The 2001 lineup for Efatha, the Celtic-inspired band from Lancaster, PA, includes Scott Hertzog, Jessica Kormos, Kristen Anselmo, Steve Smoker, and Bill Lewis. The group's name means to be open, to understand, and to gain revelation, which are certainly qualities they strive to incorporate into their performances.
Scott Hertzog is the founder of Efatha and brings his talent as songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, fiddler, and violinist. His 20 years of musical experience and deep appreciation for Celtic music have clearly influenced the band's direction. Although he has eight years of classical violin training, he broke away to explore the artistic freedom of improvisational technique. He also learned to play guitar at the end of high school, and has included it in his performances since. Drawing inspiration from the Crossing, the Chieftains, IONA, and Loreena McKennitt, he began developing the group's own unique, Celtic-influenced original material, and so began Efatha.
Jessica Kormos brings eight years of cello experience to Efatha, including a year's study at the Lancaster Conservatory of Music. Kormos enjoys performing with Efatha as it allows her to explore additional musical genres than classical. She has also become involved in writing music.
Kristen Anselmo brings a widely diversified resume to Efatha, including singing professionally for eight years, as an actress at Sight and Sound, the nation's largest Christian theater. Her experience also includes performances in television commercials, professional theater, promotional films, radio voice-overs, print modeling, and robotic modeling. Her on-stage training has proven supportive to the band's visual presentation and delivery, in addition to their musical style and sound.
Steve Smoker grew up in a musical family, so he gained an appreciation and respect for music at quite an early age. As another of the original founding members of Efatha, he adds professional and creative bass playing to the band. His musical training also includes the study of hand percussion, piano, and acoustic guitar. Earlier endeavors include participation in Vintage 98, Petra Band, and the Vineyard Band. In Efatha, his ability to improvise acts as a springboard for songs, musical breaks, and endings. He makes a visual as well as a musical impact, by sporting bright blue hair on the album cover of This Is What You Get, the band's debut release. This definitely draws the eye, much as his performances draw the ear.
The newest full-time member of Efatha, Bill Lewis, joins the band for their second release, Yn Fyw Blychau Clir, and the video for their song "Jenny's Diner." Lewis had the unique experience of beginning his career as a performer in an eighth grade Kiss tribute band, playing rhythm guitar and using butane lighters for fire breathing effects. He continued on with guitar in college, then added harmonica in the early '80s. Teaching and family life drew his attention away from the guitar, but when exploring his Welsh roots, Lewis found the world of Celtic music and the expressive tones of the pennywhistle. Playing on and off during 1998 and 1999 with Efatha, Lewis developed his pennywhistle skills and expanded on the Irish low whistle, as well. ~ Murrday Fisher