After a decade of living in Nashville and working in the music industry, I was ready for a change…not just professionally but for our family as well. After the birth of our second daughter in 2005, we wanted to be closer to family, reduce our cost of living, and try to pursue making music more on our own terms. This meant making a move from Nashville to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sioux Falls had everything we were looking for in a place to raise our family, and it was also close to (my wife) Heidi’s family. In February of 2006, we made the nearly 1,000 mile journey of relocating to Sioux Falls.

One of the miraculous things that happened, our first four months in Sioux Falls, is that the University of Sioux Falls agreed to rehearse and record a work for choir and orchestra that I had been trying to produce for a couple of years. In His Own Words is a 45-minute work that derives its musical and narrated texts exclusively from the New Testament words of Christ. In His Own Words is a perfect example of a project that every publisher and record label, with whom I had a working relationship, had rejected. In His Own Words broke all of the marketing and publishing rules. But I was passionate about composing and producing it because it is exactly the sort of music that I believe we Christians should be creating.