The Psalms Project turning scripture into songs

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many of you have likely read or come across Bible scripture from the Book of Psalms but have you ever heard the popular text put to music? A local group of musicians wants to turn all 150 Psalms into songs you can stream anywhere in the world.

Madison-native Shane Heilman has always been fascinated by the Book of Psalms.

So much so, he started a band called The Psalms Project and got to work turning scripture into song.

“It really just combined my love for poetry with my love for music and my love for the bible. Put all those together and it’s turned into something that a lot of people enjoy,” Heilman said.

The Psalms Project records at Cathouse Studios in Sioux Falls. The group, with the help of engineer Mike Dresch, has put out three albums. The songs have been streamed online millions of times.

“People connect with the depths of the emotions in the psalms and that’s why they’ve been so popular for thousands of years and they’re not going away. So when you take the most popular part of the most popular book ever written and set them to music, people are interested,” Heilman said.

“He’s just turning them into really good songs,” Dresch said.

More than 50 musicians, including two Grammy nominees, have taken part. Each album takes weeks to record. Right now they’re working on Psalms 31-38.

“Very proud of it. We’ve put a lot of work into these songs,” Dresch said.

“It just really brings out the emotion and the themes of the psalm a lot more clearly. So people who usually skip around the psalms now are kind of hearing them in their entirety,” Heilman said.

It makes Heilman, a school principal in Rapid City, happy to see the music doing well. The most popular songs so far… Psalm 4 and 25.

“I’m just really grateful that people around the world are enjoying it and hungry for more,” Heilman said.

Heilman says at the rate they’re going, they’ll have all 150 Psalms set to music in 30 years. Volume Four is expected to come out this fall.

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