A rising star

Trimble County's Wallace
hits the big time

Recording studio to help her
launch gospel singing career

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

BEDFORD, Ky. (April 2004) – A five-month audition process that included hours of interviews, a five-page application and the recording of a demo tape has landed singer Sherri Wallace of Bedford with a recording contract. Wallace, 32, was notified in February that she was chosen by Incubator Creative Group, an Oregon-based Christian record company, to join its elite group of developing music artists.

Sherri Wallace

Sherri Wallace

Originally from Madison, Ind., Wallace has lived for nine years in Bedford with husband Paul Wallace, a supervisor at North American Stainless in Carrollton. The couple has two children, Cole, 5, and Loren, 2. Wallace worked for eight years at Ford Motor Co.’s Kentucky truck plant in Louisville before she decided more than a year ago to stay home with the kids.
Wallace’s interest in music began to blossom a decade ago when she joined the choir at First Assembly of God in Madison. “I’ve always loved to sing, and I wanted to get involved in a ministry,” said Wallace.
Before joining the church choir, Wallace had no musical training and had never sung by herself in front of an audience. It didn’t take long, however, before she was chosen to sing a solo in the church’s Easter program.
“She’s been real faithful and committed to the choir as a group and has sang in a lot of seasonal productions,” said First Assembly Pastor Steve Perry.
Singing at church was about as far as it went for Wallace until last year when she heard about a Trinity Broadcast Network talent contest, which she decided to enter. “As the years went by, I felt that the Lord was telling me it’s time to take it further,” said Wallace.
Wallace recorded a demo of the song, “I Thank You Lord,” by Lauren Talley at Mom’s Music in Jeffersonville, Ind., and sent it to TBN. She didn’t make it into the finals, but her demo was played on the internet for about a month.
During that time, talent scouts from Incubator heard Wallace’s demo and last September contacted her for an audition. She admitted to being surprised by the invitation.
“I knew that it was only going to be on (the Internet) for a month, and it was at the end of the month so I didn’t expect to hear from anyone,” Wallace said.
Incubator representatives asked Wallace if she was interested in pursuing a music ministry. She said “yes” immediately. “I figured there was no harm in at least seeing what they were about,” she said.
Incubator Creative Group, comprised of two record labels, a music publishing division and an artist relations division, was founded in 1989 by Nathan L. Sakany. A 20-year veteran in the field of artist development, Sakany quickly grew the company from a locally focused Seattle record label to a nationally recognized company. Incubator has since served in the development of hundreds of emerging Christian music artists, like Wallace, who have moved forward in part-time and full-time music ministry.
Wallace’s decision to audition with Incubator led to a five-month period during which the company required her to make an additional demo, provide character and performances references and answer extensive interview questions. Fortunately, the process was done through correspondence and over the phone and did not involve extensive travel.
The result of the lengthy process has been an artist development contract with Incubator that will allow Wallace access to the company’s resources including recording, booking and management. Paul Wallace said he wasn’t surprised that his wife was offered a contract.
“She worked really hard,” he said. “Not just at this but at whatever she does.”
A long-time friend, Rachel Allen, sang with Wallace in the First Assembly choir before moving to West Lafayette, Ind., about a year ago.
“She has grown immensely,” said Allen, who believes Wallace’s honesty and sincerity come through in her music. “She believes what she sings and what she says,” said Allen.
Wallace admitted that, while at first it was all a little overwhelming, she is now very excited about the future. Her next step will be to work with a vocal coach and decide upon the main focus of her ministry. “They lead you in the right direction for everything you’re going to need,” said Wallace. She hopes her contract with Incubator will lead to a full-time music ministry, which would include performances in churches throughout the area and eventually nationwide.
“I think her ministry could be real encouraging to people in churches,” said Pastor Perry. “We’re just real happy and thrilled for her and wish her the best. She’s really come a long way.”

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