NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Difference Media recording artist Canton Junction announces the addition of celebrated vocalist Shane McConnell to its acclaimed lineup. McConnell joins Matthew Hagee, Aaron Crabb and Tim Duncan, to round out the popular quartet.
“Shane is a remarkably talented and incredibly gracious individual, who greatly complements the idea that Canton Junction is where good things come together,” said Matthew Hagee, who also serves as executive pastor, Cornerstone Church. “We are extremely blessed to have him and look forward to what the future holds for Canton Junction.”
“I’ve enjoyed all the opportunities I’ve had in the studio through the years, but now as a member of Canton Junction, I’m especially looking forward to being able to interact with live audiences,” McConnell said. “I’ve always loved quartet harmonies, but I also have a heart for praise & worship, so Canton Junction seems like a great home for me. I believe it’s going to be a fun journey!”
McConnell has been a highly sought after Nashville studio vocalist since 1998, having performed on recordings by Garth Brooks, Wynonna, Kenny Rogers, Steve Green, Sandi Patty, Andy Griffith and Bill Gaither, among countless others. In addition, his voice has been heard on recordings for Walt Disney World and SeaWorld. Since 2006 he has been part of the Gaither Homecoming family, performing on Homecoming videos, live events and studio projects.
Since the release of its self-titled debut last year, Canton Junction has quickly become one of the leading groups in southern gospel music. The recording features the #1 single, “Hold On,” and the current single, “The Son Shines Down On Me.”
Difference Media is a division of Cornerstone Church, founded and pastored by John Hagee. The label features some of the leading names in Southern Gospel music, including Aaron & Amanda Crabb, Canton Junction, Matthew Hagee, Tim Duncan, The Cornerstone Sanctuary Choir, John Hagee and The Hagees. A non-denominational evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members, Cornerstone Church is home to John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts Pastor Hagee’s radio and television teachings throughout America and to 245 countries around the globe. The ministry also operates GETV, a 24/7 online television and video on-demand broadcast of sermons and original programming, as well as music videos and performances by Difference Media artists (www.getv.org).
Photo: (l-r) Canton Junction’s Shane McConnell, Aaron Crabb,
Matthew Hagee and Tim Duncan
Tags: Aaron Crabb, Canton Junction, cornerstone Church, JOHN HAGEE, Matthew Hagee, Shane McConnell, Southern Gospel News, Tim Duncan
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The inaugural Difference Media release under the new agreement will be the April 23rd launch of Aaron & Amanda Crabb’s Mercy. The long-awaited new recording from the popular duo, recently named “Ones To Watch in 2013” by GMCtv online, was produced by Aaron Crabb and award-winning musician Ben Isaacs. Mercy will be followed by the re-release of Canton Junction’s hit self-titled debut from last year, featuring the #1 single, “Hold On.”
Greg Bays, Senior Vice President of sales and marketing for EMI CMG Distribution said: “Difference Media was founded on a strong tradition of gospel music and the power of its message. EMI CMG Distribution is pleased to be a part of this ongoing tradition with their artists and inspiring releases. We look forward to expanding Difference Media’s impact with this worldwide distribution agreement. “
“We are thrilled to partner with EMI CMG Distribution, and believe it will serve to further the impact of Difference Media and our family of artists,” said Matthew Hagee, pastor, Cornerstone Church. “We couldn’t be prouder of the releases we have planned for the year, beginning with Aaron & Amanda’s recording, and we are grateful to EMI CMG for helping us make the music more broadly available.”
Difference Media is a division of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, founded by Pastor John C. Hagee. A non-denominational evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members, Cornerstone Church is home to John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts Pastor Hagee’s radio and television teachings throughout America and to 245 countries around the globe. The ministry also operates GETV, a 24/7 Internet television and video on-demand broadcast of sermons and original programming, as well as music videos and performances by Difference Media artists (www.getv.org).
ABOUT EMI CMG DISTRIBUTION (www.emicmgdistribution.com):
EMI CMG Distribution was founded in 1994 to serve as the main distribution outlet for EMI CMG’s owned and distributed labels to the US Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. Since this distribution division was launched, EMI CMG has had more charting titles annually on Billboard’s Top Christian charts than any other Christian distributor and has been named Billboard Magazine’s Top Christian Music Distributor 15 times since 1995. In addition to distributing Capitol Christian Music Group’s fully-owned labels, which include Sparrow, ForeFront, and Credential imprints, as well as EMI Gospel and Worship Together, EMI CMG Distribution has exclusive distribution agreements with BEC/Tooth & Nail, Centricity Records, Dream Records, Gaither Music Group, Green Hill Productions, Hal Leonard, Inpop, Hillsong, sixsteps records, Sonoma Music, Maranatha! Music, North Point Music, Spring Hill Music Group, Troubadour for the Lord, Universal Music Group, VSR Music Group, Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz, Creative Trust Media, Family Movie Night, Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, Guardian Studios/Bananas, Jellyfish Labs, Millennium Media Services, Pure Flix Entertainment, Whitestone Media, Worthy Publishing, Authentic Publishers and many more. EMI CMG Distribution is a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company.
Tags: Aaron & Amanda Crabb, Canton Junction, Cornerstone Sanctuary Choir, DIFFERENCE MEDIA, emi cmg distribution, Southern Gospel News, The Hagees
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“A Faithful Journey”
By Jennifer Campbell,
(SGNScoops Magazine, November 2012)
Have you ever encountered a crossroads in life? Sometimes in life, we may not plan out the course our lives will take. But God knows the path that we will travel down along life’s journey, and He knows where these roads will intersect. One Sunday morning, four individuals joined their voices in song, unaware of the harmony that would bring them together as a group. Matthew Hagee, Aaron Crabb, Michael Sykes, and Tim Duncan came to a crossroads. Instead of going four separate directions, they faithfully followed God’s footsteps. And His footsteps traveled down the road to Canton Junction.
Canton Junction was born from a special musical performance at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. As the group began to sing, it became clear that the harmony within the group, both literally and figuratively, was a rare find. The group’s name, Canton Junction, means “the crossroads of different subjects or regions into one gathering point.” On the day they came together to sing in one accord, that was their gathering point. The different regions where they live and diverse musical backgrounds they come from represent the crossroads of different subjects. Yet, no matter how different they may be, they sing for one reason and one reason alone: to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
While they are a quartet, Canton Junction represents so much more than four-part harmony. They have dozens of GMA Dove Awards, Grammy nominations, and other accolades between them. In addition, they have over 85 years of experience between them. Their styles of music range from traditional hymns to the Eagles and Southern Gospel to big band. Needless to say, there is something for everyone. And the best part of all is that every song is sung for the sole purpose of sharing God’s grace with everyone who hears them.
For over a decade, the lead singer of Canton Junction, Aaron Crabb, traveled with the renowned group The Crabb Family. During this chapter in his musical journey, he sang and produced 19 number one gospel songs. This Kentucky-born individual has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, and many other prestigious locations. Yet all the while, he simply loves the Lord, his family, and singing. Aaron holds a firm belief that God can use music to heal hearts and that the Truth gets us through the many obstacles that we may encounter.
Canton Junction is proud to have award-winning bass singer, Tim Duncan, on board with them. An original member of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Tim describes himself as a “quartet man.” He received the Singing News Fan Award for Best Bass in 2006. Tim said his earliest memories of music were of his dad buying quartet records. It was in these moments that he fell in love with the thrill of hearing long endings, the tenor soaring, and the bass booming. Bringing to the table 16 years of full-time singing experience, along with his involvement with Billboard-topping albums and DVDs, he still remains down to earth. For Tim, it’s not about the awards and honors, but instead, it’s about the reason he sings: he loves to make people happy by singing the best music in the world – music that communicates the Best News ever.
Continuing a six-generation legacy of ministry, Matthew Hagee sings tenor for Canton Junction. Matthew grew up singing around the piano with his family. He serves as Executive Pastor of Cornerstone Church, alongside his father, John Hagee, Founding Pastor. Having graduated from Oral Roberts University School of Business, Matthew is also a gifted speaker and author, in addition to being an accomplished vocalist. He has authored two books, “Shaken, Not Shattered” and “Response-Able.” When he is not on stage, he lives a truly Texan lifestyle, trading horses and cattle in his spare time.
The group’s baritone is no stranger to gospel music, having enjoyed a long and successful run in Nashville as a producer, songwriter, and business owner. Michael Sykes has produced award-winning albums for artists such as the Gaither Vocal Band, Russ Taff, The Martins, Jeff and Sheri Easter, and The Oak Ridge Boys. His love for harmony, along with his tenure with Ponder, Sykes, & Wright, makes him a natural group vocalist. Although Michael has received multiple GMA Dove Awards for producing and songwriting, he is a country boy at heart who has a gift for making music.
I had the opportunity to interview Matthew recently and found that he not only preaches what he sings, but also lives what he preaches. I pray you enjoy reading his responses to the questions I presented to him.
Matthew said that it’s hard to remember when he first heard Southern Gospel Music. He said, “It’s difficult to say when church music, family music, fun music was and is Southern Gospel Music. It wasn’t until someone told us what we were listening to that we knew what to call the music that was such a big part of our everyday lives. I have always loved Gospel Music of every kind and type. From an early age my family memories are around the piano singing the songs of the church. My father has always made it a point to pursue excellent, God-honoring music in our church, and as long as those two elements were first and foremost, then the style really didn’t matter. From big band to bluegrass it all has a place.”
Now that he is a part of a Gospel singing group, Mathew says that following in the steps of some of the greatest Gospel Music Legends is nearly incomprehensible. “To even be mentioned in phrases with people that you admire so dearly seems to be beyond anything we could have imagined for Canton Junction,” said Matthew.
Mathew said his greatest influence has been his father, John Hagee. He added, “Outside of my father in music, there have been many – George Younce, Glen Payne, Lari Goss, Ben Speer, and Bill Gaither – not to mention the gentlemen I’m privileged to work with now.”
As a singer, the lyrics of songs become a very important part of your life. Matthew said if he could write a song to describe his life so far, he would title the song, “Blessed.” Concerning a song that has blessed him personally, he responded, “That is something that changes from day to day and season to season. Whether it is a season of joy or hardship, the greatest endorsement I can give to Gospel Music is that it always meets the needs of the moment.”
Matthew is definitely a family man. Matthew said, “Anywhere my wife and kids are happy is paradise to me.” He and his wife Kendal are blessed with three children, Hannah Rose, John William and Joel Charles, and are looking forward to the birth of their fourth child in April 2013. He says he balances his time between family and ministry by purposely devoting his time to whatever it is he is doing. “When I’m with my family, I’m with my family,” Matthew said. “When I am working, I am working. Whatever I am doing at the moment is what I am 100% invested in.”
Matthew shared some wisdom to young artists who are just starting out. He said, “Always honor God; make worship a priority and endure.” Matthew said, “God is alive and well and watching.” Canton Junction follows this advice, understanding the fact that we should live our lives in honor of our Heavenly Father, making Him proud when He watches us along the road of life.
More About Matt
Most Encouraging Scripture: Jeremiah 1:5
Favorite Restaurant: “What are you hungry for?”
Favorite Book: Whichever one is in my hand at the moment. I love to read!
The group is excited to see what great things God has in store for them as they seek His direction on their musical journey. Their journey has literally taken them around the world with their tour of Israel where they performed for Prime Minister Netanyahu. Additionally, they recently recorded a live concert in San Antonio. “It was one of the most exciting musical events that I have ever been a part of,” stated Matthew. “We are looking forward to sharing the evening in a video release very soon.”
Canton Junction has experienced great success throughout the time they have been sharing the Good News through song. And it is certain that they will continue to have tremendous success for years to come. For Matthew, and quite assuredly the other members of the group, the best part of traveling and singing as Canton Junction is the “opportunity to see people blessed by the message of the music that we sing and to enjoy singing with friends that mean so much.” That is what it is truly all about: the message in the music, the music along the journey, and the faithful journey traveled by Canton Junction.
Canton Junction recently celebrated their chart-topping radio success at a special luncheon. The quartet’s debut single, “Hold On,” written by Gerald Crabb, reached #1 on The Christian Voice singles chart, while currently holding the #2 position on The Singing News. To order Canton Junction’s debut album, visit: http://www.differencemedia.org.
For More information, visit Canton Junction on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CantonJunctionMusic
If you enjoyed this article, please download the latest issue of SGNScoops Magazine. February’s issue highlights the ministries of The Nelons, The Browders, Lindsay Huggins, Gerald Crabb and more. Here:
Tags: Aaron Crabb, Canton Junction, cornerstone Church, gerald crabb, Jennifer Campbell, JOHN HAGEE, Matt Hagee, Michael Sykes, SGNScoops Magazine, southern gospel, Southern Gospel News, Tim Duncan
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NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Difference Media recording artist Canton Junction recently celebrated their chart-topping success at a special luncheon held in Nashville. The quartet’s debut single, “Hold On,” reached #1 on The Christian Voice singles chart, while currently holding the #2 position on The Singing News chart. Pictured at the celebration are (L to R) Canton Junction members Tim Duncan, Aaron Crabb and Matthew Hagee; Jan Binkley Puryear, Jan Puryear Promotions; and Difference Media engineers David Young and Robert Smith. Not pictured are Michael Sykes, producer, and Steve Allen, engineer. “Hold On” is featured on Canton Junction’s self-titled debut, which released last year on the Difference Media label.
Tags: Aaron Crab, Canton Junction, gerald crabb, Matthew Hagee, Michael Sykes, Southern Gospel News, The Christian voice Steve Allen, The Singing News, Tim Duncan
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – (January 21, 2013) – The administrators and staff of AbsolutelyGospel.com are proud to announce the nominees for the 2013 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards. As in years past, the nominees were chosen by the staff of AbsolutelyGospel.com and select media representatives. Starting on February 1, 2013, the fans will get a chance to vote for their favorites in certain categories.
“We are so excited about this year’s awards program,” mentioned Deon Unthank, President/CEO of AbsolutelyGospel.com. “Our site has seen such tremendous growth over the last two years, and we cannot wait to produce another awards show. Each year, things just get bigger and better, and this year’s show will be no different!”
Chris D. Unthank, Editor-In-Chief of AbsolutelyGospel.com said, “We applaud our staff and those other media representatives who voted for thinking outside of the box this year and really embracing what our awards program is all about. These nominations really represent the best of last year, and we can tell that our staff and the other voters really took this year’s nominations process seriously.”
As far as nominations go, Southern Gospel favorites The Perrys landed a stellar nine nominations this year, more than any other artist. The group earned nods for Song of the Year and Traditional Song of the Year (for “Blue Skies Coming”), Album of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year (for Through the Night), Mixed Group of the Year, and Special Event Project of the Year (for the Celebrate Me Home DVD release). In addition, reigning Female Vocalist of the Year Libbi Stuffle earned her third consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year nomination. Speaking of consecutive nominations, The Perrys’ lead vocalist/songwriter Joseph Habedank claimed his fifth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year and sixth nod for Songwriter of the Year (Artist) (after winning the award in 2011).
Last year’s big winner The Isaacs and reigning Female Group of the Year Sisters followed behind The Perrys with an impressive eight nominations each. Sisters earned their very first nod for 2013
Pacesetter, the awards’ most prestigious honor, this year. The Isaacs’ Ben Isaacs also landed a 2013 Pacesetter nomination for his production work in 2012.
Following behind those artists was Karen Peck & New River with seven nods. In addition, Karen Peck’s solo record How You Walk the Miles earned an Album of the Year mention. Brian Free & Assurance, Mark Trammell Quartet, and the Booth Brothers all landed six nominations. Three artists received five nominations – Tribute Quartet, Collingsworth Family, and Jeff & Sheri Easter.
Triumphant Quartet and Three Bridges both earned four nominations, while several artists received triple mentions, including The Talleys, Canton Junction, Gaither Vocal Band, The Hoppers, Michael English, and The Nelons. Soul’d Out Quartet, Greater Vision, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Beyond the Ashes, the Bowling Family, The Browders, The Williamsons, and Guy Penrod were each nominated for two awards. Read more »
Tags: Absolutely Gospel Music Award, and Guy Penrod, Beyond the Ashes, Canton Junction, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Gaither Vocal Band, Greater Vision, he Nelons. Soul’d Out Quartet, Joseph Habedank, Karen Peck & New River, Michael English, Southern Gospel News, The Bowling Family, The Browders, The Hoppers, the isaacs, the perrys, The Talley's, The Williamsons
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SGN Scoops is thrilled to announce their Great Gospel Giveaway! The winner will receive the children’s book, “Where Does God Live” by Phillip W. Rodgers. Endorsed by Jason Crabb, this book about the promise of Heaven is part of Rodgers’ Discovering God Series. The Discovering God Series is a beautiful collection of story books that teach young children about God. The winning copy of “Where Does God Live” is autographed by the author and illustrator, Phillip W. Rodgers.
The Great Gospel Giveaway Question is: How many years of combined experience in Gospel Music does Canton Junction have?
Canton Junction is the cover feature for the November issue of SGN Scoops Magazine. Download your copy today and find the answer to the contest question. Email your answer to the Contest Question to email@example.com by Midnight EST, December 4, 2012.
Send in your correct answer today for a chance to receive this beautiful book just in time for Christmas gift giving. One response per email address only.
For more information about Phillip W. Rodgers, The Discovering God Series, visit: http://www.discoveringgodseries.com/
Tags: Canton Junction, christmas, Jason Crabb, Phillip W. Rogers, SGNScoops Magazine, southern gospel, Where Does God Live
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Tis this season to be thankful,and we have a lot to be thankful for at SGNScoops Magazine. Be sure to read the highlights of the Creekside Gospel Music Convention! Rhonda gives the details of Lou Hildreth’s Celebration as well as details about this year’s Diamond Awards Show. Congratulations to all the winners. We are grateful to all those who participated in this year’s event and look forward to Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2013. We are very excited to present Canton Junction as the cover story and also highlight the ministries of Mercy’s Well, Tyler Hudson, Wes Combs, The Breakfast Club and the Littles. Celebrate 50 years in Gospel Music with the Singing Cookes and the retirement of the Melody Boys Quartet in this issue too! Don’t miss Ms. Lou’s memories, a Mathis moment with John Mathis or inspiration from Scott Rhoades. And a “must read story” is in this issue written by special guest writer, Kenna West regarding faith sharing. Check out who is releasing new music this month and see who is topping the charts! All of this and more written by a staff with more than 100 years experience in the Gospel Music Industry thus making us a trusted and reliable source of news and information. Don’t forget, our magazine is absolutely free! Please share with your friends! From the staff of SGNScoops Magazine, Happy Thanksgiving!
Download This Months Magazine Here
Tags: Canton Junction, Charlie Sexton, Creekside Gospel Music Convention, diamond awards, john mathis jr, Kenna West, Lorraine Walker, Lou Hildreth, melody boys quartet, mercy's well, Pigeon Forge TN, Rhonda Frye, rob patz, Sandi Duncan Clark, Scott Rhoades, southern gospel concerts, Southern Gospel News, The Breakfast Club, The Singing Cookes, Tyler Hudson, Wes Combs
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NASHVILLE, TN (September 4, 2012) – DIFFERENCE MEDIA is excited to announce that the highly anticipated self-titled debut CD of CANTON JUNCTION is now available! The quartet, consisting of Aaron Crabb, Tim Duncan, Matthew Hagee and Michael Sykes celebrated the release on a live telecast of CELEBRATION with MARCUS & JONI LAMB on DAYSTAR TELEVISION NETWORK on release day, September 4, 2012.
The group’s name, Canton Junction, “where good things come together” literally means: the crossroads of different subjects or regions into one gathering point. That definition perfectly describes exactly what happened when these four musical forces collided. Aaron Crabb, Tim Duncan, Matthew Hagee and Michael Sykes are four very different individuals who came from varying musical backgrounds and geographic locations, yet the moment they began singing together they stood on common ground.
The debut release is a two-disc set featuring twenty tracks of both new and classic material and is also representative of many roads merging into one. The influences you will hear range from timeless hymns to contemporary tunes … from southern gospel to big band. Among the group’s repertoire are time-tested songs of the church, fresh new songs written out of their own experiences, as well as songs you may have heard, but not like this.
Canton Junction started somewhat spontaneously, in preparation for special music at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. But after that first Sunday morning performance and the subsequent television broadcast, the response they received was overwhelming. After years of making music individually, these four men knew the harmony they had experienced – literally and figuratively – was out of the ordinary. They had to keep singing.
The two-disc set is available now at all retail outlets and online digitally. Additionally, it is available at www.JHM.org by clicking here.
Connect with Canton Junction by following them on Twitter @CantonJunction or liking them at http://www.facebook.com/CantonJunctionMusic. For more information about Difference Media, visit www.DifferenceMedia.org.
Tags: Aaron Crabb, Canton Junction, Daystar Television Network, DIFFERENCE MEDIA, Marcus & Joni Lamb, Matthew Hagee, Michael Sykes, Southern Gospel Concert, Southern Gospel Music, Southern Gospel News, Tim Duncan
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NASHVILLE, TENN. (April 5, 2012) - Canton Junction, the brand-new quartet consisting of Matthew Hagee, Aaron Crabb, Michael Sykes and Tim Duncan, recently returned from an amazing trip to Israel. The group performed at the Jordon River, in Jerusalem, and prior to a speech from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Members Aaron Crabb and Tim Duncan were moved and shared their thoughts. “There’s something very special about touring Israel,” commented Aaron Crabb. “It doesn’t feel like just a place to visit. It feels more like home!” Bass singer Tim Duncan shared, “It stirred a hunger inside of me that makes me want to experience more of God.”
Canton Junction records for Difference Media Group based in San Antonio, TX .Difference Media Group, led by Vice President and producer Michael Sykes, was formed by Matthew Hagee to reach the world through the powerful message of gospel music.
Like Difference Media on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/
Tags: Aaron Crabb, Canton Junction, Matthew Hagee, Michael Sykes, Southern Gospel News, Tim Duncan
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