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Check Out Nick Savage’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Savage.

Hi Nick, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Family is everything. I started out with an incredibly encouraging family. Through nearly every activity church, school, sports, crafting, scouts and more my family supported my formation as a young adult.

Music was and is where my passion rest. Since I was a child I was encouraged by nearly everyone I knew to excel playing and creating music in nearly every setting possible. I played in the church band from 5yrs to present where I was encouraged by my pastor (Abraham Perkins) and his wife as well as my family and Grandfather John Moore who later pastored me . I played in school and was encouraged by a great teacher Matt Sokeland.

In school I was a tri-athlete lettering in varsity in all of the sports I played. Though I wasn’t the best in all the sports, my coaches, teammates, and teachers all encouraged me to be a solid sportsman, student-athlete and they saw my excelling as a musician important and had an incredible respect for my love for it. Imagine the captain of the football team taking his helmet and top pads and jersey off to March in the bands halftime show as the section leader (co-lead along Nathan Becker). That was me! God bless those formative years.

A good story. I knew I would play music in college but I really wasn’t ready. I was so unprepared an underclass person and friend Allison Franzen helped me recognized it and actually prepared me for my college audition. I couldn’t read music yet…. And this was a very difficult realization I had. It was also the birth of a milestone as we met a few times before my audition. I ended seared a scholarship to Missouri State Southern University but did not take it as it was too far away.

My college years were my most formative in music and in faith. I met the incredible Ryan Marquez, a Kansas City native with very high expectation for a professional music. We very quickly became best friends – writing, arranging, learning, and performing music together. We formed the band Fresh Heir that is still writing and recording music today. It was within that band that led me to opportunities to tour internationally, produce professionally, and lead a band with quality care for the people with vision in mind.

This connection with Ryan in addition to my upbringing, faith, and education at Webster University is undoubtedly the most incredible boost in my professional music life. At Webster, we were trained and educated in a world renowned program under the direction of Dr. Michael Parkinson and Paul DeMarinis. We formed many friendships that would prove to be important in our professional lives. This list of folks includes but is not limited to Joel Kern, Mike Smith, Drew Mantia, Ben Majchrzak, Joe Mancusso, Desmond Reichold, Ben Roig, Pete Lombardo, John Lum, Phil Graves, Pete Ayers, Laura (Lola) Hennicke, Andrew Gibson, Guy Cantonwine, Justin Corgan, Paige Alyssa Hegwood, Will Robinson, Ted Brookins, Jesse Gannon, Gavin Duffy, Tim Moore, Ben Wheeler, Joe Pastor, Keith Moyer, Dave Becherer, Nick Schlueter, Abby Steiling, Kevin Koehler, Larry Morris, Stephen Martin, Chrissy Renick, and many…. many more.

All of these folks attended Webster University at some point and at some point we have rehearsed, performed, written, recorded, and connected on the matters of life. This family of folks have been the backbone of many of my passion projects. To date, I have written or arranged, recorded, and produced over 7 hours of music that has been released on most of the major music platforms.

In addition to the creation of music, I produced one of ST. Louis’ premier special events mandatory Diamond Empire Band where I met more incredible musicians including but not limited to Andrew Exum, Josh Williams, Justin Hoskins, Taynka Mimi, Andrew Dwiggins, Steve Factor, Nabeel Kassis, Kwanea Johnson, and many… many… more.

Another avenue I was introduced to after college was music licensing. Having met Teddy Presberg, an incredible musician and licensor, I was fortunate that a song I wrote was featured in a video honoring Kobe Bryant’s retirement. This opened another world of professional experience to my resume. The experience included travel to LA, for Lakers games, NAAM convention appearances, and endorsement connections with Soultone cymbals.

Today, I am thankful enough to say I continue to write arrange and record music as well as serve as an associate pastor a church in south city called The Connection United Methodist church (Every Sunday at 11am until noon). There my passion for Christ’s passion and my passion for music align. My most recent album release featured a single called “Thank You” and it was debuted on Easter Sunday at The Connection UMC. There, in addition to Sunday service, we offer special experiential services, concert series, concerts, block parties, and outreach to the neighborhood.

Still, my family is my life. I have three small children and my wife and I are foster parents. My wife is the backbone of our family. We aim to help our children grow up in an environment similar to ours – a safe place where faith in God is the center, where encouragement is always. and community gives life.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There certainly have been struggles.

There was a time shortly after touring through the European Bulkans and coming home, finding a purpose for completing school was not clear, money was tight, and transportation was very complicated as I had to move away from school as the rent was too expensive. On top of all of that, before I fully committed to going back to school, my mother passed away. My mother was the backbone of our family and she died in a very unexpected way.

This experience was also the adversity that created a lift within me to define my faith as an adult and persevere through school and young adulthood.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Specifically, In the words of St. Augustus, I “preach the gospel and use words when necessary.”

At The Connection United Methodist Church, I organize the services and provide artistic direction for special services. This takes place in a church that is considered a reconciling church with an open communion table. These factors really set us apart from many church settings.

What I am most proud of is, the church is a church first – honoring many traditions, taking very seriously the sacraments, and remembering our faith history. Secondly, the artistic expressions and nature of giving to the community surrounding the culture of the church is word class. The community does not suffer from a lack of professionalism and high art because it’s not wealthy. I thank God I am able to bring my experiences to a small but mighty and very appreciative congregation.

I realize how fortunate I am to have the opportunities that I’ve been afforded. I also realize how much stories like mine are important, especially as a black man who’s had racial obstacles. I am very fortunate to have a supportive wife, family and friends. I am very fortunate to have very supportive mentors and church leadership in Rev. Terri Swan as well as staff family who play a very active in my continued faith formation and ministry journey.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
Absolutely: Garry Chapman – Things I Wish I New Before I Got Married

Catholic ACTS retreats

The Bible

The Work of C.S. Lewis

The Work of Malcom Gladwell

The Work of Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Work of Dr. Leah Gunning Francis

The Work of Rev. Jeremiah Wright

The Work of Henry Louis Gates III

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Phil Hamer Photography
CMS Photography
Dana Anzalone
Libby Savage

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