Good Morning Obots!
We continue to look at virtuoso’s of the violin. Today’s genre: Gospel
When Obed Shelton was seven years old, his father gave him a toy violin for Christmas. Obed showed such in interest, that soon he was learning on a real violin in grade school in Cleveland, Ohio. His teachers noticed that he liked to play more than just the notes that were written. He played through High School, and studied violin at Ohio University.
While there, he helped organize a Gospel Choir. And at their first concert, he arranged a solo violin interpretation of “Amazing Grace”, which would become his signature song (although he earned a degree in Broadcast Communications , and began a career as a News Reporter in Northeast Ohio). He began using his high school nickname “Obie” when he reported.
He may be known in the Cleveland area as much for his music making as for his reporting. He directed gospel choirs in Cleveland, writing and producing songs for Rev. Bill Sawyer, for the Ty-Scott record label in Indianapolis.
In May of 1998, he released his first violin solo recording “In Hymn”. He arranged and produced all the songs. He decided to use his given name “Obed” on the recording, because his father had named him after Obed in the biblical book of Ruth. And his father had started him on the violin. In November of 2004, He released his second solo recording “What a Friend”, again producing and arranging all the songs.
He has been a featured artist with Bishop T.D. Jakes. He’s soloed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, playing his own arrangement of Amazing Grace. He’s also soloed with the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra playing his own orchestral arrangement of Precious Lord . He was a guest artist, and guest M.C. with Dr. Bobby Jones, at the June 2000 Gospel Celebration in Chicago, and was a guest artist of the 1999 season of Cleveland Trinity Cathedral’s “brown bag” lunch concert series.
Eric L. Taylor
For many people, the image of a violinist is an eccentric individual standing erect, playing a classical piece by one of the great composers, void of emotion. There is, however, one that dispels those stereotypes and presents the violin as it has never been heard before – someone that appeals to all audiences, young and seasoned. He is Eric L. Taylor, and the word “exceptional” is an understatement.
Eric was born in Newport News, Virginia, to Elder Ernest and Missionary Patricia Taylor in 1970. He attended Newport News Public Schools and Virginia Commonwealth University, where he played viola and cello. Eric’s talent on the violin, however, is a God-given gift, and to date he has not had any formal instruction on violin.The musician claims he’s never had a lesson in his life. “It came to me,” he said in a soft voice. “I always call it a gift. And I give God credit for it.”
Eric has opened for such respected gospel names as Kirk Franklin and the Family, Fred Hammond and Ron Winans.