Laura Burkholder is a singer, pianist and songwriter from Wichita, Kansas, who writes Christian music which is inspired by the road of life and the encouragement she has found in God’s Word. One’s life story can never be put into a single word or saying, and neither can life’s inspirations be confined to a single style of music or sound. Laura’s music reflects the ever-changing road of life through many styles of music, which always brings something new to her albums.
Laura grew up in Valley Center, Kansas, a growing town just north of Wichita. She was blessed with the opportunity to learn about God’s love and mercy at a young age, and also to belong to a close-knit, loving family that shares her passion for music. Around second grade, Laura started learning to play the piano. Being impatient, which she still struggles with, Laura found it easier to play by ear then to read the music in the assignments her piano teachers gave her, and before long Laura was making up her own tunes on the piano. At age 13 she and her family started going to a small church close to home, and one day they asked her if she’d be interested in playing the piano for the youth worship band. Laura quickly caught on and became inspired to start writing her own music. After that, the road has been a blur of learning, and growing in music and in the Lord.
She wrote and recorded her first album of six songs by age 17, and has had her album played on radio stations around the globe. Later she added four more songs and reproduced the album which is named The Final Decision. Most of her high school years were spent taking advantage of opportunities to perform and have her music critiqued, traveling around the Midwest, singing in Branson, Missouri with the Brewsters in their ministry The Best is Yet to Come, as well as several concerts in Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma. She often led worship with her little brother Sam (who is no longer that little) who plays the guitar, drums and sings as well. In 2004 Laura and Sam were blessed with the opportunity to travel to England and perform in Portsmouth and London at several churches and local outreaches.
After high school Laura went to Butler Community College to study music. While there, she spent a year singing and dancing in Headliners, the BCC Showchoir, and a year playing the piano and singing in Jazz Band and Show Band. Here, not only did she meet some lifetime friends and musicians, but she also met her husband Grant Doeden. The time she spent at Butler was an extreme turning point for Laura, not only as a performer, composer and musician, but also as a Christian. It’s that point in everyone’s life in which you decide what road to take on your own. One day, as she was in a practice room getting frustrated with some incredibly difficult Jazz piano music, Laura began playing and writing the first song for her third album Just For You. It was at this point that Laura began to realize just what her music was about. She had been given a gift with music in order to share the encouragement and mercy that God had given her with others.
After Butler, Laura began studying music and Spanish at Wichita State University. While going to Wichita State, Laura’s good friend, Aaron Sidwell (winner of Wichita Idol II) introduced her to Carter Green who owns and runs Green Jeans Studios in Wellington, KS. With the help of the talented Mr. Green, Laura has completed two albums The Final Decision (final release in 2008) and A Night So Divine (Christmas album release 2008). A Night So Divine is her most recent album, which is a collection of original arrangements of her favorite Christmas songs, plus a couple of original Christmas songs. The instrumentations and style of the arrangements were inspired by tradition, and ethnic instruments from the region where Jesus was born. Each individual song takes you on a different musical journey even though the songs are familiar.
Laura is currently working on her third album and is hoping to release it sometime in 2009. Laura doesn’t know what God has in store for her in the future, but she will continue to write music that inspires and encourages listeners as she writes about life’s trials and triumphs.
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