PHOTO: Tim Rosenau (far right) performs on stage with his fellow band members from DiverseCity during a TobyMac concert. Rosenau hails from Monticello and has been playing for TobyMac for almost 10 years. The band will take to the stage during the GJCF in July. (Photo courtesy of TobyMac)
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
It’s not every day one of Monticello’s own comes back to town to perform on the stage at the Great Jones County Fair!
On Sunday, July 21, the Christian rock band TobyMac will perform at the fair. The band’s guitar and trumpet player, not to mention vocals, is none other than Tim Rosenau!
Rosenau graduated from Monticello High School and always knew he belonged in the music industry. The Express was able to contact Rosenau for an interview. He was in South Carolina, late last week, about to go on stage with TobyMac.
It’s been nine years since Rosenau joined the band TobyMac. According to his biography on the band’s website, Rosenau said he just auditioned for TobyMac and, “God did the rest.”
After marrying his junior high school sweetheart, Alissa (Orcutt) Rosenau, said he went on to attend a music college in southwest Iowa. From there, the Rosenaus moved to Nashville, a bold move, but one that proved quite beneficial.
“I made some great connections,” Rosenau said.
After arriving in Nashville, Rosenau was working at a Radio Shack store. One year into the job, he auditioned for the band, and the rest is history, as they say.
Rosenau praises the musical opportunities Monticello schools offer young people in the community.
“The music programs are incredible!” commented Rosenau. “They are very encouraging.”
He recalled playing for crowds at the bandshell next to the swimming pool here in Monticello during high school.
“I just dreamt and hoped I would be doing this professionally one day.”
Of performing for a nationally known, Grammy-winning band, Rosenau said he could not be more thankful for how his life has turned out.
“I’m very blessed,” he said. “I truly believe God opened every door for me. I have the best job in the world!”
When it comes to returning to Monticello and performing at the GJCF, Rosenau said this is not actually his first gig at the fair. He has played on the fair’s free stage before, performing Jimmy Hendrix hits, but admits he’s nervous to play on the permanent stage in front of family, friends, his hometown and more.
“It’ll be weird,” he said. “I remember the whole scenario of performing at the fair (in the past). The main stage means big business, and it’s very nerve-racking. I’ll be performing in front of my in-laws, my former teachers and even my best man!”
Rosenau is not the only one who is excited to be returning to Monticello. Great Jones County Fair Manager John Harms sings Rosenau’s praises. Harms saw TobyMac perform at the Iowa State Fair in 2012 and guarantees a great show for ticket-holders.
“The band spurred my interest because of Tim Rosenau,” admitted Harms. “It’s overwhelming to know someone who made it this big and is a hometown guy.”
Harms’ connection to Rosenau spans more than just the City of Monticello.
“He used to work for me at Subway,” said Harms. Rosenau’s wife also used to baby-sit for the Harms family.
“It’s a special deal to have him come and perform here,” Harms said of the opportunity for all those involved. “I hope people understand what he’s achieved in his music profession.”
Musicians are always on the road performing in venues all around the country and world. Rosenau said TobyMac is a family-oriented band. He said they are never absent from their spouses and children for more than just a few days at a time, performing around 100 shows a year.
“Toby is head of our household,” Rosenau said of their band. “We’re not gone as much as some bands.”
Giving kudos to his wife Alissa for encouraging him and supporting him in his dream. Rosenau said, “It’s hard at times, but we have such a healthy marriage.”
Rosenau wants fans and the fair concert audience to know they will see an incredible show on July 21. “We bring a party and joy wherever we go,” he said.
TobyMac performs just about every genre of music out there, from urban, rock and roll, to folk, reggae and ballads; Rosenau said they have something for everyone.
“We have a wide range with a positive message,” he said.
Rosenau has lived in Nashville with his wife and family for 10 years now.
He said his career is “surreal,” looking at where he’s come from and where he’s at today.
“I want people to understand the message we’re trying to portray,” said Rosenau of the band and their Christian message to listeners. “It’s not about me at all,” he humbly said of the attention.