Pianist Elisabeth Sooy is sharing her musical talent this holiday season through a recently released “Christmas Hymns” album. Sooy, of Hopkins, recorded the album within the sanctuary of Gun Lake Chapel church in October in one day. Her husband Mark recorded the session and has been diligently editing the album since.
The 12-track disc, which includes the songs “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “It Came upon the Midnight Clear,” ”Good Christian Men, Rejoice," and more, is set to be released Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Mark said Elisabeth attracts a crowd wherever she goes. “Elisabeth has often received comments about how much people enjoy her playing. Weddings, receptions, parties, conferences, church services and other events often find her playing for 30 to 45 minutes or more as people gather and mingle,” he said. “It is these comments that led to the recording of these simple piano arrangements.”
After much thought and discussion, the musician decided to finally put some tracks down and release the project to the masses. “Mark and I have bounced the idea around for several years, and this past summer we finally decided to make it happen,” said Elisabeth Sooy. “My idea was to play familiar hymns, in a simple manner, so that people could hum and sing along as they listened.”
Sooy is an accomplished musician with more than four decades of experience. She began playing the piano at the age of 2. After Sunday school, the youngster could commonly be found on the piano bench, pounding out the tunes she had just learned at the chapel.
Since her youth, she has mastered the violin and her vocal instrument. “I’ve played in symphonies, accompanied choirs, conducted choirs and orchestras for musicals, and have had opportunities to play from concert halls to living rooms,” she said. “I have had the privilege of learning from some great teachers along the way and I currently teach private lessons for piano, violin and voice along with my husband.”
The musical husband-wife duo has been performing together for several years. Together the Sooys released the album “Not Givin’ Up,” in 2007. Sooy plans to follow up this release with a piano disc of traditional hymns in February.
Outside of performances, she enjoys the challenge of training young musicians at a variety of skill levels through private music lessons. The Sooys' musical talent has extended down the family tree as the pair’s children commonly share the stage with their parents. “We all gather to play for weddings, parties, worship services and other events,” she said. “We’ve done many different styles from traditional to classical, contemporary and rock. We’ve even been known to play some fiddle music."
For more information on
the musical Sooy family or to order a copy of the Christmas Hymns album, visit www.marksooy.com.