Today marks the release of Christian Rap and Hip-Hop pioneer Mr. Del’s fourth studio album, “Faith Walka.” Released on Mr. Del’s own Dedicated Music Group (DMG) label and distributed by longtime partner Universal Music Christian Group, the album is available wherever music is sold, including digital outlets such asAmazon and iTunes.
As a former member of the hugely successful, multi-platinum hardcore rap group Three 6 Mafia, Mr. Del became a Christian and walked away from the group, money, fame and just about everything that he knew. He suddenly found himself alone, broke and homeless. He was forced to leave Memphis for a time after receiving death threats from those that were once part of his inner circle. But in the midst of his darkest days, he learned that God was sufficient, and that there was a calling on his life.
“I started to feel an emptiness living the Gangsta Rap life,” says Mr. Del. “It wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be. I started to have a conviction about my generation and the message and damage I was doing to it. So I left the Gangsta Rap life to pursue a life of walking by faith. This album is my report of what I've seen along my journey.”
As has come to be expected, “Faith Walka” features some high-profile collaborations, including appearances from Canton Jones on “Forgot to Forgive,” and Rod G. Newman on the project’s first single (and music video), “Sunglasses.”
Mr. Del is hitting the road this summer with longtime collaborator Canton Jones, in addition to making media appearances from coast to coast. For the latest information, follow Mr. Del on Twitter and Facebook, or visit the official website at www.mrdel.com.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital recently developed an online resource to help parents manage their child’s diabetes more effectively and care for their health at home. The “Diabetes Calculator for Kids,” a first of its kind electronic tool geared toward the pediatric patient, allows parents, caregivers and the adolescent patient themselves to create an individualized chart which calculates the correct insulin dosage that should be given prior to eating.
Diabetes, which affects nearly 1 in every 400 children and adolescents in the United States*, is a disease that is characterized by a high blood glucose or “sugar” level. Managing a child’s diabetes requires the proper balance between insulin dose, food and activity on a daily basis. It is important to keep the child’s blood sugars within a target range at all times. Modern insulin therapy involves administering rapid-acting insulin before each meal and adjusting the dose based on the current blood glucose level and how much food will be eaten.
The Diabetes Calculator for Kids, available for any patient who uses insulin, creates an individualized chart for rapid-acting insulin bolus dosage in five easy steps. After the parent or patient completes those steps online, a customized chart is produced that can be emailed or printed off. It provides the parent, caregiver or patient an easy way to look up the correct insulin dosage based on current blood glucose, without having to do the math each time.
“The goal is to provide an additional tool to empower families to successfully manage their child’s diabetes at home in order to provide as normal a life as possible for that child,” said David Repaske, MD, PhD, chief of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes at Nationwide Children’s and also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “The chart can also be printed out and taken to school or given to a sitter to ensure accurate insulin dosing without the need to learn the formula and do the math for each dose.”
Nationwide Children’s always recommends that parents consult with their child’s physician first with any questions related to their child’s individual diabetes management plan.
The Diabetes Calculator for Kids, developed in partnership between Duet Health (a company that builds health care applications based in Columbus, Ohio) and Nationwide Children’s, is free and available to the public by visiting, nationwidechildrens.org/diabetes-calculator-for-kids.
In just two years time, Sleep for Dreaming has blossomed from a burgeoning upstart to one of the southwest’s brightest buzz bands. With the upcoming release of their debut EP, “Memories,” they are poised to expand their audience to a national level. “Memories” will be available June 18th at all major digital retailers including iTunes.
Hailing from Amarillo, Texas, lead vocalist Zoe Bohlen, drummer Bryan Singer, bassist Calvin Barker and lead guitarist Ismael Armendariz have crafted a sound that is equal parts pop, punk and modern rock. Fans of Jimmy Eat World, MXPX, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday and Anberlin will find Sleep for Dreaming to be a welcome addition to the current music scene.
Not only did the foursome all feel the calling to deliver an authentic, heartfelt brand of songwriting to the church and beyond, but they’ve quite literally sold many of their possessions to make music ministry life’s ultimate priority. Their band name, Sleep for Dreaming, is a nod to both the sacrifices and the convictions that led him here.
“It partially comes from Hamlet’s monologue ‘to sleep, perchance to dream,’ but Sleep for Dreaming has a lot of different meanings to us,” says Zoe. “To us, the name is a bit ironic as it suggests that you are only dreaming when you sleep and not actively pursuing your dreams, but in actuality, that’s what we are doing every second of every day. Dreams take more than a night’s sleep to make happen, at least, those dreams that you want to see come true.”
On their debut project, the band tackles a wide variety subjects from spiritual matters to personal observations about love and loss. The title track is a great example, as the lyrics point to God reworking a relationship according to His plan, resulting in something better than either party ever imagined. A music video will be released later this month in support of the single, which is being promoted to radio by Nashville-based Shamrock Media Group.
“We write from the heart and we want to affect people in a positive way,” sums up Zoe. “We want to make people think about life and what they can really do if they put their mind to it. We’re just musicians doing what we love to do, but above all, we hope to build a bridge from the church to the world and bring everyone together.”
The American Prize has announced that two works by composer Jesse Ayers, D.M.A, professor of music at Malone University, have advanced to the finals round of the American Prize in Composition—Band Division. Seven works in all nationally are finalists in this division. Ayers was the winner of the first American Prize for Orchestral Composition in 2010 for his work The Passion of John Brown. This is the first year the American Prize has offered an award for concert band composition. The two works by Ayers in this year's Band Division finals are Jericho and And they gathered on Mount Carmel.
Jericho, a 16-minute work based on the Old Testament account of the battle of Jericho, is a surround-sound story piece with narration and unorthodox audience participation for symphonic band or symphony orchestra. Jericho has since received 20 performances in 15 states since its 2005 premiere by the Valparaiso University Chamber Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Scott Doebler. The orchestral version of Jericho was premiered in Denver by Lawrence Golan conducting the Lamont Symphony Orchestra. Golan has also conducted the work with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington state.
The other work by Ayers in the finals is And they gathered on Mount Carmel, which was the first of Ayers' surround-sound works. Performed in three movements -- The Incantations of the Prophets of Baal, The Prayer of Elijah, and The Fire of the Living God -- the composition is a 25-minute, programmatic work based on the Old Testament account of the great contest between the prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal. The band version was premiered by University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Richard Clary, and the orchestral version by the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra (Maryland) conducted by Sheldon Bair. Mount Carmel has received more than 40 performances from Maine to California, and was selected in 2003 to represent the United States at the prestigious World Music Days new music festival in Europe.
The American Prize in Composition recognizes and rewards the best composers in America of new works for orchestra, chorus, concert band or chamber ensemble that have been publicly performed.
In addition, this past March, the National Honors Band of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod premiered Akedah, a new work it commissioned from composer Jesse Ayers at Martin Luther College (Minnesota). Akedah (AH' key dah'), is Hebrew meaning "The Binding" and refers to Abraham's binding and near sacrifice of Isaac recorded in the Old Testament. The 12-minute work employs narration and audience participation.