About Howard Hanger

(The stuff we don't mind telling you)

Howard Hanger has been described by a reviewer as a verb, rather than a noun. His energy and zest for living has danced him into a wide variety of pursuits.

He is the founder and Minister of Ritual of the JUBILEE! Community in Asheville, North Carolina. This multi-denominational, inclusive Christian Community has been called "Special Ed" church - the church for folks who just can't cut it in regular church. Founded in 1989, JUBILEE! gathers and celebrates in a refurbished nightclub in downtown Asheville. The 700+ who celebrate there each week are mostly folks who have been burned or turned off by organized religion.

Howard is also a jazz musician. He plays at about 50-60 elementary schools and community concerts each year, has written hundreds of everything from kids songs to a full symphony and has produced several award-winning albums - some for kids, some for adults -- which are distributed nationally. His newest albums are "Dog Breath and Other Mind-Boggling Hits for Kids" and "Be Still My Soul."

Howard is a widely sought-after speaker and worship leader. He travels throughout the US leading what he calls "inclusive worship" and seminars on "passionate living." He travels with Earl Hefley, on of the hottest sax players around today. With Earl on the sax, Howard weaves his magic from the keyboard.

Since 1973, Howard has lived in and operated a "Living Cooperative" in his 9000 square foot Victorian home. Some 13 people live there, including Howard and his two daughters. "The point of the Cooperative," Howard says, "is to provide extended family and community. It's also a great way to live cheap."

In 1999, Howard opened a School for Girls at his home. Hanger Hall is a middle school (6-7-8 grades), has a 9:1 student/teacher ratio, focuses on strong academics and living skills and is - Howard puts it - "a Daddy thing." Visit the Hanger Hall website at www.hangerhall.org

Howard is the father of two magical daughters, Windsor, age 19 and Kelsey, age 17.

About Earl Hefley

A native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Earl Hefley is a veteran music educator, conductor, and performing musician. He is presently an instructor at the University of Central Oklahoma where he teaches clarinet, saxophone and Music Appreciation for non-majors. In addition, he is instructor of  flute, clarinet and saxophone at Southern Nazarene University. For twenty three years Earl was choir director and orchestra conductor at the United Methodist Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City. He was a band and orchestra director for ten years in the Putnam City schools in Oklahoma City. Just recently Earl completed four years as music director and conductor of the Oklahoma Community Orchestra. Currently, he spends summers conducting the Jubilee! Community Orchestra in Asheville, North Carolina, a summer community orchestra project he co-founded in 1993 for the western North Carolina area.

With over 30 years experience as a freelance musician, Earl Hefley still feels one of his favorite "gigs" is that of saxophone, flute and clarinet soloist with the Howard Hanger Jazz Fantasy. He participated in recent recording projects with the Jazz Fantasy, releasing the CD's Elementary Blues, A Simple Christmas, Dog Breath and Other Mind Boggling Hits for Kids. His newest CD release, recorded with Howard Hanger on piano, is Be Still My Soul. He has toured through countries in the Mediterranean and the Orient with the Jazz Fantasy.

Earl Hefley's woodwind improvisations frequently accompany Howard Hanger when he leads events sponsored by the United Methodist Church and other organizations for spiritual and personal enrichment. Included have been events in Columbia, Birmingham, Minneapolis, Omaha, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Fayetteville, New York, Asheville, Lake Junaluska, Phoenix, Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Salt Lake City. In the last three years he has, along with Howard Hanger, been a co-leader of tour groups visiting ancient sacred ritual sites in Greece, Crete, England and Ireland.

An active musician in the Oklahoma City area, Earl's music is heard in a variety of settings, from big bands and jazz combos to the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra. He has enjoyed playing in bands and orchestras for such artists as Glenn Campbell, Jack Jones, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Jim Nabors, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Mills Brothers, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Richard Harris, Bernadette Peters, Liberace, Arthur Fiedler, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, Rod Stewart, Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval,
Sandi Patti, Kathy Lee Gifford, Amy Grant, and Manhattan Transfer.

He holds a Bachelor's degree from Oklahoma City University and a Master's Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Earl is happily married to Lori Wooden, who is a fine bassoonist and who is also a professor in the School of Music at the University of Central Oklahoma.

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