Church iBand plays Christmas songs entirely on iPhones and iPads (with video)

“Comprising five iPads, five iPhones and the Georgia-based North Point Community Church’s normal assembly of professional musicians; the iBand was born after members of the group stumbled upon an iPhone performance on YouTube,” Elizabeth Haggarty reports for The Toronto Star. “‘We all own iPhones, and being musicians we all have music apps on them and we went from there,’ explains Greven.”

“When the group performed Dec. 5 in front of the church’s 12,000-person congregation, they had no idea what sort of reaction they would get,” Haggarty reports. “‘We woke up that Sunday morning hoping for maybe some smiles and maybe some mild applause,’ says Graven. ‘We just hoped they would get what we were doing and not hate it.’ Since then a video of their performance has been watched 953,000 times (as of mid-day Wednesday) on YouTube.”

“After testing a few dozen apps, band members Jared Hamilton, Eddie Kirkland and Greven came up with the Christmas carol arrangements,” Haggarty reports. “It was only after rehearsals began that they realized the iPhones were too small to play all of the instruments they needed, so they went on the hunt for iPads, eventually borrowing four from congregation members.”

Haggarty reports, “The iBand rehearsed for only a few hours on the Wednesday before the Sunday service. ‘If we’d only we’d been able to practise a few more times, we could have hit a few more notes,’ jokes Greven.”

Full article, with a list of apps the “iBand” used, here.

MacDailyNews Take: This reminds us to wish everyone an early Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. cb:

    Not one note here was sequenced; every single one of them was played by very much real musicians, from what I could see in that video.

    Real musicians (such as myself) are impressed, although this isn’t the first time (remember Atomic Tom on NYC subway, with 4 iPhones?).

  2. The arrangements were clever and did a nice job of showing that some interesting and musical stuff could be done with an iPad.

    I’ve seen plenty of arrangements with “real” instruments and “real” musicians that weren’t nearly as engaging or “real.”

    REAL musicians and artists will see the possibilities of this tool for making real music, art, graphics, etc.

    The iPad is just a tool, in some ways very limited yet in some ways very sophisticated. Having an iPad, or a Steinway 9 ft grand or a Stradivarius won’t make you a musician or even help you create “real” music.

  3. In all fairness, some of the guys are better than others, and it is clear that they didn’t really rehearse all that much, but nonetheless, there is a lot of enthusiasm in it. Don’t forget, this is still just a church band.

    What I find really impressive is the variety of musical apps, including that auto-tune thing the vocalist used at the end for Feliz Navidad…!

  4. The last song was best. What was that “singing robot” app? Playing the note’s pitch from side to side (like a piano keyboard) while doing “glissando” (pitch bending) by moving your finger up and down is great use of and iPad as a musical instrument.

  5. Can one be smiling and crying at the same time? Yes i did just listening to the iband,,,makes me a proud owner of an iPhone
    and an iPad.Its going to be a Merry Christmas indeed… Thanks to the iBand,,why not record an album,,,it will be neat and Glorious,,,,
    more power tunes to you all……

  6. They had one rehearsal which is pretty amazing. And when they do play their regular songs – they are awesome. A number of the band are full time musicians.

    @Synth – yes, North Point pushes for excellence – you don’t get to play on that stage in front of an international audience until you have proven yourself in other venues.

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