Christian Songwriters' Showcase

We have spent a lot of time in this webzine talking about the monthly Christian Songwriters’ Showcase that Artists’ Work B.e.n.c.h. hosts in Highland on the fourth Saturday of each month. For those of you who haven’t made it out to a show yet, here’s a summary of the fun we had at the January Showcase.

The vivacious, young Jillian Elizabeth belted out several original and worshipful tunes at the Showcase, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. This was one of her first performances outside of leading worship, but her nerves quickly subsided as the Holy Spirit took over. For Jillian, songwriting is "just a way to get all my jumbled emotions out," she said. "I started kind of writing a few years back, but more recently became more serious about it." In addition to playing the guitar, Jillian can play some piano. Her main influences are Bethany Dillon, Jimmy Needham, and "any worship leaders," she says. Jillian attended the Songwriters' Showcase in October to see her friends the Chittys, and got roped in... uh, "encouraged" to play her own tunes for the January Showcase. We hope she will come back and delight us again with her music in a future performance.

Justin Reid played acoustic guitar, sang, and shared his heart with the crowd between the songs. An alumnus of the youth program at San Bernardino Community Church, Justin is a native of Canada and spent some time in Maine before returning to Southern California. He is a member of Altered!, a traveling worship ministry that visits churches around the Inland Empire and beyond. Not only is he our favorite barista, he is now building a new web design business to help support his musical endeavors. He is a funny, charming young man with a huge dose of talent. The music he performed at the showcase was warm, honest and showed a seeker’s heart.

L-R: Klutz, Mic Applegate and Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony sang and played rhythm guitar while his bandmates – Klutz on 12-string guitar, Mic on percussion, and Steve on harmonica— played praise music at the January showcase. Mark has been writing songs since he learned how to write. "I remember having a pad and pencil in my hands even before I started kindergarten," he says, "so maybe it (writing songs) was inevitable." In addition to playing guitar and singing, Mark can play drums/percussion, and even dabbles in a little theater. His main musical influences are David Mullen and Chris Tomlin. His music is catchy yet cerebral, and displays a passion for serving Christ with love and dedication. He can be contacted at, and you can download a sample of his music from his Myspace page. Also, see the “Happenings” page in this issue of Artists’ Work B.e.n.c.h. for his upcoming gigs!

L-R: Jesse Manzano, Scott Gordin, Chip Gumienny

The Scott Gordin Band – Scott on vocals and guitar, Chip Gumienny on percussion, and Jesse Manzano on bass – finished up the evening by playing several catchy worship tunes. Their own style is more rock-and-roll than the acoustic set-up allowed for the showcase, so they rounded out their set with some tunes written by other artists, but the majority of the songs they played were original. Their album “Make Me a Worshiper” is one of the better releases we’ve heard lately, and the title track could find a home in just about any church’s worship set. For more info, check them out on Myspace at

The next Christian Songwriters Showcase will be on Saturday, February 28th at 4:30 PM. The Showcase is held at GFE Coffee in the Albertsons Plaza, corner of Baseline and Boulder in Highland. We are still putting together the artist roster for this month, but it should be another barn-burning night of good music. For directions and other info, contact Todd Jenkins at (909) 863-1000 or

We are always in need of artists for upcoming monthly showcases, so please contact Todd if you are interested in performing. We will sign you up to perform a half-hour set of all original music. Due to room and noise constraints, we prefer as small a setup as possible; one musician with an instrument is best, but we can accommodate three or four (no drum kits, only hand percussion).

For more arts events in February, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was there. It was cool. I think I'll be at the next one, too.