How did the band start? What has happened since then?
Some people may wonder how Copper Coins got started and how God has brought them up to this point. In all honesty, none of the original members ever set out with the plan to become a band. The fact that Copper Coins is still together today is a testimony of God's faithfulness and confirmation that His ways and purposes are higher than ours. Below are some highlights from our journey so far:
November 2008 - The band's history began when Dan Williams originally had the idea of pulling together a group of friends to sing and play for a "singspiration night" at the Chemung Christian Fellowship Church in Chemung, NY where he and his wife Karen were then attending. Practices begin at the Waverly Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in preparation.
December 7, 2008 - The group of friends sing and play for a "singspiration night" at the Chemung Christian Fellowship Church in Chemung, NY. This first event, before they were actually known as Copper Coins, included Donny Foote, Claudine Campbell, Dale Campbell, Todd Garrity, Karen Williams, Jake Williams, and Jane Wells. It was a great night of worship and everyone enjoyed singing and playing together. Several people in attendance commented that the group should keep singing/playing together and a few invitations to come and play at other churches were extended.
December 14, 2008 - The second event, although followed by an enjoyable chili dinner and fellowship with the people of New Generation Church in Milan, PA, saw only a fraction of the initial group of friends. Jake Williams played drums and Donny Foote played acoustic guitar and sang, accompanied instrumentally by Claudine Campbell on keyboard and Dale Campbell on bass with a message given by Dan Williams. Todd Garrity and Jane Wells were unable to attend and Karen Williams was sick and could not sing even though she attended in support. If not for a genuine desire to play again together and perhaps make up for this evening, the "band" may have never continued past this event or gotten their name.
March 2009 - The group traveled to Loganton Wesleyan Church in Loganton, PA to visit a former pastor friend ministering there, Rev. Dan Reed and his wife Melissa, and to lead worship for a Sunday evening service. Traveling down for this trip were Donny Foote, Dale and Claudine Campbell, Dan and Karen Williams, Jake Williams and joining the crew were John and Lea Tryon. Jane Wells opted not to continue with the group at this time due to her work schedule. John Tryon joined as a backup vocalist while Lea Tryon initially ran lyrics using an old overhead projector. Throughout the afternoon, which included a wonderful lunch and fellowship, the group was being informally called "the band from Waverly, NY" by Rev. Reed but it was not until later in the evening just before the group of friends headed out to go home that God spoke in a unique way through Rev. Reed as he prayed for traveling safety. During that prayer he included some words along the lines of "Dear Lord, please help this band discern what You may be calling them to in this music ministry", and with that the idea was planted that this was indeed something God was calling them to do and that they had only just begun on this journey.
Several days after returning to Waverly an informal yet official meeting was called at the home of John and Lea Tryon in which everyone discussed the idea of actually becoming a band and shared thoughts on band names. It may interest some people to know that among the suggested band names was Redwood (suggested by Sean Foote through Donny) signifying the cross stained with Jesus' blood. Eventually the band settled on the name Copper Coins, taken from the scripture found in Luke 21:1-4 in which the poor widow gave two copper coins in the temple offering, all she had to give, and how Christ had told His disciples she had given more than all the rest because she was giving her all. Everyone felt this fit the band and the fact that they, although not gifted with abundant musical talent, all desired to give their best to serve and glorify Christ through their music. And so Copper Coins was officially born. They began having regular weekly practices at the Waverly Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and further increased their set list. Lea also moved from lyrics projection to singing backup vocals.
May-June 2009 - After playing a few events during the Spring of 2009 (including and outside event during a softball game at Athens Wesleyan Church), Jake Williams decided to step down from the band following an outdoor event in Muldoon Park. A short search and prayer led the group to invite Mike Davis as the new drummer in June 2009 (which also brought another wonderful asset, his wife Vickie, as the group's new video/lyrics projection person) and the band played at the First Baptist Church in Waverly as well as made a return trip (an overnight stay, playing twice) to Loganton and several other places around their local area. Sean Foote also came on as an additional sound man/roadie which freed up Dan Williams to be able to speak more at events when available.
January 2010 - Fast forward to 2010, Copper Coins played for the first time at the Waverly Christian and Missionary Alliance Church where they had been holding their weekly practices. The event was almost standing room only and a very enjoyable night of corporate worship. This event was also a fundraiser for Haiti earthquake relief, of which the band was very honored to be a part.
June 2010 - The band was invited to take part in the Bethel Youth Retreat in Sheshequin, PA.
October 2010 - Original lead guitarist, Todd Garrity, decided that it was time for him to leave the band and he stepped down. The search quickly began to fill the lead guitar position.
November 2010 - After a short search, praise God, Steve Hoover soon introduced himself in response to an e-mail sent to his church and he joined the band on November 4th, playing his first event with them three days later at the First Baptist Church in Waverly. Steve fit in well with the already established group of friends so the band continued to press forward.
December 2010 - John and Lea Tryon, after being MIA for most of the Fall of 2010, decided that it was time for them to leave the group. Lea opted to return for one final event and she sang with the band at Tinsel-N-Lights at the First Baptist Church in Waverly on December 17th.
January 2011 - Throughout the Winter of 2010-2011 Copper Coins worked hard to improve musically and grew by leaps and bounds, thanks in great part to Steve's talent and his assistance in motivating and inspiring everyone. The future of Copper Coins seemed to be taking further shape and the group were eager to see how and where God would use them. They continued to adjust from the 2010 losses of their past members and prepared for the Spring events of 2011. Sean Foote also began practicing singing with the band at this time with the intention of singing later in the year.
February 2011 - Copper Coins finally returned to Chemung Christian Fellowship in late February of 2011, the birthplace of what eventually became the band. It was a great event of corporate worship to God joined with good friends. It was also confirmation for the band that their hard work practicing was paying off as their sound and ability to lead worship had effectively improved. The band at this time consisted of Donny Foote, Dale and Claudine Campbell, Karen Williams, Mike Davis, and Steve Hoover.
April-May 2011 - April 3rd came with more surprise and sadness. After an event at the Waverly Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, Karen Williams made the announcement to the group that she felt she needed to step down from singing with the band and bid us farewell. Dan Williams, whose work schedule had all but removed him completely from speaking at events, was also missing from the team and would become less present as things continued after Karen's departure. The search for another singer to share lead vocals with Donny Foote began in earnest. For a brief time the band was joined by Crystal Kroh, from Steve's church, who seemed to fit in well but soon had to step down for personal reasons before making it to a live event with the band. Then Sean Foote (who had been preparing to sing with the group previously) attempted to make the switch from sound man to singer, but he also soon made the decision that it was not for him and stepped away from the band altogether.
June 2011 - Following one outdoor event without an additional lead vocalist, prayers were finally answered and Copper Coins was blessed with the addition of Sallie Fuller who rounded out the current roster of the band.
The Summer and Fall of 2011 continued to see the band work on improving their abilities individually and together, although they have struggled at times to work without a sound person at events. In July the band moved their weekly practices to the basement at Mike and Vickie's house. Copper Coins was also honored to be invited to a block party at the Elmira Presbyterian Church in September during which they shared the stage with another local Christian band, Ten Days.
January 2012 - The band continued to develop and improve what God has put together for His glory. In January of 2012 they also filed to become a legally registered LLC with the State of New York, confirming their commitment to serving together in long term music ministry in the local area and beyond, wherever God may call them. Per Steve's suggestion and unanimous agreement by the other members, it was decided that Dale was to serve as President (the "heart and soul of this band" as Steve put it) and Webmaster, Claudine would serve as VP of Finance, Vickie would serve as VP of Administration, Donny would serve as VP of Outreach Ministry, Mike would serve as VP of Sound and Recording Production, Sallie would serve as VP of Vocal Coordination, and Steve would serve as VP of Rehearsal Coordination.
April 2012 - Copper Coins was invited on another road trip, this time by Steve's family to Lycoming Valley Baptist Church in Montoursville, PA - Steve's old stomping grounds from his youth and days before he came to Christ. It was a memorable trip for everyone and a special one for Steve to be able to return to where he began playing music, this time for our Savior and King!
May 2012 - In May the band was finally able to have all members attend the annual Christian Musician Summit in Buffalo, NY together. Not only was it a great time of bonding for the band but also much was learned that will help further improve their ministry.
May 2013 - Copper Coins once again had the privilege of attending the annual Christian Musician Summit in Buffalo, NY together as a whole band and learned a lot more excellent information on how to continue improving and growing in this music ministry God has given them. Among the classes attended were sessions on drums and bass building a solid foundation, songwriting and tips to creating better melodies, guitar tone and styles, leadership and mentoring younger musicians, practicing true worship and leading others from a heart of worship, etc.
September 2013 - The band was blessed to be able to hit the road again on another trip, this time to the north. They accepted an invitation to lead Sunday morning worship for the closing service of the summer at Lighthouse Christian Camp on the shores of Lake Ontario. It was an incredible time of enjoying God's beautiful creation and fellowshipping with other believers. The band was also humbled to have the opportunity to play for their largest audience to date, over 450 people. And, for the first time in the band's history, they had free pens along with their prayer cards and business cards to give away to attendees with the band's name on them to help everyone remember to pray for them and the ministry.
October 2013 - After several months of consideration, Copper Coins finally made the decision and got the ball rolling on their first ever CD recording project! The band will be handling the whole recording project themselves from their Waverly, NY headquarters and hope to have a finished product for people in early 2014. Also available now, just in time for their last event of 2013, are the first ever Copper Coins t-shirts. These will be for sale soon on the band's website after some logistics are taken care of and orders will be taken from anyone who can't make it out to catch the band live. All proceeds will go to supporting the ministry of Copper Coins so the band can continue to travel where God calls so He can impact more lives through them.
January 2014 through May 2014 - Copper Coins continued to work on their first ever CD and made some progress (releasing three non-downloadable preliminary tracks online) but did not finish the recording project. The band put the project on hold due to time constraints but hoped to get back at it as time allowed.
May 2014 - While attending the annual Christian Musician Summit in Buffalo, NY together as a whole band again, Copper Coins came close to being selected at random by "Live Performance Coach" and speaker/instructor, Tom Jackson, for a live demonstration during one of the weekend classes. Much to their regret, the band was not able to accept the opportunity because they had not come to the conference with any of their instruments and event staff selected another, much more well-known, experienced, and extremely talent band, the Blues Counsel, to play for the demonstration instead.
December 2014 - The band picked up the discussion again of jumping back into their CD recording project, looking ahead to early 2015 with the hope of completing and releasing the project in the Spring. Copper Coins is also planning to take some serious time in early 2015 to work more on their music ministry in order to improve their craft and delivery in the hopes that it will better relay the message of the gospel and bring greater glory to God.
September 2015 - On the 19th at an all day event at Sayre Christian Church (Fall Festival to Impact Hunger) in Sayre, PA Copper Coins finally released their long awaited 5-song EP. This CD contained the original songs "Living Bread","Coming Back","At The Altar","Song of Deliverance", and "Nothing". Sadly, after breaking the news to the band a few weeks prior, Sallie Fuller decided to step down and leave the band after their event on the 27th at Twin Tiers Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Big Flats, NY.
December 2015 - After a long search, much prayer, and receiving multiple inquiries from interested candidates, the band excitedly welcomed their newest (and youngest) member, Carla Padilla, who will be assuming the shared lead vocals with Donny. Carla eagerly took part in her first "official" practice with the Coins on Thursday, December 10th.
January 2017 - In a phone call to the band during a visit to her in-laws in California, Carla made the very sad announcement of her impending departure due to the fact that she and her husband Frank would be moving to California in May. The whole band was very sad to hear the news and it took the wind our of our sails for awhile.
February 2017 - The Coins were honored to be invited to make a guest appearance on the "Gravity Tour" at the Valleyview Alliance Church alongside rapper Yung D.ofC., the band Between Forever, and headliner and tour organizer, the band Samecity. Copper Coins also released their second CD project, largely worked on during the 2016 calendar year, which featured new revised versions of original songs "Coming Back" and "Nothing" that also included Carla's sweet vocals but additionally the new original song "Just Another Day" and two licensed covers of the songs "The River" by Jordan Feliz and "The Only Name (Yours Will Be)" by Benji Cowart.
April 2017 - Carla Padilla performed for the last time with the Copper Coins on April 1st at Valleyview Alliance Church. Carla will be sincerely missed. Though her time with the band was short, she left an impact on all of us and our ministry that will not soon be forgotten.
August 2017 - Following what seemed like another lengthy search for a new co-lead vocalist, God miraculously brought Jessica "Jess" Tubbs to the band. We say miraculous because Jess had no prior connection to the band in any way and had never heard of or seen Copper Coins anywhere. That is until suddenly one day, by God's divine plan, a post of ours about our search for a vocalist came across her Facebook page and she decided to step out in faith and submit an inquiry. Her inquiry was followed up by email communications and an eventual in-person audition at which time it became obvious to us that this was who God had selected to step into the spot vacated by Carla. Jess began attending our weekly practices and then sang with us for her first event on August 26th in Coopers Plains. Jess also became the new "baby" of the band, even younger than Carla, at the age of 25. She is enjoying singing and hanging with the "old crew" very much, however.
September 2017 - Good news was followed by sad news when Steve Hoover, our longtime lead guitarist, friend, and bandmate of 7 years announced that he felt God calling him to step down from the band and pursue other endeavors for Christ. The news was sad to hear but we all mutually felt that we knew it was coming. Steve agreed to stay on through the remainder of the 2017 events we had already scheduled, making his last date with us our event on Nov. 17th at the Watson Homestead, while we began searching for a new lead guitarist to take his place. Meanwhile, shortly after Steve announced his departure, the band began receiving multiple requests to come play in 2018. It became quickly obvious that God intended for the ministry of Copper Coins to continue and that He would provide, so we embarked on our search while scheduling future events in faith.
November 2017 - With the news spread around various online outlets and via email to contacts all over the southern tier, the band began to receive numerous inquiries about the open lead guitarist position. One by one over the course of 2 months each potential candidate dropped off the list for one reason or another (we believe by God's orchestration) until one remained... and it happened to be the candidate the whole band had been hoping and praying it might be. So it was that in early November, following an in-person trial run at the band's weekly practice location the week prior, Coins welcomed Allen Nichols to step into Steve's shoes and join our ministry. Allen's first event with the band will be a last minute invitation for an evening of Christmas music at the Waverly First Baptist Church on Dec. 8th.
February 2018 - The 2018 calendar year looked like it was going to start off with one less band member, as Jess Tubbs was temporarily taking time away for maternity after the birth of her second child. However, as God so often does, He had perfect timing... and the band had the pleasure of being joined once more by former female vocalist, Carla Padilla, who was back in town from California visiting family. Carla stepped in to fill Jess's temporarily vacant spot and the band enjoyed a great evening of worship together at Samson's Coffee House in Endwell, NY.
March 2018 - After only our second event of the 2018 calendar year, Jess Tubbs sadly had to step down and leave the Coins to join her husband, Jason, who had taken a job in West Virginia. The present outlook is that it will take at least a year. We were all very sad to see her leave but understood and wished them well and will be keeping them and their boys in prayer. After a period of prayer and discussion, a couple weeks later Copper Coins reluctantly made the decision to begin a new search for another female lead vocalist, trusting that God will bring the right person in His perfect time.
July 2018 - Having engaged in another lengthy search for a female lead vocalist and interviewing a number of potential candidates with no success, the band put the search on the back burner to focus on upcoming events. One of those was the first annual Valley Family Fun Day... an outdoor, multi-band, community outreach event envisioned, planned, and hosted by Copper Coins with the help of a number of area churches. The event took place on July 28th in South Waverly and included the artists DiAnza Macool, A Few More Faithful, Copper Coins, and also guest speakers Derrick Tennant (an internationally known stand-up comic) and his sister Julie. However, the band felt they wanted to have a female vocalist with them to sing some of the songs still on their set list, so... an invitation was made to Miss Aleah Dudash in May to join us while she was home on summer break from college. Aleah graciously agreed and the band proceeded to prepare for the event which, as Coins had prayed for, turned out very well by all accounts. Aleah did very good singing, stepping in with the band and putting herself in a position that was admittedly out of her comfort zone. Kudos to her and she earned a well deserved spot as an honorary Coin!
Support CrewVickie Davis - Lyrics Projection, Multimedia & Administration - (June 2009 - February 2018), Sound person - (August 2017 - present)
Rich Russell - Fill in sound man when available and prayer support - (August 2014 - present)
Dan Williams - Sound man and speaker when available - (November 2008 - March 2012), Lyrics Projection, Multimedia - (February 2018 - present)
Past Band Members & Support CrewAleah Dudash - Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals - (May 2018 - July 2018)
Jess Tubbs - Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals - (August 2017 - March 2018)
Carla Padilla - Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals - (December 2015 - April 2017)
Sallie Fuller - Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals - (June 2011 - September 2015)
Sean Foote - Back-up Vocals (Feb. 2011 - May 2011), Sound man when available - (June 2010 - May 2011, Sept. 2012 - June 2014)
Crystal Kroh - Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals - (April 2011 - May 2011)
Karen Williams - Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals - (November 2008 - April 2011)
Lea Tryon - Back-up Vocals - (February 2009 - December 2010)
John Tryon - Back-up Vocals - (February 2009 - December 2010)
Todd Garrity - Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar - (November 2008 - October 2010)
Jake Williams - Drums - (November 2008 - May 2009)
Jane Wells - Back-up Vocals - (November 2008 - December 2008)