October Wedding is an indie folk-rock worship collective based in Harrisburg, PA. The group consists of Kyle Werts, David Layser, Ben Spencer, Eleanor Helai, Charisah Cleath, Asher Stanley, and a host of other friends who join us from time to time. We are a family of creative expression with many voices and songs, unified by the love of the Creator.
Our name is ¾ quirky-coincidence and ¼ spiritual-significance. The dream started with Kyle and David, who were buddies at college through some different worship-leading circles. Life after college brought their friendship a little closer and after several kayak trips down the Yellow Breeches in 2010, they began to dream about making music together (briefly there was also a dream about salsa, but that’s been put on hold for now).
David got married October 2nd that year, and Kyle played some music in his wedding. Kyle got married October 1st the next year, and David played some music in his wedding. Kyle and Corrie’s wedding was outside on a colder-than-expected and rainy autumn day: it was messily-beautiful and beautifully-messy in the kind of way life usually is. Particularly because Kyle and Corrie rocked it like absolute champions. Kyle’s lovely bride is due most of the credit for coining the crunchy-folky-sounding name that had a nice ring for us and our style.
But then we also realized the very convenient theological-significance of the Wedding that jives really well with the heart of our music. A Wedding is where we believe all this is headed with the Bride and the Lamb when all things will be made new. A Wedding is a glorious celebration of union and communion and covenant. A Wedding is an invitation to witness and participate in a surpassing joy and beauty. A Wedding derives its glory from the love of the beloved rather than the circumstances of ceremony. A Wedding is the kind of thing we all live for and long for: a defiant celebration and passionate proclamation in the midst of this world’s present yet passing chaos.
Weddings are invitational. Weddings are about family. Weddings bring together all that is most important and beautiful in life.
(Oh and October is the month we both got married in. Plus fall is just super cool.)
So that’s the 4/4’s of what we’re about. We started out with pretty much the roughest, lumpiest lump of clay - not just in music, but in vision. We started out pretty much self-focused and self-sufficient, but along the way we were drawn out of that by grace to a calling we think is for real, although we’re not 100% sure where it’s headed. We’re content to enjoy wherever it takes us. Life journeys and providence have led us to see that something greater has been coming through it all. Two of us turned to three with Ben (a childhood friend of Kyle's), to four five and six united hearts with Eleanor, Charisah, and Asher (brought to the Harrisburg area through YWAM and Life Center)—folks from across the country whose journeys have led them literally all over the world, now converging somehow in Harrisburg, PA. And now we see ourselves as a family of creative expression, purposed to make beautiful sounds for inside and outside the church, saturated with the Greatest Story of all.
We’ve realized over time that we are not so much a traditional band with one front-man/woman and backups: we’re all leaders and writers and creators in various ways, so we’re finding that it’s working best to help each other steward our songs and place a spotlight on different work at different times. We’re taking a cue from other collectives who inspire us such as United Pursuit, Cageless Birds, the Avengers, who highlight different voices within the overall family for different projects, all being part of one bigger party.
May these songs serve as your invitation to the celebration where we’ll get to dance these rhythms and live these dreams and share these struggles together. Even if it rains, it’s gonna be a great time.