Don Chapman in the media
Worship Conference teaching by Don Chapman
Don Chapman's worship websites
Don Chapman's homepage
  keys & computers
Read Don's journey from starving artist to web entrepeneur.
    The 700 Club
Don explains how he records music with the help of Chris Sligh.
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    American Idol
Behind the scenes of America's top-rated show.
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Hi, welcome to my website! Here's a little bit about me and my journey.

A few years out of college (I graduated from an ultra- conservative Christian university with a church music degree, and was nearly kicked out for playing contemporary Christian music, but that's another story) I moved from my home town of Greenville, SC to Nashville, TN to pursue a career in music.

Even though I managed to have songs recorded by Integrity Music and Word Music (sitting in the studio and hearing Grammy-nominated arranger Don Hart's orchestration of my song played by a top session orchestra was a highlight of my life) I soon discovered the Christian music biz was little different than any other biz. Getting ahead is as political as any other profession and doesn't rest on talent alone.

The Christian royalties aren't all that hot, either. When I arrived in town, the big news was that the writer of the Dove award-winning song of the year was living in a dump, drove a lemon and couldn't support his family. He gave up in frustration and had just moved Midwest to take a church music director job. Welcome to Nashvega$!

I made friends who were on the business side of Christian music and learned about marketing. Tired of waiting by the mailbox for royalty checks and digging in my seat cushions for quarters to buy a Checker's hamburger for dinner, I decided if I wanted to make it in music I'd have to do something about it. My mantra has always been that I don't care about being rich or famous, I simply want to make a living doing what I love: music.

After about a year of trial, error and marketing research I came up with an instrumental CD [called a "concept CD" in industry terms], talked the duplicator into making me 4,000 copies on credit, sold out to Christian bookstores and paid off my bill. Success, rinse and repeat. I eventually sold 20,000 units from my spare bedroom and moved back to Greenville so my parents (now referred to as my shipping department) could help me pack and ship product.

Fun, but too much work. Not a few Christian bookstores buy on 60 day billing and forget to pay little guys like me. Packing, shipping and chasing late payments was starting to get old.

Then God lead me to accept a part time worship leader job at a new church plant in town, and out of this experience was born all kinds of new music, ministry and creative ideas.

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