Praise music began at Byfield in 1992. Initially it was led by a volunteer who sang from the podium and was accompanied by piano only. Praise singing occurred 15 minutes before the service began and only those who enjoyed it came early. In 1995 guitar was added to the accompaniment. At that time an effort was made to transition between songs of similar tempo or theme in order to create a seamless offering of worship. After the guitar was added, parishioners from the church who played other contemporary musical instruments began asking if they could add their talents to the praise music. Drums were first, followed by bass guitar, harmonica and lead guitar.
As the Praise Band took shape, the praise singing segment of the service changed as well. The elders changed the order of worship a couple of times to meet the needs of the congregation. The first change moved the praise singing to the official service time of 10:45am. After 15 or 20 minutes of singing, the pastor called the congregation to worship and the service began with the first hymn. The second and most recent change moved the announcements, Call to Worship and first Hymn to before the praise singing. This arrangement allows the congregation to acknowledge the Majesty of God in the Hymn, then sing about His lordship in our lives during the praise music, all leading to a time of confession and prayer before the Sermon.
Bob Lathrop – Director, Acoustic Guitar
Holly Nowak – Piano
Simon Miner – Piano
Mark Vienneau – Bass Guitar
Mike Sylvester – Electric Guitar
Matt Woolley – Drums, Percussion
Lou Rotundo – Harmonica
Bethany Durkee – Vocalist
Sarah Hunter – Vocalist
Joanne Pasquale – Vocalist