CURTIS STEPHAN has been "through the storm" and back. A lifelong musician who began playing piano at age 5, this young manís journey has been one of searching and finding. During his intense college years he began to write music as a release. "Every day was a battle to see purpose in my life, to really believe that there was hope Ė that God had something in store for me that was meaningful and exciting," the singer-songwriter related. "So I ended up sitting at the piano and pouring my heart out through music. It has always been the best way to understand and express my emotions."
After receiving a bachelorís degree in music and masterís degree in jazz studies from the University of Northern Texas, he was still searching for direction. While most people with his credentials would be headed for New York City to live the jazz musicianís dream, Curtis still found himself wanting more. He eventually answered the call to be a Youth Music Minister at St. Annís Church in Coppell, Texas, a parish with a stunning 18,000 members. "I felt like that was what I was supposed to be doing. I figured I would take a chance and try this for awhile and Iíd go from there." At St. Annís Curtis found his mission: to spread the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is starving for it.
The growth in popularity of Christian music had a profound effect on Curtisí ministry and songwriting. "Everyone goes through a time when they feel like theyíre doing all the right things but are getting beat up by the world. In a culture that glorifies the negative, I really want to promote a message of hope for people with my music," he said. "Christian music just keeps you going. It helps you focus on the right things. It helps you focus on God."
Now, with the release of his debut CD Through the Storm, Curtisí ministry expands to a wider audience. The CD is an accumulation of his personal experiences, exposing everyday emotions and problems with a positive light. Itís the quintessential rock album Ė the gospel meets rockíníroll. Thereís nothing more upbeat than the positive light of God, and Curtis Stephan captures that light.
"There are two kinds of people in the world," said the artist. "The people that turn curses into blessings and the people who turn blessings into curses. I want to turn everything into a blessing and that is really what this record is about."