Two decades of music
Winter Jam 2019 set for March 30
he Winter Jam Tour Spectacular is once again making its way to the Bryce Jordan Center. The show is Christian music’s largest annual tour. Comprised of more than 10 Christian music bands and performers, Winter Jam has been taking place for more than two decades. The spiritual show was the brainchild of the Christian band NewSong.
“We would do signings at Christian book stores and ask if the people were coming to the show later. We kept hearing people couldn’t afford to come hear us sing; Christian music concerts were not that big then,” said Eddie Carswell of NewSong.
From hearing for a while that the ticket price was a deterrent to seeing shows, Carswell had a bright idea. He decided to have a show that was nominally priced so people would be able to pay for a ticket. He talked to some people he knew, rented space for a concert and charged a menial $3 at the door for the show. It was quickly sold out and the idea to continue Winter Jam was born.
“It’s just an amazing story; we started adding a few cities and the same thing kept happening, it was growing,” Carswell said.
NewSong is continuing that tradition and will perform again at this year’s Winter Jam at the Bryce Jordan Center. “It’s always fun to go there. There are great crowds and we always look forward to that night. We have nothing but fond memories of coming to State College,” Carswell said.
This year’s Winter Jam Tour will be presented on a 360 degree “in the round” center stage and is being headlined by super group Newsboys United. Hollyn, a soulful, pop-inspired Christian musician is also among the performers. This is her first time touring with Winter Jam Tour and she has been enjoying it.
“It’s been fun. I have a whole new set and a creative design. I love it,” Hollyn said.
Along with NewSong, Newsboys United and Hollyn, the blockbuster lineup for this year’s Winter Jam Tour includes Grammy-nominated and former “American Idol” finalist Danny Gokey. Another Grammy-nominated artist performing is Mandisa. Rend Collective, a band from Northern Ireland is also on the tour. There are different types of music represented, such as hip-hop recording artist Ty Brasel and rockers Manic Drive. Ledger, Dan Bremnes and Adam Angee from Stellar Kart and Audio Adrenaline will also be on hand to jam. There also will include a presentation from Dare2Share speakers Greg Stier or Zane Black.
The stop at Bryce Jordan is near the end of the Winter Jam tour. It is the 41st stop of 42 cities.
“There are plenty of seats. Come out and join us. It’s the next to last city of the tour. It’s been great crowds so far and a lot of fun. Don’t let money throw you, just come,” Carswell said.
Tickets are $15 at the Bryce Jordan Center the day of the show. The small price is part of what continues to make the day so extraordinary.
“What makes Winter Jam special is that fans can see a large number of their favorite music artists and hear new artists for the price of a movie ticket (about). It’s affordable, family friendly, fun and inspiring. There is nothing else like it out there,” said Carol Anderson, tour publicist with CMA Promotions.
The artists who are performing are hoping to provide an affordable show and a day of good vibes for everyone who attends.
“I hope people leave with the question how did that make me feel or how was that different or man that inspires me. Maybe it will make you start to want to ask yourself questions. If I can start a conversation with someone through my performance, that’s the goal,” Hollyn said.