One decision in sixth grade made a huge impact on a Penn Manor student’s life forever.
In elementary school Spencer Barnett, now 17, picked up a bass guitar and didn’t want to put it down.
Six years later he is a member of the new up-and-coming band, Ace Augustine, a local Christian-based hardcore band.
Even though band members are still in high school, they are close to being signed by a national record label.
“We are now in progress of signing with the record label Strike First,” said Barnett.
Strike First is owned by the company Facedown. If Ace Augustine does well, they may be moved up to Facedown’s label as soon as next year.
Facedown currently represents nationally known bands such as In the Midst of Lions and A Plea for Purging, who came from Strike First before going to Facedown. The label is also representing For Today, a band that recently came here to Lancaster and had a nearly sold out show.
Ace Augustine band members have been playing together since 2008. Not only have they become better friends and had a lot of great experiences, they have also honed their talents and abilities.
“It’s really sweet to listen to their music on my iPod and on the computer and think, wow, someone from my school is playing this,” said 16-year old sophomore, Aaron Lugo, “they are such a good band, let alone a high school band.”
Besides Barnett (bass guitar), the band consists of Tyler Chadwick (lead guitar and back up vocals), Ben Moser (lead vocalist), Doug Fellenbaum (drums) and Brian Fellenbaum (guitar).
Barnett was asked to join the band by Chadwick in the spring of his freshman year. Since that day, Ace Augustine has only gotten better and stronger as a group.
“At this point Spencer is still Spencer, but he is emerging into a super-star,” said Penn Manor senior, Josh Carle. “My favorite song by Ace Augustine is the song, We’re Running Out of ‘Toime’ (time).”
“We started off messing around, now we play shows every week with over 100 fans at every show. I never thought I would be in a band this popular,” said Barnett, “we are getting a lot of recognition because there have been bands from Lancaster that have become very big such as August Burns Red and Texas In July.”
Their fans agree.
“I have been to a few shows. I think they have good connection and their stage presence was impressive,” said Jeremy Vital.
Vital has two favorite songs, Senior Year at Sky City, and For Every Peek There’s a Valley.
Ace Augustine Audio Sample
Ace Augustine signed up for a battle of the bands concert in 2009. The grand prize was being named the opening act at the Christian music festival Purple Door. They ended up winning the votes from the fans and judges, taking them to their first big show at Purple Door. They were asked to come back this year and perform again.
“This was our second year at Purple Door and it was truly an amazing experience as always,” said Barnett, “we made some great friends and had a great turnout.”
Ace Augustine had been on a few small tours with known bands Inhale Exhale, Abaccabb, and For Today. They also opened for bands such as August Burns Red, Texas is July, Otep, Oh Sleeper and Sky Eats Airplane.
“I heard about Ace from one of my friends and they are gnarly,” said Matt Gross, a sophomore at Penn Manor. He also said he will be buying their next CD and going to the next local show.
In the fall of 2009, Ace Augustine had their first EP CD released. The EP was called Glory of Trumpets. They recorded this album at Century Studios in Lancaster, PA. The band is now working on their first full length CD which will be titled The Absolute (to be released this fall). This album is currently being recorded at Highland Audio in Reading, PA.
“I’m doing this because it is something I am passionate about and because it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Barnett.
Ace Augustine will be going on their first national tour this summer. For now, they can only do weekend shows while school is in session.
You can visit Ace Augustine at http://www.myspace.com/aceaugustine
By Kyle Hallett