Music Ministry



Born in Missouri, the oldest of six children, Elaine grew up in Michigan and York and South Sioux City, Nebraska and, now lives with her husband, Paul, in South Dakota.  She has three grown sons, Danny, Terry and Brent and 6 grandchildren.  She says,  "I learned to love all music. As I grew up, I was introduced to all genres of music, from my grandmother who sang in the Detroit Metropolitan Opera and raised her six children as the church organist and soloist, to a father who loved country music and a mother and aunt who sang songs from nursery rhymes to Broadway musicals to church and inspirational songs."  She participated in choir and musicals including "Oliver, Bye Bye Birdie, and Wizard of Oz" playing Glenda, the Good Witch of the North!  In 1990, she joined the cast of Cinderella at the Sioux City, IA Community Theater, which rekindled her love of singing, dancing and stage performance. 

Music Ministry
She was a member of a music ministry group for over 10 years, and now ministers with music at churches.  She has performed at area churches, various business and professional group events, and women and senior events, assisted living and care centers, county and state fairs, banquets, has sung the national anthem at sporting events, and cantors at St. Joseph Church. 

Square Dance Caller/Instructor
Elaine is an experienced square dance caller and instructor having called for 15 years for Square Dance Clubs in  Iowa, Nebraska,  Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Michigan and several state conventions and at two National Square Dance Conventions.  She uses a variety of music from Country, Broadway, Pop, and Gospel.  She has taught square dancing for her local club, in the local schools, and to home schooled children and parents.  Currently a member of CallerLab, South Dakota Callers Association, Nebraska Callers Association, and Vice President for Dakota Dudes and Dolls. 

Elaine has experience in radio, volunteering at a local radio station,  KAYA 91.3, announcing upcoming events,  doing voice-overs, and facilitating interviews with area artists.  She is also a seasoned event promoter for herself and other artists such as Terry Smith, Elk Point SD Heritage Music Fest with Bob and Sheila Everhart, Claude Gray and Tex and Mary Schutz.

She coordinated the Dakota Thurston County Fair Talent Show for four years giving area youth and adults an avenue to share their talent with one young lady eventually going on to American Idol in Hollywood.  

Elaine has been a member of two country bands and has performed with several well-known traditional country music artists.   In 2004, she was the featured singer in the Dakota Classic Band at Rivercade Festival in Sioux City, IA; 4th of  July Celebration, Centerville, SD, and Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD.  She had the opportunity to perform at many events besides fairs such as "2004 Christian Music Freedom Fest",  the Mitchell, Beresford, Custer South Dakota Art Festivals; has been the, featured singer at the Dakota Opry Show in Gayville, SD, Relay for Life Events, and opened a concert for traditional country music singer, Claude Gray in Sioux City, Iowa.  She performed at the 2004 and 2005 Country MusicFest & RV Rally at Hastings, NE and the National Traditional Country Music Festivals in LeMars and Missouri Valley IA. In 2005 through 2009, she shared the stage with Nashville Singer Songwriter, Terry Smith, writer of "Far Side Banks of Jordan" (recorded by Johnny Cash)  at McCool Junction NE and Akron Iowa; Bob and Sheila Everhart at Elk Point SD as well as Tex and Mary Schutz, at Wayne NE and Akron IA.   She was a featured performer at Anita, IA Opry House, Flodfest Country Music Fest in Central City, NE, and the Christian Music Family Fest in Council Bluffs, IA and the largest National Christian Music Festival "2005 Lifelight" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was also a member of a local women's trio, "Joyful Prayze" in 2004.  She has placed in the top 5 in various singing and songwriting contests at the NTCMA Festival.  She attended her first festival in 1996 and was introduced to the festival by Bob Rickter of the Ranchero Band and Francis Hahn who helped to get her started again in 2003 at NTCMA Festival in Missouri Valley which she has attended every year since. 

In 2005, Elaine was instrumental in organizing the Lewis and Clark Annual Heritage Music Festival held the third Saturday of July every year....the 5th one held this year!  This one day festival features many traditional artists and youth as well as dancers to raise funds for the Lewis and Clark committee and keeps traditional country, gospel and bluegrass music alive for the enjoyment of all ages. 

 There are many who have helped Elaine along the way to get where she is today.  Special thanks to God her wonderful husband Paul, Mom and Dad and family, her three fine sons Danny Terry and Brent and their families;  and all her friends, Bob & Sheila Everhart, Dave Bergquist and the Outback Band, John Cox and his music business workshops and backup; Rick and Harriette Anderson; Pianist Wanda and Richard Jilderda, Linda and Ed Donnelly, Tex and Mary Schutz, Lance Hedquist, Clarence Hayden, Warren and Susan Wilson, Wayne Longtin, Dennis Morgan, Vocal Teachers Amanda Vandezande and Christina Ackerman and all of her many wonderful square dance friends; and music friends and fans.

Singing has been a lifelong passion for Elaine. She participated in church choir as a child, sang to her own children, led the singing at church, and shared her singing talent at weddings, funerals and other occasions; shared her musical gifts  performing at nursing homes while raising her sons and working full time.  

Elaine shares that "Over the years I was asked if I had a recording, so in gratitude to God for His many blessings and wanting to have  something for them and to pursue a professional career,  at the urging of a square dance friend and referral by my brother, an opportunity arose to record my first CD.   "Country Rose Praise" was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Gene Breedon Studios.  Country Rose Praise includes a song God gave me to write, "Thank You, Lord".  It is a song of praise, worship and love for all of His Blessings and can be sung by all ages and any occasion in life.  Country Rose Praise also includes some traditional favorites and originals by Sioux City songwriter, Charles D. Veldhuizen. After the CD was recorded,  I had to overcome, with the help of the Spirit, my mother and friends, a feeling of inadequacy and Satan getting in the way of bringing it to completion and published.  It was a time of personal struggle and growth for me.  It was a time to really believe in the songs that I recorded and that Jesus was all that I had and needed  to rely on Him for everything.  It was truly one of the turning points in my life, especially when my Mom said, ' You know, people are waiting for your CD and if you don't continue to get it published then Satan has won'; and, I sure did not want that to happen!  It was released in January 2003!

Pursue That Dream
In 2003, on a step of faith, I quit a full-time job to pursue a lifelong dream of singing and to start a music career.  After much prayer and with the encouragement and support of my husband, Paul, family, and good friends, I stepped out and trusted God, not knowing what might be in store. I had  faith that things would work out, and of course I could always go back to work if necessary!!   It was important to me that at the end of my life not to regret having never tried.  It was an exciting decision, however,  not easy and one made with much prayer and trust in God for His will in life.  It was a step in believing that there is a plan for each of us, and that God will use us for His glory when we let him work through us!  It is so exciting and so much fun to look back and see all of the opportunities that He has given my music ministry.  He has cleared a path for me to sing and minister and meet  special people and friends throughout the area at the nursing homes, organizations, churches and events.

It has been most enriching to be able to help others who have the gift of music and passion to develop their talents too. He has sent me pianists, children and adults who accompany, play and sing with me.   I love watching them grow in confidence in sharing their gift and seeing how much the audiences enjoy it.  It is my belief that we grow closer to Christ by helping and sharing with others while growing closer ourselves. I feel so blessed to see His light shine in all of their eyes, smiles, and hearts.  While singing at care centers and looking into the eyes of the elderly, it is like seeing the face and smile of God too. 

There are many verses in the Bible that give us comfort and encouragement. Over the past 15 years, the verse that stands out the most is Jeremiah 29:11.   God truly does have a plan and a purpose for our lives if we will trust and hope in Him for our future. God has a plan for our lives if we seek him with our whole heart to love him and do his will.  He has a future planned full of hope and peace for us.  He loves us very much and desires  only good for us.  He has given me that verse at times of difficulty, confirmation of decisions made or ones that I have to make. 

Another Answer to Prayer
In 2004, Elaine started praying for a songwriter and an investor.  Over the years several people have shared their songs or lyrics with me and I have made many new friends.   On Good Friday 2005, I received a phone call from a songwriter who was looking for a gospel singer.  He happened to be going through Sioux City and listening to American Family Radio KAYA 91.3 Radio Station.  The station has a 60 mile radius listening area  and  I do voice-overs for commercials and was announcing an upcoming concert.  The songwriter was Dennis Morgan from Nashville, who is very well known and respected throughout the music industry.  He is in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame for his hit recorded by Barbara Mandrell  "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" and other top hits for top artists such as Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Reba McIntire, Sylvia, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and Charlie Pride.  Not only is he a songwriter but a producer, and believes in investing in the artists who record for him.  He feels he has a calling to help artists such as me and give an opportunity to record his original gospel and country songs.   In June 2005, it was my privilege to record an album of original gospel songs written or published by Dennis Morgan at his hometown studio in Tracy, Minnesota.  It was a wonderful experience and the songs have a great message.  He then took the recording back to his Nashville, TN studio to produce and master it.  The album is called "Smiling Down".   It is also an answer to a prayer.  I wanted to share this with you because God does answer prayers and He does have a plan for our lives.  I have learned over the years that it is His Plan and His Timing and that if we trust him with everything in our lives and thank him daily for all the blessings, He surprises us and blesses us with all the good things He has in mind for us! 

In addition to this album being released in the Fall of 2005, I recorded an album of my favorite Patsy Cline country and gospel songs at the North 40 Studios in Sioux City, IA.  This was a dream I've had since I was a little girl.  This traditional country album features all talented Siouxland musicians, Producer and engineer, Dave Russell, North 40 Studio, Sioux City, Iowa is truly brilliant on the bass, electric, steel and acoustic guitars, piano background, organ, strings and drums.    My husband Paul sings a duet with me.  In the Summer of 2006 she recorded "Everyday is Christmas"  in 2007 "The Spirit of America" and in August 2009 a Childrens Album " The World is Full of  Colors"" all with songs written/published and produced by Dennis Morgan and a traditional gospel album "Hymns for Him" featuring special guest Paul Peacock produced by Dennis Morgan  as well.  I never envisioned that in six years  and seven CD's later, there would be so many opportunities to sing, travel and meet so many neat people.  It is never too late to pursue that dream that God put in your heart and do what you love to do!  He has given each one of us a dream and a purpose to further His kingdom on earth.   God is so Good - Trust Him in Everything! " 

Following is an feature article that I was honored to be interviewed for Thought you might like it too! 

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