By Cecily Markland
Vanessa Joy has performed across the nation and in Israel, Jordan, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Germany. She has released two solo albums, presented at BYU’s Education Week and has shared her talents at dozens of benefit concerts.
Yet, for the Phoenix mother of two, the release of her latest CD—a Christmas collection called “Vanessa Joy to the World”—was particularly meaningful.
“I have wonderful memories of Christmas and of singing with my family as a child. The album includes songs I have been singing since I was a child,” Vanessa said. “I loved singing harmony with my aunts, my mom—and all those memories of Christmas and my family and my grandma, are all tied up in this too.”
The CD includes such favorites as “What Child is This,” “With Wondering Awe,” and “Silent Night,” as some that are less familiar, such as “On This Day,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and “Watchman Tell Us of the Night”—all delivered in what Vanessa’s fans describe as her a “magnificent,” “angelic,” and “Olivia Newton-John like voice.”
Vanessa’s musical career began at age four, when she started playing the violin. She performed in orchestras throughout her youth.
Today, Vanessa is a multiple award-winning vocalist and theatrical performer. She earned a degree in music from Brigham Young University, where she performed with Showtime Tour Company. After taking a class from renowned pianist, Marvin Goldstein, Vanessa has worked with him on numerous projects.
She approached the highly acclaimed pianist to do the arrangements for her Christmas album.
“I knew what I wanted it to sound like, so I played a motif, a little lick of what I wanted and Marvin decorated it with icing,” Vanessa says. “I told him what I wanted, and he did what I can’t do at all. He took off from there and the result is magical.”
A member of the Lake Pleasant Ward, Peoria North Stake, she says, this latest album is all part something she dearly loves.
“My family, my children, will always come first, but my music means a great deal to me as well. I love doing music. I could do it night and day,” she says. “Music really gives you a glimmer of what eternity feels like. It allows you to reflect, think, ponder and feel. That’s what I hope my music does for others as well.”
Among the many highlights of her career was performing with Marvin Goldstein in Nesselwang, Germany, last year.
“We performed in their cathedral. It was freezing cold—only 32 degrees, inside. I was wearing boots, nylons, sweatpants under my dress, then a sweater and another sweater and two coats on top of that.”
Yet, she says, even with the cold and the language barrier, the music created a unique form of communication.
“I knew that they loved God, and I knew that they knew that I loved God. It was amazing,” Vanessa says.
She and Marvin will perform with MC6 at a public-invited event sponsored by the BYU Alumni Association on Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street in Mesa. General admission tickets are available at local Deseret Bookstores, while both reserved and general admission tickets are available at Mesa Arts Center (mesaartscenter.com).
To hear a sample of Vanessa’s music or for more details about her and her upcoming events, visit www.vanessajoysings.com