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Counselor goes contemporary Christian
With so many distractions and hardships in the world, local singer-songwriter Jen Haugland hopes her her music can fall on the right ears.
The Christian mental health counselor and worship music leader released her first full-length album “Where I Am” on May 6 via Creative Soul Records.
“I’m taking all my experiences as a counselor and weaving it into music to help people,” she said. “My niche is to help people who are hurt and wounded and needing encouragement.”
She performs her new album with a a full backing band on May 9 in Sequim Community Church in an event produced by Jeremy Cays.
Haugland said she’s delved into her music ministry for the past four years and partnered with producer Eric Copeland of Creative Soul Records for her album. He co-wrote five of the 11 tracks and “Where I Am” features backing music from the Nashville Session Players, a number of musicians who have played with Christian musicians like Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman.
The standout track to her “The Storm,” which she co-wrote with Copeland, represents a true collaboration and expression of creativity.
“With all the things that clutter our lives like the Internet and social networking, this asks us if we’ll be ready when Jesus comes,” she said. “Are we going to be distracted or see through the storm?”
The album ranges from songs of praise to love to healing like “Love You Well” that she wrote for her husband Craig.
She’s been married to him twice for 26 years and said their marriage is a testimony to Jesus Christ’s love to experience reconciliation and healing from divorce. The Hauglands have two adult married daughters and a teenage son.
“We have a powerful testimony,” she said. “Not everyone gets remarried but we were fortunate to do that.”
Another song, “For All the Ways” is in memory of Christina Nevill who battled brain tumors before dying in June 2013. She left behind husband Doug and baby son Isaiah.
Haugland said their story speaks to her because like Isaiah, she was a premature baby.
“Doug knew about Christina and still married her and had a baby with her,” she said.
“Christina inspired me with her blog writing, too. She was thinking of what it must be like looking forward to be with her savior.”
Haugland sent a rough version of the song to the couple who gave their blessing. The song features three verses with the first about Christina, the second Isaiah and the third about Jesus.
“Their hope is that it still brings God’s glory to people,” she said.
Haugland is an Indiana native who moved to Port Townsend in 1984 and became a Rhododendron Festival princess in 1985 and Port Townsend High School graduate in 1985. She met her husband in 1987 and they live in Sequim area.
She’s the music ministry worship leader at Sequim Valley Church of the Nazarene. She’s also the Ministry Mentoring Program coordinator and a mentor for Worship Team Training, Inc. based in Texas helping other church leaders with worship music ministry mentoring.
Haugland continues to set up concerts around the Northwest and is looking to connect with churches, recovery groups, women’s retreats, marriage retreats, house concerts and more.
Jen Haugland’s CD release show: “Where I Am”
Show: 7 p.m. Friday, May 9
Sequim Community Church, 950 N. Fifth Ave.
Opening act: Tom Taylor
Haugland’s band: Dillan Witherow (electric guitar), Jonathan Simonson (acoustic), Jason Taylor (bass), Kirk Thomas (keys), Steven Mangiameli (keys) and Mike Madison (drums).
Cost: Free, with $5 suggested donation
CD: $15, EP $7 at show. Also available at The Good Book, CDBaby and other online retailers
More info: jenhaugland.com