Meet the Garms Family
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Jesus Christ, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
— Romans 15:5-6 —
or nearly a decade, The Garms Family has sung everywhere from historic auditoriums to a makeshift stage in a barn. The Minnesota family puts thousands of miles on their 40-foot motorhome each year. Road life can be grueling, but the late nights, the busy schedule, and the breakdowns are not the most challenging part.
It’s when the family of eight gathers for a practice session.
“Forget instrument practice; it’s character practice!” laughs Kris Garms, mother of the family. David and Kris and their six kids—Ben, Taylor, Leesha, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb—not only blend vocals but personalities and ideas as they work together.
Family harmony requires grace, humility, and a team attitude.
The Garms Family’s musical journey began in 2006. They had settled in Braham, Minnesota after a year and half of traveling the country to help build churches. They never intended to share their music outside their living room. The kids were interested in Civil War history and their small acreage. Singing hymns on Sunday afternoons and attending Southern Gospel concerts was enough. Random people, though, began to approach them with a strange question: “Do you guys sing?”
They always said no.
“But God had a different plan,” says David, the group’s emcee and manager.
Instruments were added as the years went by. None of the three brothers and three sisters had instrument or vocal lessons, but instead each trained themselves to play at least two instruments. Kris laughs: “We have some books and DVDs, but they tend to gather dust!” David and Kris found some old sound equipment at a thrift store and gave it to the family one Christmas.
A desire to share their music outside the home began to develop.
In 2008 a promoter asked the Garms a familiar question, “Do you guys sing?” The family decided to say yes for the first time. He then asked them to open for an upcoming concert.
After The Garms Family’s first experience on stage, word spread fast about the young group. Local churches and events booked them, and the family crammed instruments, kids, and equipment into a 15-passenger van until they later added a trailer. They felt called to encourage people with the Gospel of Jesus through their songs and smiles.
David, a small aircraft mechanic by trade, lost his job in 2010. Led by the Lord to keep singing, the Garms took a step of faith and entered full-time ministry.
And they haven’t looked back.
With seven CD projects under their belts—each one recorded at their home studio—The Garms Family has toured in over 25 states. Their eclectic musical style brings a fresh appeal. With over 15 instruments on stage, they can transition from a straight-up Southern Gospel group to an entire bluegrass band.
“It’s difficult to nail our exact genre!” says Taylor, 26, who plays piano and mandolin. “We sing entirely Christian music and cover Southern Gospel, bluegrass, Celtic, and modern hymns. Our foundation, though, is the three- and four-part harmony of Southern Gospel—and we love throwing in a cappella arrangements.” Members of the family have also written multiple songs for their repertoire.
The oldest sibling in the band, Ben, is 27; Caleb, the youngest, is 15. All of the kids have been home-schooled. The graduates of the family are involved in additional pursuits besides the band: Ben is an audio engineer, Taylor owns a graphic design business, and Leesha is writing a book series for middle-graders.
“For me, the performances are the best part about road trips,” says Sam, the family’s 18-year old bass vocalist and drummer. “Every time I get on stage I am reminded of the reason we travel thousands of miles: To share the gospel we have been given to every person that comes out to see us sing.”
Not one of them claims to be worthy to stand on stage. Each has an account of failure and sin—daily they fall short of the glory of God. But, because The Garms Family serves a Savior Who died for their sin, Who saved them—not because they were worthy of saving—they proclaim the hope they received with their voices and instruments, to be a living picture of God’s faithfulness and grace. That’s what The Garms Family wants people to know.
Baritone, guitar & Accordion
Birthday: October 12, 19??
Playing 12-string guitar since high school, David fills accordion, upright bass, drums, electric guitar, and tambourine as needed. He’s the emcee, head of the booking department, and the family’s biggest fan. His chief passions are theology, teaching his kids, servicing the Nautilus and other vehicles, up-keeping the family’s 7.8 acres, and practice sessions.
Alto, Upright Bass & Piano
Birthday: October 21, 19??
By far, being a wife and mother has been her favorite occupation. The family’s gospel music journey began because Kris fell in love with quartets and hymns in a little country church as a six-year old. Empathetic, committed, and candid, she is loved for her beautiful spirit, stirring alto voice, and touching testimonies. The primary upright bass player, she has an ear for harmonies and is the expert on sheet music.
Bass, Guitars & Banjo
Birthday: January 28, 1991
…his dreams of the uniform for the musician’s life. Ben is an audio engineer, managing the family studio and live sound, and a dedicated follower of Christ. His ear is tuned to arranging and he keeps the cargo trailer organized. He enjoys outdoor labor, firearms, analyzing music, songwriting, photography, and challenging his siblings in basketball shoot-outs.
Soprano, Piano & Mandolin
Birthday: April 8, 1992
…and is often requested to record a CD of her passionate piano music. She plays mandolin and adds tin whistle, violin, and guitar if needed. Composing most of the family’s original songs, she also arranges harmonies and creates each concert program. On the side she writes, studies theology, researches the Civil War, dabbles in photography and videography, and bores the family with the latest facts, news, and fads in…anything.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Birthday: December 3, 1994
…graceful stage presence, she loves to sing and provide interpretive sign. Dobro is her preferred instrument, though she’ll throw in a little banjo and tambourine too. Her ambition is to improve Christian fiction and she is in process of completing her first middle-grader novel. She’s the family’s birdwatcher, the first one to read multiple Jules Verne and Charles Dickens books in their entirety, and is known as “The Boss” when cleaning the Nautilus.
Bass, Drums & Harmonica
Birthday: January 18, 2000
The drum throne is his favorite spot during concerts, but he likes to play bass, harmonica and accordion as well. An entrepreneurial mind, Sam plans to launch a soundtrack company and release a Civil War board game he created. He is an avid basketball player and likes to critique the finer details of fiction. He’s always up for a rousing game of Boggle (five-letter words or more only) and discussions on how to improve the band (when you can take him seriously).
Soprano, Fiddle & Mandolin
Birthday: December 22, 2001
…and an interest in animals. A versatile vocalist, Jayme easily transitions from a strong lead to blended soprano, alto, or tenor harmonies. (Her bass skills remain untested.) She soars on fiddle and mandolin, in addition to cello, accordion, piano, guitars, bass…and more! She is a talented artist, often gifting people with her artwork, and endeavors to become a designer and video editor.
Lead, Guitars & Percussion
Birthday: August 31, 2003
…and legendary basketball players. Besides singing, he plays guitar, accordion, bass, and various forms of percussion. Caleb is the basketball go-to, always the first to grab a ball and use his left-handed plays to beat out right-handed family members during pickup games. When not in school he shoots hoops, reads, hones his writing skills, and digitally colors old photographs of generals.
If we eat out...
Our favorite animals...
What we do together...
Stops across the country...
Come along for the Ride!
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