Local band, The Wandering Found, has played in venues across Springfield including The Outland ballroom and on Missouri State’s campus. The band, made up of six members, is rooted in Christanity, but members said they do not make worship music. 

Thomas Yonke, a senior music composition major, is the lead singer of The Wandering Found. 

Yonke said the members all met through church and started the band in February 2018. The group met through  the campus ministry CREW and all played in the worship band.

“We all come from a background of worship music,” Yonke said. 

In the fall of 2017 Yonke read the book, “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven in one sitting. 

The novel is about the effect of mental illness on individuals and the people around them. The two main characters Finch and Violet contemplate jumping off their school’s bell tower in a suicide attempt but save one another from doing so.

After finishing the book he started writing songs based on the impactful narrative, eventually writing an entire album.

“I realized I was going to need some help in order for the songs to be everything I wanted them to be,” Yonke said. 

After long discussion and brainstorming with his roommate, Chris Matheson, a senior music education major, the pair decided to form a band around the album which is titled, “The Great Manifesto.”

Even though Yonke wrote all of the songs for the album he said there is a reason The Wandering Found is not a solo act. 

“I think music is meant to be collaborative because music at its core is about communication,” Yonke said. 

Yonke said while he does most of the song writing, all six members work together to create the best possible product. 

Matheson said the band name was inspired by the members backgrounds and experiences in Christianity. 

“We wander through this life not exactly sure where we’re going--- we’re all kind of in the dark at some level as humans,” Matheson said, “but we find ourselves in Christ.” 

Matheson said when the band initially set out to make music, they had a lot of positive experiences with worship music but members wanted to connect with people who aren’t Christians.

Matheson said The Wandering Found makes music that is accessible to everybody. 

Carter Williams, guitarist for The Wandering Found, graduated from MSU last year with a mass media degree and describes the majority of The Wandering Found’s music as alternative rock. 

“The beautiful thing about having a band of six people is that we can diversify ourselves,” Williams said. 

The band tries out different styles of music like grunge and classic rock, drawing inspiration from bands like The Foo Fighters, Colony House and Walk the Moon.

Yonke said he came into college wanting to write musicals, he focuses on choral music and is a member of MSU’s touring ensemble.

“My experiences here at MSU have taught me a lot about being a musician,” Yonke said. “The skills I learn in class and from choir transfer over to (The Wandering Found).”

Matheson said his experience in the music program at MSU taught him the significance of collaboration and community when creating music. By taking these classes he said he discovered the joys of sharing ideas and criticism with other people.

“There are times when members are split on decisions,” Matheson said. “Over time we have built up really thick skin to talk about things openly.”

In the future, Williams said he wants The Wandering Found to be something he can look back on and be proud of and hopes as time goes the band can grow together and keep continually improving. 

He said he doesn't want The Wandering Found to be a cover band that plays at one bar every Thursday night. 

“I know we’re better than that and we strive to be better than that,” said Williams. 

The Wandering Found’s debut album can be found on all music streaming services, members also sell physical CD’s with half of the profit going to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

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