Hello Everyone-

It’s true. We did it. I am very happy to tell you that Jessica and I are now… married:-)

The details: We wed in Charleston, South Carolina, in the Historic District. The ceremony was held in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It was a beautiful mass in one of the oldest and most engaging cathedrals in the United States. The church was filled with red poinsettias. It was really gorgeous. The music was a mixture of pieces from Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Pachelbel, Clarke, & others, all arranged for, and performed by, pipe-organ, strings, and voice. We were married on December 29th, which is technically the Fifth Day of Christmas. Traditionally speaking, Christmas lasts 12 days, from the 25th to the 6th of January… like the song;-) Previously, over the course of our relationship, I have given jessica 4 gold rings… So the fifth one was her wedding band, and it came on an appropriate day:-)

We left the church in a Cinderella-style horse drawn carriage, and arrived at the original Citadel from the Civil War era, now converted from a fortress into a hotel. There we had a two part reception . First, hors d’oeuvres were served in the indoor Atrium, a glass inclosed area in the heart of the structure. The guests were gathered by the central fountain where we had a string quartet playing. Jessica and I posed for a few photos while guests got to know each other. We then proceeded to dinner, served in the Main Ballroom. As it was Christmas, the decorations were elegantly inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The flowers were predominantly Calais Lilies, and the arrangements were stunning. There were ostrich feathers, origami, and even those candied almonds. On every table white pumpkins with Jack Skellington’s face glowed with candlelit eyes and smiles, as the room slowly and subtly shifted through a spectrum of color in a seemingly magical feat of lighting (designed by CXS’ very own lightman Zak Wilson). The cake was an incredible “hatters” style creation, decorated in fondant, wrapped in a cascade of sugar calais lilies spiraling around each tier, topped by a hand blown glass Jack and Sally. Each part was flavored differently: hummingbird, carrot cake, or strawberry. (hummingbird is a traditional southern flavor- honey & pineapple). And a huge ice sculpture of spiral hill was prominently placed near the entryway. During dinner our string quartet played a selection which included arrangements from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter, and even The Addams Family!, Afterwards our favorite Disc Jockey- DJ Ian Fford of NYC- got people dancing.

There is so much more… so many wonderful, magical details that I couldn’t even begin to tell… so i put up a gallery and you can see some of it for yourself. You can find it here. (www.cruxshadows.com/Wedding/index.html) The page is large and takes a while to load, so be patient. Its worth the wait;-) In looking at photos you might also notice that Steve & Donna of Ego likeness, DJ Ian Fford, Athan Maroulis of Spahn Ranch, and our former dancer Beth, are all among the members of the wedding party.

And while we are on the subject of weddings… Former violinist Rachel McDonnell also tied the knot. She was married two weeks ago in South Florida. On behalf of myself, the band, and the fans, I wish to congratulate her and wish her the upmost happiness. Happy Wedding thoughts to Rachel & Harry:-)

OK- Now that the wedding is over and Jessica and I are back from our Honeymoon, I have some other important announcements to make.

First, George Bikos has decided to retire from the Cruxshadows. It actually happened after our tour in 2007, but we agreed we should keep things quiet for the time being… at least until we could find a suitable replacement, particularly with the wedding occupying so much of our time. George started playing with us a few years ago after Stacey Campbell left the band. George’s personality clicked with us early on, and he became an integral part of CXS, particularly on tour. His stage presence, his friendly yet unassuming nature, and his unmistakable personal style made him a favorite among our fans, and we appreciate all of his hard work and contributions over the years.

Even though we will miss him, we are very happy to add that he and dancer Sarah Poulos became engaged to be married recently. They moved back home to St. Petersburg in order to be closer to their parents. Although Sarah Poulis has voiced some interest in reappearing with CXS at some point in the future, she has chosen to become inactive with the band in order to spend her time with her mother and her new fiance.

George made the following statement by email addressing the fans:

To all the fans… I know some of you may be a little upset that I have decided to leave the cruxshadows, but know that I did it for a reason. Many of you already know that me and Sarah are planning on getting married and that, coupled with my father’s failing health and, honestly, a little bit of old fashioned home sickness was just a little too much. I decided it would be better to get back in school and educate myself to support all the babies Sarah wants:) You can’t exactly take twelve babies on a nine month tour!!! Anyways I just wanted to wish everyone well… This is goodbye, but not farewell… Horhey out like a light in the night…

Sarah sent the following statement:

While this pains me to no end, I must inform you all that I will no longer be permanately touring with the Cruxshadows. I love what I do. I love the music, I love the fans, and I love the scene. Unfortunately, my family comes first. My mother was diagnosed with a pretty awful disease, and I felt it necessary to move back home to be closer to her. This obviously does not work well with the band’s pretty hefty practice and touring schedule. When you add that to my upcoming wedding and house purchase, it makes for a pretty difficult life decision. So after long talks, (and a few shedding of the tears) it was decided that it would be better if I was no longer a permanent fixture of the band. We all hope that I can someday dance and sing with the band again…maybe on some short tours or even DragonCon, who knows? Nothing is ever final. I love you all and I feel blessed to have have had you in my life. The past 4 years have been some of the best and most amazing, and I owe most of that to you. Without you this opportunity would have never entered my life in the first place. So thank you. Live, love, be, believe…(in fairies 🙂

We wish Sarah and George much success and happiness in their life together.

Which leads us to…this.

We are very pleased to announce that our new guitar player will be Valerie Gentile. Val is from New York City and has been playing guitar for most of her life. She has a bachelors degree in music business and audio recording technology. She’s a skilled player, a longtime fan of CXS, and a really cool person (actually she rocks:-). Val worked as a studio engineer, a studio guitarist, and has played bass & guitar on stage for a handful of bands in the NYC area. Additionally, she is a talented vocalist who can also play bass, keyboards, and drums. We believe she will be a very positive addition to Cruxshadows and we hope that all of our fans will make her feel welcome in her new role. Here’s some pics in case you were curious…

Other quick notes:

We have begun booking shows in Europe starting in July. We will be on tour in Europe through the Summer and will start booking for Fall in North America, so keep an eye on that in the coming months.

Some of you might have noticed Cruxshadows on CSI. Yes, it’s true. A fictional fan of the band was thrown out of a window to her death, and her dorm room filled with Cruxshadows posters became the crime scene. We were sad that the CXS fan ended up dead… but Hey- it’s prime-time TV! The episode is called Goodbye & Good Luck and if you missed it you can buy it for $1.99 in the iTunes store- If you have itunes, just click here to check it out.

We are actively auditioning violin players and dancers. We will be making a selection soon, but there is still time to be considered. If you or someone you know is interested, please email us. A performance sample, recent photo, and brief bio are encouraged. But please act quickly, with a European tour only months away, there is no time to delay.

That’s all for now- But there will be more news soon…

Live Love Be Believe-


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