Rachel West Kramer is a Christian Vocal Artist and Speaker with Hands of Love Ministry and Electric Station Records. Rachel sings and speaks throughout the United States for various concerts, conferences, prayer breakfasts and women's events. Over the past several years, she has recently released her latest project arranged by David Clydesdale entitled, Majestic Glory!
Together with her husband, Scott and daughter Maria, they travel and share God's love and salvation through their family's music group, The Kramers. Additionally for 19 years now, they host the popular RiverLife Gospel Music Lunch and Dinner Cruises aboard the Spirit of Peoria Riverboat along Peoria's beautiful riverfront. Every year, they host the Real Life: Real Joy Women's Day of Renewal, the Good News Music Radio Program & Concert Series as well as the annual Christmas Celebration Concert Series.
Hallels: Thank you so much for your time. Rachel, I was blown away by your voice on your new album "Majestic Glory!" How you can soar to the high notes and stay there! Did you take any vocal lessons? How do you take care of your voice?
Timothy, Thank you for your kind and encouraging words regarding "Majestic Glory"! We have prayed our LORD will bless many lives through the album. We appreciate your desire to do this interview and hope it will also be a rich encouragement to others!
To answer your questions, I studied private voice as a teenager and in college, I had the privilege of receiving a degree in Vocal Performance from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. We have found the best ways to keep your body and voice healthy are to get good rest, drink a lot of water and rely on the LORD to keep you strengthened for what He calls you to do. He is faithful.
Hallels: Why did you choose to take time out from the Kramers to record a solo album?
Thankfully, I did not have to take time out from our family group to record this album. I had the opportunity to work with the incredibly gifted David Clydesdale and we were able to schedule the recording sessions around our tour dates.
Hallels: You got to work with David Clydesdale on this record. What was it like working with him?
David is truly a genius! When working with him, there is an extreme rush of adrenaline just trying to keep up with him. It took about a week or two to finalize the song selections and then, David was sending the arrangements, at times, just hours after selecting each song. We are still amazed at the speed in which he produced these magnificent arrangements! The orchestral recording session with The Nashville String Machine was a very moving experience -sitting in the control room listening and watching as the songs came to life. Timothy, I literally held tissues under my eyes all through the session. Altogether, it was such an honor to work with this dear man and everyone involved!
Hallels: What were some of the joys and the challenges in making this record?
The idea for this album came while touring the Holy Land. It was my third tour there, but the first tour for most everyone else in our group. While making our way up to Jerusalem for the first time, as is tradition, everyone began singing the powerful song, "The Holy City". There is rarely a dry eye when you experience this. I felt as if God said specifically to me, "I want you to make music which tells My story and shows people the way to The Holy City (Heaven)." The joys are too innumerable to tell. All of the quiet time spent waiting on Him for direction and provision have made this journey so sweet. There were many difficulties as well. Snow storms and extreme weather conditions caused us to reschedule several vocal sessions in Nashville. Overall, it has been the richest journey with The LORD so far than any other album we've recorded.
Hallels: I read in your bio that you have a son Weston who has autism. How is he now? What advice do you have for parents who have children who are not well?
We have two children - Maria is turning 18 next month and travels with us in full-time music ministry. Also traveling with us is our son, Weston, whom we call our "Gentle Giant!" He is turning 16 this month - standing 6 foot 2" and Weston is a very loved and cherished son - we are all crazy about him! Yes, he was diagnosed with autism when he was two. At first, it was devastating. Our lives were suddenly turned upside down in every way. We were told by specialists he would never talk and would likely be institutionalized at a young age. In Luke 22:31, Jesus tells Peter: "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith will not fail. And when you return, go and strengthen others." Also in John 9:1-3, the disciples gathered around Jesus asking Him - who sinned? - the blind man or his parents - that he was born blind at birth? Jesus answered them by saying that "this has happened so that the glory of God might be displayed in his life." I am paraphrasing these scriptures, but they were the very ones God gave to our family to strengthen us and give us hope. Today, Weston talks and is able to do so much more than we ever thought possible. He loves to sing and dance and is overall a very happy guy. There are, of course, many challenges - daily. We rest in God's Sovereignty. He has lovingly allowed this trial. It is keeping us on our knees - humble and very dependent before Him. I do not offer advice because parents with "special" children usually get huge doses of advice. To people whose hearts have been shattered over loss, illness or serious circumstances, I come alongside you and point you to Jesus. The only relief, the only comfort and hope is found in Him. Spending time crying with Him, crying out to Him, thanking Him, rejoicing over every little thing and big thing...simply staying close to Him every step we take. He is our All.
Hallels: Are the Kramers working on a new album yet? What can we expect of this new album? And when will it be released?
Yes, we are scheduled to track our vocals once we return from our ministry tour here in Arizona & California. Most of the music is already tracked and it will hopefully be a very uplifting album of songs to encourage hearts and draw more people closer to God. Scotty says we should see it release this Spring or Summer! We appreciate prayers for this.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase your new record or/and find out more about you, where can they go?
Visit our website: www.TheKramersMusic.com, iTunes, Facebook (The Kramers)
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