John Featherstone is a British-born Christian composer/songwriter, performer and teacher of composition and solo performance. John's goal for his music ministry is to explore "life's deeper questions in light of Christian faith," which he has done with focus and vigor for the last 17 years while living and working in France. His love for the Lord, and his deep desire to communicate eternal Christian values through his music is very much evident in his large, varied collection of compositions and choral and orchestral works, which bless and uplift audiences.
This experienced music arranger, studio musician, singer, guitarist and pianist is very busy indeed, using his gifts and skills that he has developed over his life-time. Growing up in England, young Featherstone was fascinated and gifted in music and his ability to learn languages. He loved music in all forms and styles. As a young musician, he gained experience and skills by playing in a number of both classical and contemporary groups. As a vocal performer, he sang a variety of vocal music repetoire; anything from Lennon-McCartney to Palestrina, enjoying gigs in bars, concert halls and cathedrals.
As part of his higher education experience, John Featherstone studied for two years in France, before starting his first career as a teacher of music and modern languages, probably composing & performing on the side. In 1988, John began his second career of working full-time in music; composing, songwriting, arranging, and musician and vocalist gigs, perhaps performing his own compositions.
Sometime in this era, John met the love of his life, Mary, a woman who shared his Christian goals in the faith, and they married. Throughout the '90's to the present, John Featherston had a balanced life, between music and family. John and Mary raised their three children, who also share their father's talent in music and language, and now are about to start down their own musical paths.
In 1990, John Featherstone moved to France, where new opportunities to grow in his musical endeavors, and in ministry for the Lord appeared. His unique music ministry of performing, arranging concerts of his faith-inspiring works received funding from a non-profit, christian organization, POWERLINE, A British /French Christian Organization which provides the funds for tours, performances in churches, and theatres all over England and France, as well as Switzerland, Belgium, the French West Indies, French-speaking Africa and in Canada. In this musical outreach effort, John Featherstone tours both on his own as a singer/songwriter and in larger-scale shows involving other arts, encouraging churches to grow their congregations through musical outreach to those who don't know Jesus.
Mary Featherstone commented in the newsletter: "They have ranged from tiny concerts with just voice and 7- string guitar with an audience of 12, to large-scale performances of John's newest CD, CREDO, together with full choir. It’s hard to give an overall flavour as each concert has itsunique atmosphere, audience reaction, and context (to which John adapts each time.) but here are a couple of reactions: ‘I was struck by the quality of the performance and by the natural authenticity of the presentation’ and ‘the tone was just right, and with that tone John was able to say some important things’
His newest Cd, CREDO, released in both French and Englsih is a choral / orchestral work which blends old and new, using classical modes with contemporary styles, resulting in "beautiful, ambient soundscape of choral, gospel and orchestral music." This work was performed in churches in both England and France, and brought in a lot of unchurched folks to hear the concert, as well as established Christian church goers.
Mary Featherstone explains in a Powerline Newsletter: "A pastor here recently commented, delighted: 'Who would have thought that you could teach extracts of the Nicene Creed in an evangelical church in the Paris suburbs?’ "
"Well, why not? We see CREDO as a show that enables people to discover what Christians believe. In France, or in Britain, that can’t be bad. Why an English CD and concerts in Britain? A broader anglophone public means wider support for our work, generally. More importantly, CREDO has a unique style, and we hope, a unique rôle, which we feel could be useful in English-speaking countries as well as in France. Hence our desire to tour in Britain as well as in France from time to time."
John Featherstone explains more about his music on his MYSPACE page, and his favorite 7 string guitar.
John shares, "Musically I’m somewhat of a mixture. I write a lot for vocal groups, but also perform solo, either accompanying myself on guitar, keyboards, and percussion, or doing a purely accoustic set on guitar and voice."
In 2006 Andy Manson built me a 7-string guitar. This was originally for a French show I wrote for the Sacred Art Festival at Orléans Cathedral, called PASSAGE, a musical dialogue between scepticism and faith, with a pianist and vocal quartet confronting me on voice and 7-string guitar.
John continues, "The 7-string guitar has taken on a life far beyond this show. Until now words have been very important in my compositions. I continue to write lyrics, but alongside that I’m exploring how much you can say with a purely instrumental repertoire."