Local musician performs on international level

By Megan R. Harrell
Star Staff

This fall's terrorist attacks have inspired artist expression in many different ways. The creative lyrics of five-time Grammy Award winner Ken Turner and the moving musical arrangement by Elizabethton's Wayne Little combined for one of the nation's most patriotic ensembles. United Through It All has extended across the nation serving as a healing anthem for all Americans.
   The song has opened doors for Little and his musical group, "New Millennium." The musicians performed for military personnel and national leaders gathered at the Pentagon for this year's Good Friday service. His performance on March 29 was the second time Little has entertained audiences at the Pentagon since the ballad about September 11 hit music charts.
   New Millennium performed a battery of patriotic hymns and anthems along with their signature song at the service that was run by the Rev. Franklin Graham. Little is the lead singer for the group, while Turner is backup vocalist along with Roger Burnette and Derrick Boyd.
   Although his recent musical endeavors are attracting national attention, Little has enjoyed successes throughout his life. Little was in his first band when he was 10 years old. As an adult he has had two major recording contract offers, but declined them because he did not want to leave his home. Over the years Little has worked as an arranger and vocalist with some of the industry's best. "I am more of an arranger than a writer. I can write and have written some songs but I usually arrange them," Little said.
   Little spends his time traveling back and forth between Elizabethton, where he owns A-One Auto Care, and Nashville, where he shares ownership in a recording studio with Dottie West's son. "Songs from the heart do not need to be labeled. People in the U.S. need to identify with what they feel instead of trying to pick a certain type of music and sticking with it," Little said. "Today we need to reach people, not categories. I think that it is important to be yourself and being able to lead people down the right path is more important than putting a label on your head."
   The singers hope to reach a different audience of listeners that has not been sought out by the industry in the past. "We sing soul stirring music that is a new genre," Little said. "They are songs of the heart with a lot of meaning with a target market of people that need inspiration. We need music that is freer and not categorized."
   Aside from his hectic musical touring schedule, Little travels around the world with Ken Turner World Wide Missions. The partnership ministry is actively involved in the Dominican Republic. Little has recently returned from taking over one million dollars in medical supplies into the country. Little and Turner's relationship was built by traveling and singing together where they realized they shared a heart for missions and formed a duo, "New Sound," which allowed them flexibility to travel around the world and to raise funds for missions.
   The ministry gathers donations from local hospitals and ships them into needy countries. The musicians then travel themselves to the locations to sing and to hand out the supplies. "The donations that we receive are a miracle from God," Little said. "Hospitals have donated supplies that are outdated for the U.S., but are technically advanced in places like the Dominican Republic."
   Anyone desiring to help may travel with the ministry. As many as 16 people traveled with the singers on their last trip to the Dominican Republic. Little has traveled to more than 52 countries on top of his singing schedule in America.
   Apart from his singing ministry, Little also provides a filter Internet service for families and organizations. The service is available for churches to give to members provided it is used for missions work.
   Shortly after his return from Washington, Little will be leaving to tour Europe for three weeks. He will be singing in concert halls and cathedrals where his CD sold. The tour is part of a fund-raising effort to further the efforts of Turner World Wide Missions.