Cape will hear ‘big band’ sound
JEFFERSON CITY – Denver and the Mile High Orchestra.
Someone might think, “A band from Colorado. Pretty neat.” But this Denver is Denver Bierman, who was raised in Indiana.
After first picking up the trumpet in sixth grade, he wrote his first song named “Just Believe.” His music took off from there as he became known statewide in 1995.
After graduating from high school, he earned a scholarship to play the trumpet for Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Bierman then became a part of the Christian music industry. Realizing it would be hard to find many bands with a need for horn players, he decided to form his own band. Thus came the birth of Denver and the Mile High Orchestra.
Joining Bierman in the band with the “big band” sound is Adam Beck, who took trumpet lessons from Bierman as a junior in high school. Beck came on board in 2001. Lead alto sax player Chris Gregg, born and raised in Denton Texas, met Bierman at Belmont. Other band members are: Reggie Grisham (trumpet); Kenn Hughes (trombone); Eric Kilby (baritone sax); Tony Marvelli (bass); Jeff Pardo (piano and keyboards); Jared Ribble (drums and percussion); and Scott Steward (trumpet).
“In an age when new bands come and go with the wind, the only thing that can explain that a Christian ‘big band’ is still going strong after five years is that God must be up to something,” Bierman said. “So our job is just to keep moving forward and make sure He gets all the glory.”
They have performed with such artists as Jonathan Peirce, Christifari, Greg Long and Jaci Velasquez. They also have played for Gary Chapman conferences, Bill Gaither’s Praise Gathering, Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and even at the Presidential Inauguration Ball in 1997, before the band was completely formed.
One of their most recent songs is “Only Jesus (My Legacy).” Bierman described it like this:
“When you invest your life into the kingdom of God and into the Word of God and into God’s people and into the lives of others, you can’t help but leave a legacy,” he said. “If people don’t remember anything else except the fact that my life stood for Jesus Christ, that’s more than enough for me. That’s been the truest desire of my heart for more than seven years, and that’s the core of this song.”
The band will begin playing at the 172nd annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention in Cape Girardeau at 2:20 p.m. Oct. 31. They will lead worship that afternoon and on into the evening, finishing with congregational singing at 7:15 p.m.