A small group of post-high schoolers sit in a circle discussing something important – an idea which is dear to the hearts of each one of them. What is this idea? It is a group of young people, so I suppose they are planning their next spike ball tournament or maybe the next youth retreat. Actually this small group, because of their united thirst for music along with a desire to glorify God, are organizing an a cappella ensemble called Avdon.
Let me introduce you to Avdon. Avdon is a group consisting of students/graduates of Calvary Christian Academy in Harrisburg, VA. In the spring of 2014, they sat down to organize a musical ensemble as an outlet to glorify God through their singing. The members of the ensemble are Katherine Byler (1st Soprano), Twila Heatwole (2nd Soprano), Shandon Mullet (1st Tenor), William Byler (2nd Tenor), Katrina Rhodes (Alto 1), Susanna Showalter (Alto 2), Zachary Mullet (Bass 1), and Isaac Mullet (Bass 2). Of course, I can’t forget a very important member of this group, Douglas Byler. Douglas directs the group and writes music for it. They named their ensemble Avdon, which means “servant worshipper,” because it clearly described the group’s goal “to always worship and honor God; humbly, but to the best of their ability.”1
Listening to the songs on their newest CD, Furthering Flight, I was amazed how accurately their music embodies their goal. Their songs reminded me over and over again of God’s faithfulness and His worthiness to receive my praise and honor. “As You Go” calls you to preach the gospel to all creation. “Seek Ye the Lord” and “Come, Let Us Return to Jehovah” encourage you to seek the Lord with all your heart. Each song is packed with Scripture, either paraphrased or word for word. As I listened to the CD, I was amazed at the many passages from the Psalms and other places that I recognized. It was like a tour through many of the promises of God found in Scripture.
The quality of the music is top notch. I was surprised to hear how well this group of young men and women harmonized. Each chord clicks into place, which heightens the quality and enjoyment for anyone who listens. It is not often that you hear a group of young people sound this professional.
As I sit here listening to this CD, I hear songs filled with pain, sorrow, and fear. However, with each pain, sorrow, and fear there is a reminder: a reminder of God’s love, mercy, and power. God has blessed the members of this group with amazing music talents, yet rather than using their talents for themselves, they are striving to honor and serve God with them.
My hope is that this review will entice you to purchase this CD. Although this style of music may be different than what you are used to, you should give it a try anyway. This CD repeatedly reminded me of the amazing love and grace found in Christ. The combined beauty of music and lyrics encouraged me to persevere and move forward in my Christian life. I believe it will encourage you and build you up in your faith as well. The CD is available at their website, Avdon Ensemble.
|Aaron Beery and his wife, Sadie, live in Elnora, Indiana, where he serves as the Administrative Assistant at the Elnora Bible Institute. He enjoys playing the piano, singing, reading and horseback riding. He hopes to use his counseling training to speak into people’s lives in this sin-cursed world for the glory of God.
- Mullet, Shandon. About Us. Avdon Ensemble, 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016