With five Grammy® awards, forty Dove Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three platinum records, five gold records, and eleven million units sold, Sandi Patty is one of the most awarded artists in Christian music. Her vocal range and flexibility have made critics dubbed her as "The Voice." She was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and as an Indiana Living Legend in 2007. She has released over 30 albums, including her latest album "Everlasting" exclusively at Target Stores, through Somerset, Ltd. "Everlasting" features notable hymns and songs of worship in an intimate and acoustic setting. We are deeply honored to be able to catch up with her for this Hallels' exclusive interview:
Hallels: Recently we have just reviewed the first volume of your "Ultimate Hits" whichcelebrates your 35 years in music ministry. What would you consider as some of the highlights of these 35 years?
Honestly, the Ultimate highlight for me has simply been doing something that I love so much. I was a very shy kid, and music became my voice. It is hard to believe it's been 35+ years, but they have been years full of life's ups and downs and in the midst, I have seen and experience God ever faithfulness.
Hallels: And what are some of the challenges? How did God help you to overcomesome of these challenges?
I think the biggest challenge through all these years has been trying to balance family and career. I've always wanted my choices to reflect what I say my priorities are. And they have been times, I have chosen "mom" over "singer". I thought that would maybe get easier as I got older, but I still so miss my kids, as they are spread out all over the country in each of their own work and ministry.
Hallels: Many of your songs mean so much to your fans. Over the years, what are two of your songs that mean the most to you?
My all time favorite song to sing is "His Eye Is On The Sparrow". The chorus simply says, "I sing because I'm happy". It has taken me many years to really understand what the simple phrase means.
The other song that resonates with my heart is "In The Name Of The Lord". The second verse was so often my prayer--"when my plans have fallen through and when my strength is nearly gone. When there nothing left to do but just depend on you, and the power of your name. There is strength, power and hope in the name of the Lord"
Hallels: Over the years, you have covered quite a number of styles and genres, from pop to jazz to big band to contemporary Christian to hymns, is there any other type of music you would like to try?
I've gotten to do a few things on my musical "wish" list over the years and one of them is doing "Pops" concerts with symphonies across the country. I've gotten to sing some jazz songs, some torch songs, and some Broadway musical songs.
Hallels: You have recently released an album of worship songs entitled "Everlasting." Why did you decide to do an album of worship songs?
The church has always been my foundation. The songs of the church have been my anchor in my soul. There are many songs that have been truly "everlasting" and have stood the test of time--and we find them in our hymnals. But there are some newer worship songs, that, in my opinion are just as "everlasting" and will be sung for many years to come. Those are the songs I wanted to highlight and honor on this recording.
Hallels: When you are not touring or travelling, how are you involved in your local church? Do you lead worship there?
This coming fall, I will be doing a "tour" (and believe me tours look very different for me than they used to ) of the Everlasting CD. AS well as including some songs that people have requested over the years. I hope to bring some of my kids (who are amazing musicians) out on this tour and introduce them to the people.
We attend a church in Oklahoma City called Crossings Community Church. My husband, Don Peslis, is an associate pastor at our church and he leads music (and many other things through out the week ) in our chapel service on Sunday. When I'm in town, I LOVE to sing in his choir and support him as he has done for me all these years. I also am so blessed to work with our worship team as a mentor and coach on Wednesday nights. I love speaking into the next generation.
Hallels: What's next for Sandi Patty? Can we expect new album to be released this year? If so, what will be the direction of the new record?
Personally, Don and I will be empty nesters come September as our youngest of 8 kids will go to college. So personally I'll be doing a happy dance and weeping at the same time for a while.
I will be touring in the fall. And I'm excited to be doing a new Christmas CD and Christmas tour this year as well.