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Bryan Umphenour - songwriter, singer, worship leader

Bryan Umphenour, a musician who writes his own songs, is also a young entrepreneur who is attempting to fund a $15,000 music video through Kickstarter, an online venue for raising venture capital for creative projects.

Umphenour $15,000 fundraising goal is on an all-or-nothing basis. Kickstarter pledges are cached for the duration of the fundraising campaign.

If he does not receive the full $15,000 in pledges by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, March 15, then all of the pledges received up to that point will be refunded by Kickstarter.

“Kickstarter gives those that donate a chance to earn rewards based on their gift. (Those rewards) range from a CD download all the way up to a chance to co-star in the music video,” Umphenour explained.

“My music is definitely written for radio, and under the genre of pop/rock,” Umphenour said. “I think it’s a cross between Imagine Dragons and Bruno Mars. It is catchy, and has a lot of groove. I wrote every word and melody to all my songs and played guitar, keyboard, and sang all vocals.”

One of his songs, “Give It All Away,” has recently been added to the Fresno radio station Jewel FM playlist. It is a song about the “brokenness of families,” he said. “If you feel like giving up, give more,” he explained the theme of that song.

Umphenour, his wife, Brooke, and their two sons - three-year-old Coen and one-year-old Mason - have only recently moved to the Mountain Area.

In addition to writing and performing his music, Umphenour is the Worship Pastor at Sierra Pines Church. He also serves in a creative arts capacity there doing web design and creating media projects.

While guitar is his main instrument, he also plays bass, keyboards and drums.

While spending his high school years in Ventura, sports, including surfing, body boarding and skateboarding, were a focus but at the age of 17, when he picked up a guitar, “I knew it was going to be a major part of my life immediately,” Umphenour said.

This is really a return to Oakhurst for Umphenour. As a young person in Bakersfield from kindergarten through fifth grade, Umphenour and his family participated in family camp at Sugar Pine Christian Camp in Oakhurst. As he got older, he worked at Hartland Christian Camp in Badger, Calif..

After graduating high school in Ventura, his studies took him to the New Life School of Worship in Colorado Springs.

Umphenour has followed in the footsteps of a musical family. His grandfather, who was a pastor for 68 years, was a musician as were his mother and father.

“My dad is creative and loves to write original music as well. I remember him making up fun songs when we were growing up, and I find myself doing the same thing with my boys,” Umphenour said. “On an artistic level, I have really been influenced by everyone from Boyz 2 Men to Johnny Cash, and Kings of Leon to Katy Perry. I try to gain insight from all music.”

His music career has taken him from California, to Colorado, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana which is where he met his wife.

He has served as the worship leader at churches in those locations and he worked as a creative director for Lets Develop TV, a company devoted to video production, website development and brand creation.

His dedication to writing original music for the past 13 years has resulted in not only the creation of his first full length album (will be released to iTunes in April), but to a recent music licensing contract.

“I’ve had one of my songs play on a major radio station in Fresno ( www.Kjwl.com), and as of Feb. 6, I’ve been signed to an awesome music licensing company ( www.musicbed.com),” Umphenour said. “After two weeks, I’ve already sold my first two music licenses.”

In his future as a musician, he said, “I would be lying if I didn’t say that I wanted to win a Grammy someday, but I honestly just hope to make an impact on and inspire those that listen to my music.”

Umphenour will be performing at the MET Cinema on March 13, South Gate Brewing Co. in April, and at the Tenaya Lodge April 18 and 24.

Details: umphymusic.com.

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