Arts and Entertainment

Valley Christian rockers celebrate album release

Local Christian rockers “the disciples” will celebrate the release of their first CD, which has been a year and a half in the making, with concerts at Snoqualmie United Methodist Church this weekend.

The CD is dedicated to Garth Schneider, a young photographer who used to quietly watch the band play at the church’s Sunday morning contemporary services. When Schneider died recently from health complications, his mother told the band that he had loved their music, and asked them to play at his funeral. Though they’d only had a casual acquaintance, the musicians were shocked by Schneider’s untimely death, and moved by a slideshow of his photos, band member Mark Stendal told the Valley Record.

“It was one of those things, you know how you have regrets in life, like, Why didn’t I talk to this guy? He’s so incredible,” Stendal said.

The band will play the song they wrote about Schneider, called “Hardly Got to Know Your Name,” accompanied by a video they also produced.

The six-member band will play other original songs from their eclectic CD, a mix of “country, a little comedy, reggae, rock, a soulful ballad,” Stendal said. “We try to be open and accessible to anybody, and not be too heavy-handed with the religious side of things.”

The disciples, so named because all band members have biblical names, started playing together more than four years ago after they met at church.

“It was a typical kind of frozen chosen place, and we wanted to spice it up a little bit,” Stendal said.

In addition to their regular Sunday 9 a.m. gig, the band plays other shows under the name “Joe Doe and the Sardines.” Most of the band members have been playing music for years, some professionally.

“All of us had played in bands early on, and we’d played in these smokey lounges where lots of times people were drunk and not paying attention,” Stendal said.

Forming the disciples was a natural progression for them.

“We’re all married, live in the suburbs, but all have this passion for music. If we can have a little bit of a message, even better,” Stendal said.

They’ll share that message in free concerts this weekend. Saturday’s show is “sold-out,” but space is still available Sunday.

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