Originally created 01/17/04

Musician will sound trumpet in praise



Fresh from a week's getaway to Steamboat Springs, Colo., Christian trumpeter Phil Driscoll was tending to chores near his Cleveland, Tenn., home Thursday, including pulling his Citation II jet back into its hangar.

When somebody does what he does - 16 concerts a month in 16 locations - flying is the only way to go. Besides, he loves to fly, Mr. Driscoll said.

He will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at In Focus Church, 562 Old Evans Road, Evans. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Citation is his 14th ministry plane, but his dream plane was always a fighter jet. He got to pilot one about three or four years ago at the invitation of William Cohen, a fan of Mr. Driscoll's and then the secretary of defense.

The experience figures into a book he is working on, tentatively titled Breaking the Sound Barrier.

The book is about praising God. After his recommitment to Christ in 1977, he grew to understand that praise was part of his calling, he said. "Remember the trumpet is God's instrument of choice."

When Jesus comes again, it won't be a drum, a piano or a kazoo that announces him - it will be a trumpet, Mr. Driscoll said.

The musician got to meet Mr. Cohen after a Kennedy Center performance. They talked about planes and flying. Mr. Driscoll said his dream was to fly a fighter jet, and Mr. Cohen told him consider it done, Mr. Driscoll said.

An experienced pilot, he trained during the next 10 months.

He remembers that the weather was "gorgeous" the day a small passenger plane picked him up in San Diego and ferried him about 175 to 200 miles to the supercarrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson.

Aboard the Vinson, he climbed into a jet with another pilot. For about 20 minutes, Mr. Driscoll piloted the plane. "I broke the sound barrier," he said.

Back on the ship, he stood in the crow's nest and watched planes come in to land. The noise was tremendous even some nine stories above the water. The heavier and more powerful the plane, the louder the sound, he said.

He remembers God impressing on his heart, "No great power has ever been developed that is not accompanied by great sound," he said.

Over time, those words changed his music and his praise.

When people go to a ball game, it is easy "to tell who is winning by the sound of the fans," he said.

But many people who claim "a relationship with Jesus Christ don't look like they have any more answers than the world does. That doesn't make sense," he said. "If we are who we say we are, we should sound like it, and look like it."

For more information, call 868-7788 or visit his Web site, www.mightyhorn.com.

IN CONCERT

WHO: Phil Driscoll

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, doors open 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: In Focus Church, 562 Old Evans Road, Evans

PHONE: 868-7788

Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or virginia.norton@augustachronicle.com.