Singer-songwriter Maria Long will perform at the College View Church on Jan. 31 at 7:30.
Known for heartfelt lyrics and full musical sound, Long will perform songs from both her albums alongside a full band and Union’s own Tyler Morrison and Azriel Peckham. “I met her when she was still recruiting for Andrews Aniversity,” said Morrison, who will be providing keyboard and vocals. “She had just released her first album.”
That was in 2006 and the album, Here With Me, launched Long into the public eye, earning her support from both fans and the music industry alike. CCM Magazine nominated her for Best New Independent Artist of the Year in 2007 and three of her songs were featured on television and an indie WOW album—a collection of Christian music hits.
After the success of Here With Me, Long continued to structure her music around her faith, crafting lyrics that address the struggles of sin and a God who can provide healing.
Her second and most recent album, Endeavor, is no exception.
Created as a concept album, the songs are arranged in a timeline from sin to salvation, a human chronology from lost to found. Her website promotes Endeavor’s eleven songs as “a progression of steps that a sinner would take starting with realizing your sin . . . to experiencing a breakthrough in your life and then culminating with building a relationship with God.”
Writing and recording Endeavor took Long four years and four studios, an investment she calls “a process of growth as a musician and a follower of God.” Ultimately “Find Me,” her first radio release, made Billboard’s top 40 within weeks of its debut.
But for Long, her musical talent is only a platform from which to bring God praise. “I am not attached to music,” she explained. “I am attached to God.”
This faith-based message is the result of her religious roots as well as her experiences as an educator. For six years she taught at a school in Michigan where she was confronted daily by hurting kids—addicts, cutters, and products of broken homes. She created a program called The Basement that ministered to children and teenagers from all walks of life, drawing more than 80 youth on a regular basis.
Her experiences with The Basement continue to inspire her songwriting for youth ministry. Her goal is “to reach out and help them to see that God’s love is available for them.”
The result of such passion is expressed in the painful but honest lyrics that define her career as a musician. Her website asserts that “Maria’s message isn’t comfortable at times, but it is real.”
And that is why Morrison asked her to come. “This year we’re trying to focus on worship sets instead of ‘concerts’” he said. “Maria is perfect for that.”
But that doesn’t mean that Long won’t deliver a lively show. “She is fun and upbeat, but she is also genuine,” said Morrison. “she is a very authentic musician.”
The College View Seventh-day Adventist Church is located at the corner of 48th and Prescott on the Union College campus. The concert will be free and open to the public.