this Saturday. This is a dream come true for me!
That’s what He called me. That’s what He named me. That’s how He created me.
I’m blessed to have guest blogger Willie Randolph share about his heart for unity in the body of Christ, for truly coming together under the banner and name of Jesus as a people to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. I first met Willie when we were part of a team that helped lead a city-wide night of worship here in Charlottesville, VA. where we quickly became friends and discovered a shared vision and desire for unity in the body of Christ. I’m also pleased to announce that Willie will be soloing at our Night of Hope and Reconciliation! Willie is one of the greatest encouragers I know, and I know you will be blessed by his heart as he leads us in song & worship this October 1st!
It's been truly a blessing and honor to be a part of the Collective Worship group, and now The City Wide Reconciliation Collaboration. I have always wanted to be a part of something that truly represents one of God’s visions for us as a people: UNITY! "To be unified in our worship, and praise for HIM is an honor!”
Rehearsals have been going full force in preparation for our night of Hope and Reconciliation: For the City, Through the Arts, even Facetiming one of our soloists in for rehearsal from Florida! (Now THAT’S dedication)! I have been so moved by the outpouring of love from one to another during this whole process which gives me great hope for more collaborations in the future. We are experiencing what it means to come under the ‘banner of love’ as a community and as a people as we join together in worship and share our gifts through the arts. We are also experiencing the joy of the Lord as we go low in humility to serve one another.
I’m excited to have guest blogger, local artist, (and friend!) Kaitlin Jungles share about how God has been reshaping and restoring her identity as an artist as she has been painting this year. Kaitlin and I met at a local studio & co-working space here in Charlottesville where I’ve been writing and preparing for A Night of Hope & Reconciliation. We quickly discovered our shared passion for how the arts can bring healing and restoration to a community. I am thrilled to have Kaitlin as a contributing artist for our Night of Hope & Reconciliation: For the City, Through the Arts!
The first time I heard about A Night of Hope and Reconciliation, I was so excited because I knew it had the power to really impact the community. When Julie Bernstein asked me to contribute some of my artwork to this event, I was beyond thrilled. Read More...
We have begun the many small group rehearsals needed for our singers and musicians to prepare for this Night of Hope & Reconciliation: For the City. Through the Arts this October 1st, 7pm (with Art Opening beginning at 6pm). Here is a pic from one of our small group rehearsals. You would not believe the humility and camaraderie among these groups of community-minded artists and musicians as they have come together to give of themselves for something greater than themselves! We are touching on everything from out-of-print spirituals to the likes of Duruflé, as well as pieces written by folks in our community. These songs and this project have not only served as catalysts to facilitate collaboration across the disciplines and genres of the arts (including dance, visual arts, and spoken word), they have already facilitated new relationships and new ways of working together outside of our traditional and ‘comfortable’ boundaries. And do you know what? Our times together have been infused with JOY!
Please continue to pray into this event and into these relationships: that we would discover more and more the joys that go hand in hand with going low in humility to serve one another in our preparations & collaborations. That we would ‘abound in love,’ and that the Lord would “make our love increase and overflow for each other … and strengthen our hearts.” (1 Thes. 3-12).
We do hope that you will join us for this Night of Hope & Reconciliation: For the City. Through the Arts. October 1st, at Christ Community Church, Charlottesville, VA., 7pm (Art Opening and light refreshments at 6pm) Ticket info and availability here.
On a classical note, all are invited to an autumn recital with Julie Bernstein (piano), Cari Shipp Kramer (flute), and Julianna Marin (soprano) this Friday at Christ Community Church, Charlottesville, VA featuring the music of Bach, Schubert, Dutilleux, Corigliano, Heggie, and more. This music explores and expounds upon familiar transitions in life: season to season, youth to age, anger to hope, and even life to death. Join the Facebook event page, share with friends, and join the conversation at #AsTheSpringSleeps.
Friends, this is what I have been working on all year: preparing for a community concert bringing together the many expressions of the creative arts for A Night of Hope & Reconciliation: For the City, Through the Arts, at Christ Community Church, Charlottesville on October 1st, 7pm.
My vision and desire has been to facilitate a wide spectrum of artists coming together in the creative process, furthering each individual in their craft and calling, each giving of themselves for something greater than themselves. This collaboration has grown into a full length evening performance, featuring music from my newly released album, You Are My Joy, as well as many other original works in collaboration with a variety of artists from the community.
The evening will include: Original works of choreography by local artist and dancer, Lauren Stonestreet, with dancers from The Farm House Cville Spoken word pieces by Bernard Hankins and La’Tasha Strother Soloists Nate Emmanuel, Willie Randolph, Selena Cozart O’Shaughnessy, Yemaya de Lorenzo Eberly and Flutist Cari Shipp Kramer all anchored in live music ranging from strings, hand bells, children and adult choirs, full band, and vocalists.
An art exhibition will open the evening at 6pm featuring original and commissioned works by Cristina Rutokwski, Chicho Lorenzo, Jennifer Knight and Richard Montoya and others.
Join us for A Night of Hope & Reconciliation: For the City, Through the Arts, October 1st at Christ Community Church in Charlottesville, VA. Doors and Art Exhibition with refreshments at 6pm, Concert at 7pm
I have been privileged to join a community of artists, entrepreneurs, & community leaders this year at The Farmhouse, Cville, where preparations for my fall concert have been joyously in full swing! At the close of 2015 and the start of this year, I knew God was calling me into a ‘NOW’ season of a vision he had planted in me years ago: planning a community concert bringing in various expressions of the arts as a means towards healing, hope, reconciliation, and restoration in our city and community. My banner scripture for moving forward this year was written on the walls of The Farmhouse on my first visit there from Jeremiah 29:7 which says, “Seek the welfare of the city to which I have carried you into exile for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” This desire to ‘tend to the growth of the city’ is a foundational theme of The Farmhouse and is at the heart of everything they do. I am glad to be a part of this community of community-minded artists!
I have spent my time there (this year-and-a-half) writing and arranging music for this concert (October 1st), the songs meant to serve as catalysts to facilitate collaboration across the disciplines and genres of the arts as well as facilitating new relationships and new ways of working together. My hope in collaborating for this event is that we as artists would discover a new freedom in working together for something bigger than ourselves, that fear would be shattered and that we would leave feeling even more encouraged and emboldened to carry out the calling on our lives as artists. This ideal of encouraging artists in their callings is at the core of the vision of this studio. Thank you, Farmhouse, for providing the space for this vision to grow and flourish!
I’m privileged to be working with several Farmhouse artists as well as artists from our community and region for this event. Lauren Stonestreet (curator of the FH) is choreographing for several pieces as well as debuting one of her own. Interested in checking out the Farmhouse for your studio space? Find more info here: http://thefarmhousecville.com
As promised, here is an update on what I’ve been working on this year! Many of you know that I’ve been planning a fall concert (October 1st!), bringing in various expressions of the arts including: visual arts, dance, spoken word, and music as a means toward healing, reconciliation, and restoration in our city. I have met so many artists whose deep heart desire is to use their work for reconciliation, for the breaking down of the things that divide us and then pressing into the things that unite us as a people. In fact, the theme of several artists’ work I’m bringing in is reconciliation and restoration, which is proof to me that the Lord is stirring hearts to that end. He knows what we need in this season to break the cycle we’ve found ourselves in as a culture, as a people. We look to You, oh Lord, for our help!
This concert is also a celebration of my most recent release, You Are My Joy, where you will hear large-scale productions of ‘The Cross’ (Philippians 2), the message of this song painting a clear picture of Jesus as our Savior, and ‘Seal’ (Song of Solomon 8:6-7) which talks about a Love that burns like a mighty flame, a Love that cannot be quenched that is ours in Jesus. We will also be doing the wedding song from ‘Psalm 45’ (yes, there will be bells!!) that paints a picture of ‘the bride making herself ready!’ as well as spirituals, a few songs from my older albums, works by other artists, and … we will be worshiping together!
As preparations continue for this concert, I urge you to pray for the many artists coming together for this event: That they will be encouraged and emboldened in their gifts, that they will be spurred on to do all that God is calling them to do, I ask that you pray for MASSIVE healing and reconciliation in our community and city, and for increased zeal for our Lord. Oh that He would be pleased with His children moving out in freedom!
I will keep you updated with pictures and video footage of some of our preparations (I’ve already been in tears twice while watching footage of our dancers rehearsing)! There are many moving parts to make this concert a reality: singers, dancers, pray-ers, musicians, painters, writers, etc. all preparing to give of themselves for something bigger than themselves. I am in awe of the gifts that surround us in this city and region.
And as always, I am grateful for the love and support of the many who have been a constant and steady voice of encouragement to me along the way. The Lord is faithful!
Aldersgate United Methodist Church is opening their doors to the community for their annual Praise Expo, Saturday, October 3rd, 4pm - 9pm! I am honored to be emceeing this event and leading a session later that evening. Aldersgate is hosting worship teams from churches all across the city, giving attenders a taste of the diversity and beauty of the body of Christ in Charlottesville, VA. Would love to see you there! Stop by anytime from 4pm to 9pm!
We recently returned from our summer tour of the Midwest and we have tons of pictures and stories to share! But first I would like to thank everyone who supported us … by feeding us, housing us, blessing us financially, and most importantly by praying for us. We were so grateful to be prayed for, blessed, and ‘sent’ by two local churches here in Charlottesville before we started our journey across the country. What a gift of strength from the Body of Christ! We truly felt carried and sustained by your prayers.
We toured for 10 days leading worship, giving concerts, and working with community & church musicians. It was our joy to pour ourselves out in ministry in this way, giving our first fruits to encourage and connect with people for the sake of the Kingdom. In addition to leading worship & giving concerts, we were able to devote an entire day to record several songs as a band (acoustic) and shoot a music video to an old hymn (soon to be published & released). Even though we worked very hard every day of this tour, we managed to have tons of fun!
One of my favorite testimonies from this tour is how obvious it was that the Lord went ahead of us and prepared the way. He prepared every heart and every venue, he even formed us and fashioned us as a band, giving us moments of deep ministry one-to-another. I couldn’t have asked for a better touring band of beautiful, humble, servant hearts (not to mention their mad skills!!): Tucker MacDonald (acoustic, electric, vox), Michael Coleman (acoustic, bass, vox), Jessie Gonzalez (drums), Anna Lou Bernstein (keys, bells, photography), and Matt Bernstein (sound, photography, videography, recording engineer).
I was pleased to have Tucker MacDonald (from the band Dillingham) open for several of our shows. Tucker writes and produces independently and also directs the worship arts ministry at a local church. He just released his first self titled EP on iTunes. Please check out his work!
The next blog post will show pictures from the various venues and days of our journey. For now, here is a photo of us packed into our fifteen passenger van as we began our tour!
From left to right: Michael, Tucker, Matt, Anna Lou, Julie, & Jessie in the blue van
The time has come! We are getting ready to hit the road in just a couple days for our summer tour. The outpouring of prayer and support from so many of you has overwhelmed us to the point of tears. We are glad to pour ourselves out, giving our firstfruits in this way for the sake of the Kingdom. We are playing in all types of venues from high production / large scale churches to coffee shops, a small town country church, a night of worship with the Milwaukee Worship Collective in downtown Milwaukee, WI, a community Night Of Worship in my hometown (bringing in community musicians to join us for several songs), and traditional & non traditional worship settings. We are also planning a day of filming on location with my full band. I am honored to work with such talented, humble musicians (Tucker MacDonald, Michael Coleman, Jessie Gonzalez, Matt Bernstein, Anna Lou Bernstein), each leaders in music, worship, and ministry.
I am so excited to announce that I will be heading to the Midwest for my second Homecoming Tour later this month! This tour is in support of my new album YOU ARE MY JOY, written over the course of this last year—the opportunity made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign I ran to support my previous release Fire In The Night. Because of your support, I was given the opportunity to spend much of this last year writing, recording, and producing another entire studio album! I can’t wait to bring these new songs to you!
I am also honored to have writer, producer, and worship leader Tucker MacDonald joining my team! Tucker writes and produces independently, fronts his current music project, Dillingham, and directs the worship arts ministry at a local church here in Charlottesville. Tucker will be opening for several of our shows.
On this tour, we will be giving concerts throughout the region including my hometown of Sterling, IL, leading worship at various churches, and holding a Night of Worship with the Milwaukee Worship Collective at Brew City Church in downtown Milwaukee, WI. We will be giving 7 concerts in 9 days plus two days of filming on location. We have packed our schedule full! I would love to see all of you while we’re on the road!
Julie’s Fire In The Night full CD release concert pictures!
Thank you to everyone who came out to Saturday’s release concert in celebration of releasing the full album: Fire in the Night! I was privileged to work with several musicians from area churches & the community including special guest and beloved worship leader, singer / songwriter Robert King. What an honor to share the stage with such anointing, gifting, and talent! Deep thanks to all of you who made this a special night for me, and most importantly: for pouring out your first-fruits for Kingdom purposes. Read More...
My next CD release concert takes place this Saturday, October 19th 8pm at Christ Community Church, Charlottesville, VA. This will be the official release night for the full Fire in the Night 12-song album (containing parts 1 & 2) which so many of you made possible through your Kickstarter donations! I am also proud to announce that special guest Robert King will be joining me at this concert!
The full Fire in the Night CD album will be available for purchase at this concert, as well as Awaken Me and Out of the Deep. The previous Fire In The Night Part 1 EP has been taken down from all online stores (iTunes, Amazon) since it will be replaced by the full 12-song Fire In The Night album next Tuesday, October 22nd. My homepage will reflect that change next week as well.
Here are a few more pictures from the tour. They keep coming in and I want to keep sharing them with you! I really miss being on the road, mostly because of the new people we got to meet, interact, & share with. We played in every type of venue from larger outdoor stages, to intimate coffee shop settings, to the most beautiful of church sanctuaries both large and small.
I am currently in the studio working on the new album (the full Fire in the Night) and was privileged to visit our producer, Kevin McNoldy, in North Carolina to listen & see how he's bringing these new songs to life. I continue to stand amazed at how all of this is unfolding and I'm looking forward to planning my next album and tour! Read More...
The tour is underway… and I want to thank everyone again who contributed to my Kickstarter campaign or helped to make this all possible. The journey started out nicely, but we soon had to replace a tire on the way, which added 2 hours to the trip. That gave us 18 hours together in the van (I thought I knew these people before, but I really know them now!!). I’ve already met so many incredible people at the shows we’ve played so far, and I’m excited to see even more of you for the upcoming concert dates!
One of my tour interviews has been published online… take a look at SaukValley.com.
And we’re actually shooting an official music video for one of my songs, which is so exciting! This was tentatively planned for this trip, but now it’s definitely happening and I’ll have more news on it soon.
Here we are, prepared and ready to embark on the “Homecoming Tour,” which begins in the early morning of July 4th for us, when we start the long journey to Sterling, Illinois. Our first show will be at the small country church I attended as a child! It is incredibly exciting for me to return to my home and perform for everyone. THANK YOU again to everyone for your support throughout the Kickstarter campaign and beyond… it’s because of you that I’m able to bring my music back home. I hope to see you on the road! All the concert details can be found on my Schedule page.
I’m so excited to announce that I’m leaving for my first “Homecoming Tour” in just a couple weeks, starting the tour at the small country church I attended through childhood just outside Sterling, Illinois in the ‘township’ of Jordan. I will be giving concerts throughout the region as well as leading worship at area churches. All of these concerts are free and open to the public. It is my joy to give back to the community that helped shape me! I’d love to see you at one of these concerts!
Here’s my tour poster and a picture of the first stop of the tour: East Jordan UMC Read More...
I want to thank you all again for your generous support of me, especially these last 21 days during my Kickstarter campaign. Raising these funds has allowed us to fully fund our July tour, to finish up Fire in the Night, and to fully fund our next studio album! All because of YOUR generosity!
Also, the details are coming together for our July tour. We have booked all of our venues (7 shows in 10 days!) including a day of filming at Lexscape Studios. These shows are all free and open to the public because we really want to give back to YOU, who have been so generous to us! Thank you. A huge thanks also to everyone who has offered to host us in your homes & feed us on our travels. Your hospitality speaks volumes to us! This tour is happening because of the efforts of many. I can’t thank you enough, and I can’t wait to bring these concerts to your area … and beyond! Check out our tour schedule.
CD’s will be available for sale at my concerts. And now that the campaign is over, you can still get a 10% discount on online album purchases when you sign up for our Newsletter. Outside of the Kickstarter rewards, we'll have the upcoming albums added to the web store as soon as they're finished.
In closing, I must acknowledge the faithfulness of God to provide for us beyond what I was initially expecting. He has opened the door WIDE for us to continue on. He has strengthened my faith in the process, and emboldened me to continue on in all He would draw from me. He has the biggest “YES” that I know how to offer back to Him!
It’s my honor to continue walking this journey with all of you ….
Here we are taking the stage and opening with a bit of Matthew 6 … “…but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you…”
Around the time I was writing Fire In The Night, a friend of mine (Rebecca McEntire) came to me and said she felt really strongly that she was to do a painting of the Exodus (the Israelites leaving Egypt). She felt really strongly that her painting was to include several aspects / details of the Exodus including the pillar of fire at night, the hundreds of thousands of Israelites leaving Egypt, details of how their shoes didn’t wear out during their journey, how they plundered the Egyptians and were given clothes, gold, and silver.
So when I was getting ready to give my concerts for the release of my album, “Fire In The Night,” I asked Rebecca if she’d be willing to show her painting at my concerts. She got busy painting and brought in her almost finished, still-wet painting for my March 9th concert. Here are some pictures of her painting from my March 9th show: Read More...
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi (Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world)
As we enter holy week, sharing a video of my Agnus Dei seemed appropriate. I wrote this Agnus Dei several years ago when I wanted to make the singing of this traditional Latin text accessible to a broader corporate expression in the worship context. It opens with a choral rendition of the Latin: “Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi,” then breaks into a very repetitive chorus in English: “Lamb of God we praise Thee … You take the sins of the world. You’ve taken the sins of the world.” In this concert setting, the congregation joined in singing with us (which you can’t hear well in this video), but added to the rich expression of this song.
It was my privilege to bring Jordan Goetz’s song, “Our Father,” to my benefit concert at FUMC. I’ve been opening these concerts with this idea from Matthew 6 where it talks about how when we pray we are not to be “like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6 also instructs with “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name …”
Jordan introduced this song to me shortly after we met several years ago. He came to our house one evening with his guitar and we ended up spending the whole evening talking, playing, and singing together. When he shared this song, I joined in playing and singing with him and was so moved by the presence of God in that moment … I knew we had touched something of eternity.
This is currently one of my favorite songs to introduce both when I’m leading worship and giving concerts. Thank you, Jordan, for bringing this song to the world!
Help Me (from Psalm 91): benefit concert at First United Methodist Church
I premiered this song at this church / venue last March, so it was my pleasure to bring it back again this year especially now that it’s been recorded and is part of my newest EP, Fire In The Night. This song came while literally crying out to God on a particularly hard day with one word: “help.” Immediately the words from Psalm 91 started ‘coming’ as comfort and as reminders of where to find my solace and help. I end this song (Help Me) singing the name of Jesus repeatedly, leaning heavily into verse 14 of Psalm 91 where it says:
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name…”
Thank you to everyone who came out to my Stop Hunger Now benefit concert Saturday night at First United Methodist Church! The funds raised will go toward their food packaging event which will be held on March 30th. We raised $1163.11 (almost 25% of their goal) for Stop Hunger Now which will provide thousands of meals for the desperately hungry of this world. If you or your church would like more information on Stop Hunger Now or you would like to host a food packaging event, please visit their website.
Special thanks go to special guests Madi Vest (violin) and Angela Kelly (flute) for joining me as soloists for this concert, and also Rebecca McEntire, who shared her painting during Fire In The Night.
Here’s another song from my last concert … “Battle Raging.” For several of these songs, I just can’t make them big enough! In fact, the concert on Saturday will be even bigger than this one, so please join us! Read More...
Psalm 45 is the song from this past year that is literally bursting on the inside of me. Exploding! actually. It ‘came’ while I was in the middle of recording my last album, Awaken Me, and is part of the ‘healing’ & ‘calling forth’ the Lord is doing in this songwriting season. Psalm 45 is listed in the bible as a wedding song and paints the picture of (what some have interpreted as) the preparation of the bride of Christ … the preparation of everything, really … for his return. My understanding of this psalm is continually unfolding as I dig deeper into it and sing it again and again. Read More...
Because I can’t make Psalm 45 big enough, I’m bringing in more strings for my upcoming concert on March 9th! And since we don’t have actual ‘light’ in our front room (aside from a tiny reading light affixed to my piano), we must rehearse by candle light. This truly makes for an aesthetically beautiful yet hazardous rehearsal time! (Watch your bow arms, girls).
This singing of the “hallelujah” comes at the end of my Christian worship / praise song “It’s About Glory,” a song written while I was sitting on the couch asking the Lord, “Why am I a musician? What is this all about? Why am I a worship leader? Why am I a songwriter? I didn’t set out to become a song writer. I didn’t even set out to become a singer! What is this all about?!?” Almost immediately the Lord began answering my questions and hi-lighting certain words: It’s about glory, and mercy. It’s about salvation, redemption … joining with the “holy holy holy…” and then he began to hi-light the word “hallelujah,” big time! I really got the sense that he wanted to revitalize the ‘hallelujah” or to renew the singing of the ‘hallelujah.” This video captures the final ‘hallelujahs’ of this song.
Inviting you to my next concert on Saturday, March 9th, 8:00PM at First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Charlottesville, VA. This is a benefit concert for the church’s STOP HUNGER NOW food packing event. STOP HUNGER NOW is an international hunger relief organization whose main mission is to end hunger in our lifetime. Please come support this worthy cause!
I’m also excited to announce that my newest album, Fire In The Night, will be available for sale at this concert (now available on iTunes and Amazon). Fire In The Night references the story in Exodus where God reveals himself (his presence & leadership) to the Israelites as a “Pillar of cloud by day and a Pillar of fire by night.” In other words, the Israelites were never without his direction and leadership leaving Egypt. He was never not there! read more
I am so excited to bring this music to you all, and to help support FUMC’s food packing event!
Again, my warmest thanks to everyone who came out to my Fire In The Night release concert. It was a very special night for me to be able to share this music with you all … and it was my special treat to include a vocal ensemble to sing my “Agnus Dei” and Durufle’s “Ubi Caritas” in honor of the Lenten Season.
Thank you to everyone who came to my FIRE IN THE NIGHT release concert on Saturday, 2/16, at Christ Community Church! You all made this a rich experience for me! Thank you also to my ever growing band of musicians and singers who bring all of this music to life. I’m more excited than ever for my next round of concerts. Here are some pictures from the show: Read More...
I’m happy to announce that I’ll be touring the Midwest this summer! Yes, I’m heading to the country (and to some cities too….) to give back to those who have so generously given to me over the years. We’re starting the tour at the little country church where I grew up, down the mile-long-still-gravel road … near my childhood home in the countryside of northern Illinois. It’s my joy and honor to ‘come back home’ and share with everyone! Read More...
A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who came out to my concert Friday. I was surrounded by richness on every side from the musicians who worked with me, to every member of the audience, to every volunteer serving behind-the-scenes. You are beautiful people! I was literally bursting with my new song, “Psalm 45,” which has become my anthem for 2012 and 2013. Be looking for a fuller studio version in the coming months. I believe the urgency I’ve been feeling to do this song is for “such a time as this.” Read More...
Preparations have been well under way for my concert this Friday night (November 16th). I am literally ready to burst with these new songs! A few of them are on my new Awaken Me album, and the rest will be released in early 2013. I’m bringing in a dear friend of mine for this concert, flutist Angela Kelly, who will be playing on Fire in the Night, a new song that premiered earlier this year. Also, we have a mystery tenor arriving Thursday evening just in time for our dress rehearsal! Enjoy this rehearsal footage… You’ll see some familiar faces, as well as some new. Come on out this Friday night, 8pm at Christ Community Church.
I’m getting close to the release date (surprise!) of my first devotional / worship album in response to a request that was made while I was recording my next studio album. Most of the tracks / songs on this devotional album come from time spent at my piano singing through the psalms or other portions of scripture, not setting out to ‘write’ or ‘craft’ a song … just singing through the scriptures. And this album portrays literally that: me at my piano singing as unto the Lord. This album is perfect for a personal devotional time, or for meditating on the scriptures being sung. There will be a limited number of these CD’s available at the Women’s Conference this weekend (November 9th & 10th) and also at my concert on November 16th. (But these concerts will surely NOT be unplugged!)
CDs available at the upcoming live events, iTunes / Amazon online release dates to be announced shortly.
I would like to invite you all to my next concert, Friday November 16th, 8:00 at Christ Community Church in Charlottesville. I know it has been a while since my last concert, but I have been hard at work on plenty of new material. I will be sharing several of my new songs along with some favorites. Limited preview CDs of my new unplugged album will be available also.
It’s been one year since the release of my debut album, “Out of the Deep,” and WOW! I’ve been overwhelmed with the love and support of so many people. Out of the Deep is so much more than an album to me. It’s a narrative, an account of me emerging from a place of weakness & hopelessness and into a place of strength, of something new & beautiful.
When I think back to what it took to produce this CD, I have to give testimony to the hand of God in it all. He truly showed himself strong in my weakness. I was so timid and ill-equipped to start (I didn’t even have a band!). My husband and I asked the Lord to ‘send a producer into our lap’ ~ a producer of His choosing for this project. We soon met Kevin McNoldy. Kevin was a rock to us. He patiently walked us through the entire process up to the release and beyond. The process of writing, connecting with our producer, submitting songs to him, recording, and giving concerts challenged and strengthened us in ways we never imagined possible. I am both strengthened and emboldened to continue on. And that’s a God thing! Hallelujah!
I’m still not sure what’s in store for 2013, other than lots more music! (writing, recording, & concerts!) I’m also excited about two new albums that will be coming out soon! Stay tuned!
I would like to share with you some upcoming events where I will be playing and leading worship. Feel free to check out the details on the links below or use the contact form if you have particular questions.
August 19th: I will be guest leading worship at one of our sister churches – Grace Covenant Church of Roanoke. Looking forward to this opportunity to serve within our network!
August 24th, 25th, 26th: Leading worship at Horizon Women’s Retreat (closed event).
More to be announced soon… check back for the details as they’re posted, or join in the conversation on Twitter or Facebook. Hope to see you soon!
Thank you to everyone who came out to my benefit concert in support of FUMC’s Stop Hunger Now food packaging event. We raised $1600 at this benefit concert, raising enough money to provide 6,180 meals to the desperately hungry of this world. This is a huge success in my opinion! It takes every one of us doing our part to sustain and act on the hopes we have in fighting world hunger. If you or your church wants more information on Stop Hunger Now or if you’d like to host a food packaging event, please visit their website here.
Thank you to everyone who came out to FUMC’s Stop Hunger Now benefit concert! A huge ‘thank you’ also to the Pastors and Staff (and volunteers) of First United Methodist Church for taking such good care of me and my band and for making this concert a success.
Here is a beautiful picture (taken by Alice Carpenter) of last night’s final rehearsal for the FUMCStop Hunger Now benefit concert. Join us tonight, Friday March 30th, at 7 pm in this gorgeous sanctuary for a night of music, all for a worthy cause! See you there!
Tomorrow is Friday, March 30th, 2012… which means it’s almost time for Julie’s First United Methodist ChurchStop Hunger Now benefit concert! Please join us for this wonderful event, featuring music from Julie’s debut album “Out of the Deep,” as well as new songs. All donations go to help Stop Hunger Now, and every little bit helps. We’ll see you at the concert!
Rehearsals are going well for my next concert (this Friday!). I am so excited to be bringing two new songs into the mix: “Help Me” and “Fire in the Night.” The song “Help Me” was inspired by Psalm 91. Justin Walton’s harmony vocals provide the perfect balance in both nuance and dissonance in the repeated ‘answer’ of the chorus where we sing over and over the name of Jesus. The song “Fire in the Night” refers to God revealing himself as the pillar of fire (as he did with the Israelites while leaving Egypt) in the dark of night and how he leads us when we find ourselves in the deep dark of night, or darkness of soul. Sometimes we even feel him calling to us in the literal ‘middle of the night!’ I respond in the chorus with these words: Fire in the night, here I come.
I am looking forward to sharing this music with everyone at the concert! Here are some pictures from a recent rehearsal. Read More...
I am so glad to be bringing a new song into the mix at this next concert at First United Methodist Church (March 30th, 2012). The name of the song is called “Help Me” and is based on Psalm 91. This song was written while I was praying a very simple yet heart felt prayer that went like this: “HELP.” In fact, the words for the song are taken almost word for word from a journal entry during that prayer time.
I did this song with my worship team for the first time a couple weeks ago and a good friend of mine said that this song is the most like ‘me’ out of the other songs I’ve written.
Also, I realize that the music behind the speaking in the video might be too much … too confusing. But when we ‘tried it out,’ we were amazed that my casual talking about the song lined up exactly with what the song was saying moment to moment. Have a listen! Read More...
I would like to personally invite you to my next concert which is being held on Friday, March 30th, 7:00 pm at the First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Charlottesville, VA. This concert is a benefit supporting the church’s Stop Hunger Now event. Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization whose main mission is to end hunger in our lifetime. FUMC is hosting a food packing event on Saturday, April 7th. The funds raised at this concert will go directly to packaging the meals at their event.
Julie will be performing a benefit concert at First United Methodist Church on Friday, March 30th, at 7:00 pm. This admission-free concert benefits the FUMCStop Hunger Now event, and donations will be accepted. It will take place in their newly renovated sanctuary, which is a gorgeous location to see Julie perform! Please join us for a night of beautiful music, all for a great cause.
First United Methodist Church 101 East Jefferson Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 Read More...
Female Christian artist Julie Bernstein explains her upcoming December 18th, 2011 concert, which will be a combination of classical music and songs from her debut album, “Out of the Deep.” This intimate performance setting will showcase Julie on piano and vocal, with Madi Vest on violin. Julie talks about the classical influence on her music and why this concert was planned, and shows footage of a previous performance with Madi Vest.
The concert takes place at Christ Community Church in Charlottesville, Virginia on Sunday, December 18th at 4:00pm in the late afternoon. Admission is free, and Julie’s “Out of the Deep” debut CD will be available for purchase at the event.
Julie Bernstein’s first show on October 14th, 2011 was a huge success.
Thank you to everyone who came to this event, and remember: On Friday, October 28th, Julie and her incredible band will perform another free show at Christ Community Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. Show time is 8:00 pm, and CDs will be available for purchase. Join us for an amazing night of music! And now some pictures from the first show: Read More...