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Eight years ago, a handful of worship leaders in Hamilton, Ontario were commissioned to form a band and bring their songs to the masses. In that moment, The City Harmonic was born and in the ensuing years, the world took notice, awards were bestowed, hit records were released and ministry opportunities abounded in cities coast to coast.

Now front man Elias Dummer says the popular Canadian worship band is calling it quits in the healthiest way possible—when things are still going strong and the band members all still love each other and the music. Benediction Live (buy) is their fitting farewell, their first-ever live album that showcases the dynamic band doing what they do best in front of a hometown crowd who have been involved all along.

Before Dummer and company step away from the music and back into ministry roles in their respective local churches (yes, each of them), we asked the vocalist to tell us about the emotions behind saying farewell and what makes this the perfect time to do so.

CCM Magazine: Benediction Live is your first live record. As a worship band, is this something you’ve wanted to do for a while?
Elias Dummer: Oh, yes. We have only seen ourselves as a worship band. If there is a distinction between contemporary Christian music and worship music, in our heads, we’ve only ever landed on the side of worship. When we would write songs, we would do so as worship leaders wondering, “Will my church sing this song?”

Now, we did push the boundaries at times. What’s cool is about being an ecumenical or interdenominational worship band is that we’re leading worship in a context that is different from a regular Sunday morning sometimes, so I think that allowed us to push the boundaries a bit and people would respond.


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