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  • Shannon VanZegeren

Website Launch: a glimpse into the journey thus far

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

Thank you for visiting my brand new website! While from the outside looking in, this may look like the launch to a new journey, it really is a milestone in a journey that started a long time ago.


The questions I get asked most often are usually something like “how long have you been singing?,” “what made you want to play the harp?,” and “did you grow up in a musical family?”


So to kickstart my blog and website, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into the journey so far, and then share some of my aspirations for where I hope this website will take me.

I’m not sure I can say I grew up in a musical family, but I most certainly grew up in a family that celebrated and participated in the arts. My mom and grandma are both pianists. That same grandma attended Interlochen as a teenager for singing and continued as soprano-extraordinaire for years at her church. While my dad’s side of the family didn’t dabble in much music, my dad makes his livelihood as an artist, and his mom, my other grandma, was also an artist. So in that way, we were immersed in the fine arts and grew up appreciating the many different facets that encompasses.


One of my earliest memories involves singing Christmas carols with my sister, accompanied by my mom on the piano. I was probably only three, but singing carols felt as natural as walking or playing with my toys. I’ve never stopped singing from those days on.

My sister Anna is nearly five years older than me, and I’ve always followed her as a role model. She took piano lessons and joined the orchestra as a violinist, and those were footsteps I knew I wanted to follow. But attending one of her concerts when I was five years old, I noticed a large, proud looking instrument sitting in the back of the orchestra that captivated me and took my breath away. It was then and there, yes at five years old, that I decided I wanted to play the harp.


I started harp lessons when I was ten after a few years of piano. With the harp always being my main focus, I had only a short two years in my growing up where I was also taking voice lessons.


Singing has always come very naturally to me. I definitely kept doing it and enjoyed it, but my perspective on singing changed dramatically only a few years ago when I had the opportunity to attend a two-day recording session in Nashville, TN. It was shortly after this experience that I began private lessons with Diane Penning, seeking to hone the craft and practice the techniques and strategies that make for good singing.


While I get asked all the time which I like better, I feel equally at home singing and playing the harp. For me, both really feel like an extension of myself, the best way for me to articulate and bear emotions. Both bring me great joy, and I can’t imagine my life without either.


So, while I’ve been singing and playing for quite some time now, my great hope is that this website will give me a platform to share my passion with others and broaden my audience. I want to be able to encourage and inspire others with the gift of music. Psalm 98:5 reads “Make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing,” and I take that to heart as I perform, create, play, and share.


To stay updated with stories, performance dates, and musical endeavors, please subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook and Instagram and encourage your friends to do so as well. When you subscribe, you will receive a free download of Zephaniah’s Song, written by my sister Anna Connelly. Stay in touch and I look forward to the opportunities in store as I continue to grow and develop as a musician, performer, and artist.


#singer #soprano #harpist

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