Musical Marywood: The Matchlighters share the Good News through music


Photo credit/ Paige Bell

The Matchlighters are a Christian Rock group made up of Marywood Graduate Students Annie Heyen, Jason Lee and Paige Bell

Sometimes, good things happen randomly.

Marywood business administration graduate student Jason Lee and nutrition and dietetics graduate student Annie Heyen were at a bonfire last fall with a group of friends from InterVarsity NEPA, an organization dedicated to strengthening the Christian faith in college students, when someone handed Lee a guitar.

“Our friend Alexis was having a bunch of friends over for a bonfire in her backyard and they just found a guitar in their garage,” said Lee. “Me and Annie just started to play four songs that everybody knew and that was a lot of fun. That was the first time I had played guitar with anyone since the middle of high school.”

After that night, Lee and Heyen put together a worship night with their InterVarsity friends for their “Friendsgiving” celebration where they premiered a song they wrote, which made their live performances together more organized.

“It was a super life-giving experience for me because it had been such a long time since I had really devoted myself to something that I was good at,” said Lee.

Heyen said these live performances were the only time last fall the InterVarsity group was able to meet in person since most of their events were held online.

“[One day] Ryan, the guy who leads [InterVarsity] was like, ‘I need a worship band,’ and he was there when me and Jason would play and Paige [Bell] was there; and as time went on, the three of us just continued,” Heyen explained. “The three of us started writing music and got a connection at Heaven and Earth Cafe and Gift Shop in Scranton and we played a few gigs there.”

Now known as the Matchlighters, the group is made up of Heyen on the keyboard and lead vocals, Lee on guitar and graduate speech pathology major Bell on percussion and backing vocals.

“I just like to play, I like to hang out with them, I like to praise Jesus,” Heyen stated.

The Matchlighters say that praising Jesus is what they’re all about. The name “The Matchlighters” came from their mutual goal of wanting to get people excited about worshipping Jesus.

“We wanted to ‘light the match’ so that they can go out and light the flame and share the joy and love of Christ,” said Heyen. “Our job is just to light the match so all the other matches can run off for victory.”

The group describes its music style as “Jesus music”, performing Christian Pop, Rock and Worship music as well as some originals.

As for the future of the band, they have no idea where they are going. They just want to be impactful. The band stressed the importance that they don’t do what they do for money or to make a following. They say they do it because they love God and want to get more people to love Him and bring them closer to Him through prayer.

“[We’re] just trying to bring people closer to Jesus through worship,” said Bell. “It’s not about us. We just want to bring Jesus to all of the people [who hear them play] and have Him meet them where they’re at.”

The Matchlighters can be seen performing at places such as Heaven and Earth Gift Shop, InterVarsity at Steamtown Church, Spruce Lake Retreat Center and weekly mass at Marywood’s chapel.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @EllenFrantzTWW