Brandywine graduate joins Christian band, wins talent competitionPublished 9:04am Tuesday, June 10, 2014
The past year has been quite a whirlwind for Niles native Andrew Wycoff.
Since joining the up-and-coming Christian band Brightwork in September, the 2009 Brandywine High School graduate has played in venues across the United States, recorded original tracks for a new album and even won the prestigious KingsFest talent competition in Virginia.
It is such a change from his normal life that he often has to remind himself it is real.
“We’ll be setting up or tearing down after a show and I will stop and think, ‘I can’t believe I get to do this and get paid to do it,’” he said. “It’s awesome.”
On June 26, Wycoff and Brightwork will be the opening artist at KingsFest, a major three-day festival in Richmond, Virginia, featuring some of the top Christian artists and speakers in the world.
Brightwork will share the same stage as bands like TobyMac, Building 429 and Rend Collective at KingsFest, which Wycoff said is comparable to South Bend, Indiana’s World Pulse Festival.
Brightwork got the chance by beating out 50 other up-and-coming bands in the talent competition.
“We are all really excited for this huge opportunity,” Wycoff said.
From Brandywine to Brightwork
Wycoff, 23, began playing music at age 5 when his parents — Sue and Tony Wycoff, of Niles — got him his first drum set.
“The way I learned is I would put songs on and I would just sit down for hours and hours and try to replicate what I heard,” he said.
Wycoff joined Brandywine’s concert band in the sixth grade and eventually became the drum line section leader before earning the John Philip Sousa Award as the school’s best musician.
He met Brightwork front man Caleb Carpenter while attending school in Virginia. When the band’s normal drummer dropped out in September, Carpenter stepped in. Not long afterward, Wycoff quit his “normal” job in retail to work with the band full time.
“I’ve never felt better about a decision I’ve made,” Wycoff said.
On the road
The band went on tour for a month and a half beginning in January. It included stops all over the U.S.
While in California, Brightwork recorded seven new tracks that will appear on the band’s first full-length album set to drop at the end of the summer or early fall.
Carpenter said the band members all have backgrounds playing in church and musical roots in 90s rock, pop and indie music.
“We are a rock band, but we are really huge on melodic hooks in our music,” Carpenter said. “Our faith has impacted us monumentally and our songs are derived from our walk and our faith and there’s no denying that at all.
“At the same time we want to make music for everyone — music that’s real, honest and thought provoking. We want people to ask questions and think about life after they listen to one of our songs.”
For more information about Brightwork, visit the website brightworkband.com and like them on Facebook.