Across the Sky
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|Across The Sky|
|Past members||Ben Kolarcik, Justin Unger, Matt Martin|
Across the Sky was a Dove Award-nominated Christian band formed in Nashville, Tennessee during 2000 by Matt Martin, Ben Kolarcik, and Justin Unger. Matt eventually left before their first album was recorded and now resides in Louisville, KY. Both musicians are of the singer-songwriter style. Their self-titled debut was released in 2003, spawning a top ten song and three wide release singles. Across the Sky's music is a style combining light rock, pop, and folk. The group toured and recorded for two years under the Word Records Label before disbanding in 2005 when both artists decided to pursue different career paths.
According to an interview given by the duo in Christianity Today, Ben Kolarcik is originally from Louisville, KY; his father was in the military and he is the fourth of five children. Kolarcik was the only one in his family to pursue music full-time. He was raised in Christian schools; his earliest performances were in this setting and in his home church of Southeast Christian Church, in Louisville. These experiences led him to the decision to be a full time independent artist. After high school,he got married to Melissa Strandell. Opportunities came about to perform consistently, nationally and internationally, including such places as Australia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Poland. A self-taught guitarist, the multi-talented artist has also learned to play piano and lap dulcimer. Kolarcik references his influences as being The Beatles, The Police and Jeff Buckley to Keith Green, Rick James, Jimi Hendrix and Rich Mullins.
Per the same interview, Justin Unger had some similar experiences. Unger was raised on Christian music. He was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and is the middle of three brothers. His father was a self-taught musician and a roofer by trade, and his mother a stay-at-home mom. Justin, influenced by his father's musical pursuits, began playing piano at age 10, and trumpet in the school band. Unger began writing music at 17 for his grandfather, who was a pastor. He also started a Christian band called "Emmaus," performing as lead vocalist on the songs that his grandfather and he had written.
Across the Sky was formed when solo artists, Ben Kolarcik and Justin Unger, who were under consideration by Word Records, met and began collaborations in Nashville. Both artists had a history of performance and music ministry in their hometowns and in regional tours. After deciding on becoming a duo act, the pair sat down to work on music together. After composing 50 or so titles, they settled on 12 for their first album. The pair was assisted along the way by such notable Contemporary Christian musicians and writers as Cindy Morgan, Scott Krippayne, Matthew Gerrard, Jeff Borders, Kyle Matthews and Tony Wood.
Their self-titled album was released in 2003. Much of the music on this project is artist composed. During their run they toured extensively around the US and internationally. They toured with major established artists such as Michael W. Smith, Mark Schultz, Avalon, and Mercy Me. Their debut album and tours garnered the duo a GMA Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year in 2004. Also in 2004 their song "Masquerade" was included on the Platinum Album WOW Hits 2004, an annual compilation CD of top artists of the previous year.
While still together they received radio play throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Australia. During this period, their single "Found By You" peaked at number 5 on the AC Christian Charts in the United States. Across the Sky disbanded in 2005.
Other career highlights include:
- The songs "Broken World" and "Give it all Away" were released as singles and received airplay in the US and radio stations in Australia, Canada, South America, and Europe.
- Their song "Everywhere She Goes" was featured in the first season of "One Tree Hill" on the WB network.
After the disbandment of Across the Sky in 2005, Justin Unger moved to Prescott, AZ with his wife and children where he is a music minister at an alternative style megachurch called The Heights. Unger continues song-writing and composition with a new solo CD titled "Disengage" to be released on October 30, 2007.
Ben Kolarcik resides in Los Angeles, CA with his wife and son where he has pursued a career as a writer and composer. Kolarcik tours as well. He still performs nationally with occasional bookings in other countries.
Both musicians continue their individual careers in the music industry.
- Across The Sky (2003)
1. Found By You 2. Give It All Away 3. Everywhere She Goes 4. When I Open My Eyes 5. Broken World 6. Shooting Star 7. Exciting Times 8. Masquerade 9. Persistence 10. First Love Song 11. Do You Dream Of Me? 12. Not So You Will Love Me
- CCM Top 100 Greatest Songs In Christian Music "When God Ran (Tribute Recording)" (2004)
- Found By You (Studio Series Performance Track) (2005)
- Broken World (Studio Series Performance Track) (2005)
- WOW Hits 2004 "Masquerade" (2004)