Christie Bessinger, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a promising independent artist who hails from Fresno, California. Her genre of music includes Contemporary and LDS. She is working diligently to get her music out in the LDS community.
She started writing music at a young age, being inspired by Mack Wilberg after hearing the world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform live at General Conference. Others who have influenced her music prowess include John Williams and Kevin Memley. The first arrangement that she wrote, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives Medley,” was published in 2014 by the Jackman Music Corporation.
Christie writes all of her hymn arrangements for both choir and piano solo, with each comprised of two or more hymns that are woven together into a graceful melodious tapestry as an expression of her testimony of the gospel. She is selling her music on iTunes, and has a Christmas single ready for download called “The First Noel / (Come Follow Me).”
She collaborated with Kevin Memley, a composer whose works have garnered the attention of worldwide audiences and performers, to compile her arrangements into a piano and orchestral album called “Contemporary Arrangements of Timeless Hymns.” In an 18 October Facebook post, Christie wrote about working with Kevin Memley and her excitement for everyone to hear her music. She wrote, “One more week of editing and my first album will be ready for iTunes! The orchestrations sound amazing; I’m so blessed to have Kevin Memley working on this with me. Can’t wait for you all to hear it!”
The album is now available for download from iTunes and includes eight hymn arrangements of two or more songs in each. Most of the scores include piano with full orchestration, and a couple of them include only piano, cello, and guitar. Previews of the songs on the album are available on Christie’s Sound Cloud page.
Aside from writing music, Christie has been teaching since 2007, specializing in jazz, rock, modern, and contemporary piano. Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, she never expected to become a music teacher but believes that earning the degree has helped her immensely with instructing so many diverse and talented students, including both children and adults. She loves paying forward that which so many talented musicians have instilled in her.
Throughout the years, she has been blessed to have worked with and been trained by, such distinguished teachers as Cheryl Nelson and Kevin Memley. She believes students benefit from public performance. Thus, she gives her students the opportunity to master their favorite styles of piano, while encouraging a strong foundation in classical music and chord theory.
The following quote by Abraham Maslow perhaps best describes Christie’s dreams and aspirations of succeeding in the music business:
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.
Christie loves writing original and cover songs, and hopes to continue composing for years to come. The playlist below can be used to listen to a few examples of her marvelous work. Her website was recently updated and includes downloads of her music, choral sheet music, and piano sheet music. You can also learn about some of the stories behind the music on her website.
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