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Photo by Susan Passmore
Leeland Mooring (second from right) from the band Leeland, discusses music with Javier Talavera, a seventh-grade CSU student at Horace Mann Junior, before performing some of his songs for the CSU group.
Leeland Mooring, a Baytown native whose band Leeland has received Grammy and GMA Dove Award nominations for several albums, previews some of his new selections with Horace Mann Junior CSU students.
Leeland Previews Music with HMJ CSU
By: Susan Passmore
Horace Mann Junior School students enjoyed a preview of unreleased music as well as some of his favorites as Leeland Mooring, lead vocalist and guitarist with the contemporary Christian rock band Leeland, performed for Christian Student Union (CSU) before school Thursday. Anne Marcus, intervention dyslexia specialist at HMJ and CSU co-sponsor, has listened to his music for years at church and wanted him to share his music with her students.
Nominated for four Grammy Awards and five Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove awards, the Baytown native got his start in music by being born into a musical family.
“My entire family was doing music. It’s the desire God has put in my life, along with my talents, abilities and dreams,” said Mooring. “Music is my passion, but I don’t want to let my identity ever be in music, but always in the love of God.”
Mooring told students that his family, including his older brother and younger sister, began traveling across the country when he was 11 years old in a big Lincoln Town Car stacked with homeschool books. It was then that he started writing songs, getting help from his father and mother, Pastors Todd and Cyndy Mooring, with the melody and lyrics. His childhood had always been a little different than that of most of his friends.
“Every weekend, my friends were Spiderman and Batman, and I was – like, a disciple,” he said.
In 2002, Mooring’s parents were called to start the Celebration of Life Church in Baytown. The band started in a youth group, playing every Thursday. When his parents took him to a talent competition in Nashville at 16. he was signed by a record label, Sony Provident Music, and he began traveling full time.
The band was formed in 2004, but some of the members have changed over the years. Now, the 29-year-old, with band members Josias Badillo from Houston and David Ramirez, Payden Hilliard and Casey Moore from Nashville, flies out for weekend appearances all over the country, and they have just returned from a two-week tour of England. They play mainly in churches and at Christian-based events.
Recently, Mooring and members of Leeland decided to start some new projects using different types of music to reach all people. Some of the new pieces have a pop music sound and are about life, love and relationships. He shared two of his unreleased numbers with the CSU students.
“I just want to be someone who inspires others or points people toward Jesus,” Mooring said.
Javier Talavera, a seventh-grader who never misses CSU meetings, was pleased to meet Mooring and give a critique of the selections.
“I knew the first songs, but I like the last one best,” said Talavera about one of the new songs.
Besides performing, another exciting event lies ahead for Mooring. He and his wife Amanda are adopting a baby girl, who will be born in Florida in August.
“I’m going to clear my schedule for most of the fall to spend time with her,” he said.
While Mooring provides a message in his music, this eloquent speaker never misses a chance to talk to those around him about his beliefs. Marcus and CSU co-sponsor Andrew Schubert are grateful that Mooring took time out of his busy schedule to visit with the CSU group.
Consolidated Independent School District
4544 Interstate 10 East | Baytown, Texas 77521 | 281.420.4800
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