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Weight of Glory: BU jam sessions jumpstart band

When sophomores Mitchell Blom and Stone Meyer started playing their guitars and ukuleles at the Maddox Grand Atrium in fall 2009, it was nothing more than a jam session.

Over time, the duo expanded into a trio, and eventually into a four- and five- piece group. They still played their hearts out at the Atrium, which eventually became a place where people stopped and listened to them for a while.

What started as jam sessions there, however, turned into a lot more for the group, now called The Weight of Glory. On Sunday evening, they will open for Grammy-winning and nominated Christian bands MercyMe and Jars of Clay in front of thousands at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The five-piece Christian-folk band has an eclectic and unique mix of musicians and instruments, with Meyer on ukulele and lead vocals, Blom on guitar, Stephen Palmer on percussion, Becca Bradley on cello, and Drew Smyser on bass. Since the band officially took form this August, they haven’t taken a chance to stop. “We’ve never looked back,” Smyser said. “It’s been a blast. There’s never a dull moment.”

The band believes their music is a strong message of their Christian faith, as well as one that has a universal appeal.

“I feel we’re breaking that boundary to where we can not only be appreciated by those who have secluded themselves in the worship genre, but also the rest of the world,” Blom said.

The band, however, is still very-worship based, Meyer said.

“Whenever I sing, I’m worshiping. That’s my intention behind every word,” he said.

The band started quickly, auditioning and earning a spot in last semester’s Christian showcase. Near the end of that semester, Smyser heard of a contest accepting video clips from bands. The winner would open for the Rock and Worship Road Show in Huntsville, his hometown. He submitted an iPhone video of one of their live performances, and the band hoped they’d have a chance of winning. When Smyser got a voicemail from a contest organizer last Monday night, that all changed.

“I couldn’t stop shaking when I called her back. I was pacing and couldn’t stop walking,” Smyser said. And that was before she told him The Weight of Glory won the contest.

When the whole band found out in the Maddox lobby that night, pandemonium ensured.

“We all just forgot about everything that was going on. It was all just high-fives and hugs,” he said.

The Huntsville show, along with a variety of other appearances (including a free Feb. 9 Curb Cafe show), has given the band a great opportunity, Blom said.

“We’re super stoked about it all. It’s a blessing and an opportunity and really a charge to be excellent,” he said.

The group feels they possess something, they hope, will leave the people that hear them “wanting more.”

“People are really looking for honesty,” Meyer said. “It’s something we think that our music is.”

“It feels really honest. It just sounds right and just sounds awesome,” Smyser added.

It’s a sound, the band says, that won’t stop on campus anytime soon. For them, the Grand Atrium is still that little place they call home.

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