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JFH Music News Report


Contemporary Christian Music Pioneers Recognized
For Creative Contribution To Music Benefitting Many Generation

Petra performed its single "Holy Is Your Name" during the SESAC Christian Music Awards. Pictured: John Schlitt, left,and Bob Hartman, right. (Ed Rode Photography)

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March 5, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 5, 2014) - Petra lead singer John Schlitt was on hand at the SESAC Christian Music Awards as the pioneering Contemporary Christian band was honored with the prestigious Legacy Award. The presentation at the SESAC Christian Music Awards, held March 4 at Hillwood Country Club, marked the first time the award, whose previous recipients include Neil Diamond, Paul Shaffer and Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell, has been given to an artist in the Christian music genre.

"It's always an honor to be recognized by your peers and this is no exception," said Schlitt. "The recognition of the history of the band is very much appreciated."

The presentation of the Legacy Award was the highlight of the event, which included more than 30 awards given to Christian music's most performed songs during 2013.

Schlitt attended the event along with fellow Petra members Bob Hartman, John Lawry, Cristian Borneo and Greg Bailey. Petra was honored with SESAC's prestigious Legacy Award at a recent event. Pictured (l-r): John Lawry, keyboards; John Mullins, Director, Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC; Greg Bailey, bass; John Schlitt, vocals; Tim Fink, VP, Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC; Bob Hartman, guitar; Cristian Borneo, percussion. (Ed Rode Photography)

"This band is being recognized for its contribution of creativity that leaves a legacy for generations," said Tim Fink, SESAC's vice president, Writer/Publisher Relations.

Producer Dino Elefante, who, with his brother, John Elefante, worked on 16 of Petra's 26 albums, surprised the Petra band members by appearing at the event just as the presentation was occurring.

"I'm here to present an award to people that I love. These guys don't know what they've meant to me and John," Dino Elefante said.

"Eddie Degarmo (part of Christian rock duo Degarmo & Key and current Capitol CMG Publishing president) once told us 'You'll be identified with one or two artists for the work you'll do during your career.' If the word 'Petra' sticks to John and me, guys, we're proud. We're very proud. " Elefante said, emotionally. "Everything Petra did was deeply rooted in integrity, family and musicality. We worked on 16 records--millions of records sold--and it was a privilege to do it."

Petra was formed in 1972, setting out on a musical journey that would forever change Contemporary Christian music. In fact, when Christian music industry veteran Billy Ray Hearn first went to hear this band--at The Adam's Apple in Ft. Wayne, Ind., where the band had a regular gig--he was quoted as saying he knew they were "the most radical thing far out as anything that had come out until that time." Hearn went on to sign the band to his label, Myrrh Records, and produce their debut album.

Forty years later, there have been 26 albums released, world tours, Grammy Awards, Dove Awards, inductions into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Christian Music Hall of Fame and the Hard Rock Café.

To commemorate the band's 40th anniversary, the band members released Petra: 40th Anniversary.

For more information about Petra or the new CD, visit

About SESAC:
Established in 1930, SESAC is a service organization created to assist both the creators of music and music users through timely, efficient royalty collection and music licensing. The second oldest and fastest growing performing rights organization in the U.S., SESAC maintains a diversified repertory that includes the best of Adult Contemporary, Urban, Jazz, Rock, Americana, Contemporary Christian, Latin, Country, Gospel, Dance, Classical, New Age, and music for Film and Television. Headquartered in Nashville, the company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and London. For more information, visit

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For more info on Petra visit the JFH Artists Database.
For more info on John Schlitt visit the JFH Artists Database.


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