Composer, Actor, Musician, Singer
Jeff continues to explore what each of those mean as the years roll by. A deeper understanding in composition, the roles he plays on stage, the exploration of the piano, and giving voice to song in his own unique way.
He’s played piano since he was about eleven years old. But he’s not had formal training other than Rutherford Mains at the Ostrowsky Institute…… but that’s another story.
Jeff’s been working with various theater groups 1986. From improv to composing music, he continues to receive invitations to collaborate. In 2002 life changed a little….okay a lot.
What kind of music?
I get asked that question a lot. What kind of music do you play? I suppose some assume it’s all churchy music. I’m not exactly sure what they are referring to. A little jazz, a little blues, I don’t really know. I suppose it depends on the venue. I try to inject truth into the lyrics. I try to have fun when playing. I immerse myself. Some ask,”is it all faith-based”? My answer? It’s life-based, and the soul of my life is around faith and things spiritual. I once was described as a great “misunderstander” of God’s Love. While I think they meant it as an insult, I’ve really come to embrace that idea. I am indeed that.
What I honestly hope for is that my music is not stodgy and stiff and that anyone can listen and find something they relate to. Some of that might be the blues, some of it is crunchy discordant 7th chords with flatted 13th’s added. Does that help? At the very least, it is music filled with color. I write songs about Training Wheels as sons grow older. I write about Honey and Locusts and the story of John The Baptist. I even have one called, “What would I do, without my debt?”
Limited Seating Coffeehouse
You may have noticed on the calendar this thing called the Limited Seating Coffeehouse and wondered where it is. Well we hold those here at our house. We host some and occassionally others host them. Sometimes we know the guests, sometimes they are new friends. We can only seat 18 maximum, hence the name. And we only hold these during the Winter months. It’s also by invitation only and so it takes awhile to get through the list of people. It’s a delightful evening where we reveal the story of how we got the Schimmel piano. There is a wonderful spread of desserts, fresh fruit, coffee, and more. And then Jeff shares songs and stories that have been part of his journey over the years. If you’re interested….. let us know.
Jeff has been blessed to be working with Ted Swartz on various projects. In 2008 they created the show Jehovah’s Traveling Trunk and that has reached deeper than what was imagined. It’s a poignant, delightful story of an angel helping a homeless man re-discover the faith he thought he lost. In 2009 they co-wrote a new Christmas show – “Just Give Em The News. and the bookings for that are continuing to increase. There’s a scene of God & Gabriel in God’s office as they differ on the way to let Mary know she will be with child. After all “It’s a little complicated”. And who would want to miss the chance to sing along with “Get Mary Off The Donkey…she’s gonna have a baby tonight? Finally there’s a delightful exchange between Schmidick the Shepherd that should not be missed. They are remounting a show about money called What’s So Funny About Money? A great teaching kind of show that gives you the opportunity to explore stewardship, and new ways to broach the subject of money. If you would like a little sample…..check this out. They have also poured more effort and creativity into another new show called “The Jesus Stories…What’s for Lunch?” New songs, new scenes, a delightful new look at Jesus and the many ways we learn about coming to the table.
This might seem to be an odd entry in comparison to some of my other roles. Read on. I’ve worked at Crane in both full and part-time roles since 1998. In fact I still work there part-time when I’m not out on the road. You sometimes read about how the support of the arts is down. I will tell you this; Crane Specialists Inc. in Manheim PA, co-owned by Mike Farmer & Jeff Kline are indeed supporting the arts. When in town I work for them and they offer me a good wage. Then when I have opportunity, they release me. And my part-time job is there for me when I come back. It’s really a great relationship. Someone asked me once” Do you still get benefits since it’s part-time?” Yes, I have a fantastic benefit. It’s called a job! And in doing so, Crane is supporting the arts. Allowing me as an artist to pursue my creative life on the road yet providing a wage for work I do when home. I’m grateful that I have such an opportunity.
He’s also been called for leading some church retreats. Small groups as well as congregations. Laughing, Singing, Reflecting, Praying….. Finding all of those things deeply connected to our awareness of God in our lives. But not being afraid to be wonderfully flawed in the presence of God at the same time. He’ll write original scripts for your group and get you engaged in the time together. If you would like to know of groups that have had Jeff lead them, please contact him and he will get you in touch.
By the way, if you if you or your small group, theater cohorts, corporate collaborators or others are looking for a place to share some vision and time together “away” be sure to consider http://www.auntkarensfarm.org/. It is appropriately located in Mount Vision NY which is conveniently located about 2 hours away from ….well …..somewhere that’s 2 hours away…..but you can get there from anywhere….go…..relax…..enjoy……retreat.
He was called to serve at Ridgeview Mennonite Church as their Minister of Music. At the end of August 2011, his time at Ridgeview came to a close. He served on the staff for 8 years, had given leadership to the music for about 17, and had been playing there for almost 29 years. And was quite simply, time. He will continue to seek out the new opportunities that come his way. And now will have more openings on weekends, for you to invite him…..(hint, hint)
Raught N. Apples
It’s an Improvisation Comedy Troupe called….Raught N. Apples – comedy to the core. If you are looking for something for a banquet or company gathering. ..this is it. Jeff and his troupe of talented comedic actors deliver improv comedy hand-picked by you. Jeff has been doing “Improv” for many years, but now with Raught N. Apples it has an identity. And now you can contact us and book us for a different night of entertainment.
Raught N. Shane
In 1992 Jeff along with Deeter Lutz formed the band Raught N. Shane and Doug Kulp joined them in 93′. The band is no longer together, but they had a good run of about 17 years. And who knows, maybe there will be a reunion concert or two someday.
Since 1983 it’s been Jeff & Cindy. They have two fine sons, Alan and Ed and an extraordinary canine….Henry. Alan is back in Lancaster Pa for awhile after calling Salt Lake City UT home for a few years. And Ed has moved to Rochester NY and is now married to Kaylee. So it’s back to Jeff & Cindy time. But what matters is most having God surrounding him and his family.