Pastor Sean of HORN & HOLLAND
One of Horn & Holland’s flagship songs is “The Steps of a Good Man” They wrote it together and currently it’s doing well on the charts. God completed that message by saying “The steps of a good man are ordered by God” and the divine steps that connected Horn & Holland to organize an anointed gospel/jazz musical duet is nothing short of God’s intervention and appointment.
Sean Holland grew up taking saxophone lessons and playing in school bands. He derived so much pleasure and unbridled passion from playing music that he performed whenever and wherever the opportunity presented itself. That’s what gifted musicians do.
But challenges came about with Mama Holland because it wasn’t WHEN he pulled out the horn that caused consternation; she was his first enthusiastic, encouraging and loyal fan showing ardent support. The conflict arose, however with WHERE he chose to play. Sean’s passion for becoming a musician had no boundaries and his mother was a woman of God; saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. She said “NO” to parties and clubs, forbidding her only son to play in those venues. Out of respect and obedience, he complied.
By the time young Sean arrived on the campus of Florida A & M University, though, it was on and popping all the way around. As far as he was concerned, Mama Holland was miles away at home, being saved. Sean was determined to find a way to do IT ALL without compromising his spirituality because he had a heart for God. When he pledged membership and loyalty with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Sean donned his golden boots and stomped on into that life. He was grown, talented and popular, but not really taking time to know whether his steps were being ordered by God. Nor did he have the time to care.
A strange thing happened in the wee morning hours following a rousing campus gig. Just like Jacob, Holland had a visitation from the Holy Spirit and they, too, battled all night long about God’s plans for his life. Sean tried to convince God to see things his way as he was not feeling the saved life at the time but promised to “get with it later.” Yet “the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much” and his Mama’s intercession took full effect.
God saved Sean Holland that morning and a whole new lifestyle stepped into motion. His walk changed; the Lord had ordered new steps. The transition was challenging as the handsome, smart and musically gifted college student began walking with the Lord. As God’s timing would have it, he was soon blessed to cross paths with a lovely young student named Tayana who was also saved. He tiptoed right into the heart of the brown beauty whom God had chosen as his wife.
They dated, married, relocated, committed to ministry and produced four beautiful children together. But through the years and deep within, Pastor Holland’s insatiable desire to play music again reignited. He felt unsettled, because otherwise all was well. He was blessed with a successful ministry and kept dismissing the yearning as temptation from the enemy. After several years of internal struggle, Holland took it before the Lord for answers and direction. Again, God was ordering his steps.
As the Lord would have it, the Hollands attended a National Day of Prayer gathering at the East Lansing Marriott in 2014, where Pastor Holland was the keynoter. Simultaneously, Pastor Holland performed with renowned gospel singer Anna Maria. He was very happy about that. Well, their paths kept connecting at various faith-based events. Eventually, Holland met her husband Darren Horn and invited the couple to share their music at his church’s worship service. They were warmly received as the Spirit of the Lord took residence in the atmosphere.
Their friendship was nurtured through that mutual passion for playing and studying music. Around the same time, Holland, who never completely stopped enjoying music, began journaling his goals to one day play professionally and record CD’s. The reality was put into place after he attended a local concert by the Christian rock band Ashes Remains featuring none other than… Anna Maria!
At one point, Horn pulled Holland aside asking if he knew of a saxophonist who could complement his ensemble. Holland nearly made the mistake of recommending someone else, but God “ordered his steps” to recommend himself. Their shared vision was moving into position as they became better acquainted by the sharing of music and divine destiny.
Horn was astounded by Holland’s consummate skills and showmanship! Through the God connection, they began working together almost effortlessly as a dynamic duo, recording and performing live. The chemistry both musician discovered and mutual vision shared between them, revolutionized “a new vibe” to urban jazz that together they could disseminate to God’s people.
“When Darrin and I realized we had an incredible connection, we focused not only on writing new songs that people might like, but those that had the power to move, influence and impact their day.” Holland said. “Our goal was to produce a sound that would inspire folks to say, ‘hmmm that’s different.’ We started talking about our similar backgrounds and realized we could mix gospel, jazz and R&B in creative ways that builds powerful bridges between the old R&B/Jazz era to the new.”
Holland said, “Our literal goal is to take the listener to unique venues in their journey. As each song reaches the end, we want them to feel as if they’ve been to a very special place. No matter what’s been going on in life before listening to Horn & Holland, we want the music to touch our audience. If the atmosphere is positive, we can enhance that but if they’re in a negative place, we will minister through music until we literally drag them out of there!”
Now that’s how God is ordering steps…!!!