Darlene Koldenhoven Bio Summary
Darlene Koldenhoven, GRAMMY® Award winner and 3 time nominee, is a vocalist, author, composer, producer, keyboardist, voice/music teacher, credentialed sonic therapist and certified NLP practitioner with a Master's Degree in Voice, and a Bachelor's in Music Education. Darlene is known worldwide for her touchstone performance as the featured soprano soloist in Yanni, Live at the Acropolis seen by over 1.5 billion people globally. She is the first inductee into the Indie Music Hall of Fame. Many also know her as the production vocal coach, real-life choir director, and beloved choir nun in both Sister Act films with Whoopi Goldberg. Darlene performed in two videos and 2 concerts in Bangalore, India and a TEDx talk in Mumbai (2016,2017,2018) for the U.N. Ambassador for Peace, Ricky Kej's concert/videos for environmental awareness and climate change. Darlene has recently been inducted into the Indie Music Hall of Fame for her body of work as a DIY Independent Artist.
The foundation of Darlene's career began singing solos in churches on the south side of Chicago at age three. From there, her work spans five continents. In addition to her own mesmerizing concerts, her voice has graced a plethora of movies, records, television shows, and live performances ranging from Pink Floyd, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Luis Miguel, and Robin Williams on The Academy Awards 2000, to singing for President Clinton, and appearing as soloist with many orchestras worldwide including the Royal Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony.
Darlene's newest album is The Grand Piano Spa (5/14/2021). A collection of original Classical Crossover / New Age solo piano pieces perfect for playing in concert or in churches or total relaxation. The album debuted #4 on the prestigious Billboard Classical Crossover Album Charts the first week out and won an Akademia Award for Best Classical Album in May, 2021. She created two volumes of music to make positive manifestations out of a long pandemic isolation. The sequel will be coming out later in 2021 titled The Grand Piano Spa: Legacy. A piano songbook "The Grand Piano Spa Collection" and digital sheet music has been released so others may play and enjoy her music as well.
Darlene’s Color Me Home (4/21/17) album, debuted #1 on the May, ZMR Worldwide Radio Charts and has won 20 awards with 35 nominations. The CD contains a coloring book with lyrics, liner notes/credits; 55 minutes/11 tracks of creatively engaging melodic New Age vocal music with an easy pulse and a humanitarian purpose for peace and planet. There are 5 vocalese-instrumentals and 6 songs with lyric topics such as the power of now, surrendering to the universal eternal love, personal responsibility for making our world a better place, tributes to nature/birds, and inclusion of all people. As a sonic therapist, Darlene personally selected each coloring image to depict the music and increase the many benefits of combining art and music. Chromatones (6/2018), is album #10 on her own label, TimeArt Recordings and was inspired by the music of Color Me Home as a completely, Contemporary Instrumental album. It debuted #1 on the New Age Radio Guide Charts and won 2019 Music of the Year.
Highlights of her discography include: Inspired by a True Story (2011) was written for New Thought and Unity congregations. Tranquil Times (2013) won Best New Age album from Independent Music Awards and a nomination for Best Piano Album with Instrumentation from ZMR Radio Broadcasters worldwide and placed #1 on the Radio Charts and Bronze in 2019 COVR Awards. It plays on the CARE Channel network in hospitals and hospices nationwide. Infinite Voice (2007) won Best Vocal Album by ZMR Broadcasters, #1 on the Radio Charts; ranked #2 for the year’s Top 100 Airplay. Solitary Treasures (2011) is a classical pop collection ranging from the opera aria “Nessun Dorma” to Celtic/American folksongs. Nominated for Best Vocal Album by ZMR Broadcasters. The track, “Lucid See,” was nominated Best New Age Song by Independent Music Awards. Heavenly Peace (2000/2008) won Best Holiday Album by ZMR Broadcasters and debuted #2 on the Radio Charts. Angel on Ivories (2011) awarded Best Classical Art Song Vocalist - Finalist in the Professional Division by The American Prize 2012.
Darlene is singing, speaking and presenting her workshops, throughout the US and Canada – Unity Houston (attendance 1500) Unity Hawaii (500) and Unity Orlando (450 respectively), uplifting audiences everywhere with her Infinite Voice/Heavenly Peace tour and her vocal and/or wellness with music workshops. She has delivered the message as guest speaker at the Mother's Day service at Unity of Metairie, LA 2013, Vision, San Diego, and Center for Spiritual Living, Paoli PA 2008. Part of Darlene's career repertoire includes uplifting concerts where she narrates between her inspiring songs with compelling stories of her work with musicians and spiritual personnel within Sierra Leone, West Africa as well as Sister Act. This work blossomed into a multi-media concert tour of 7 major cities in the US and Canada titled Free to Serve, where Darlene composed and performed all the music with local choirs – some as large as 900 voices, produced the Free to Serve album, and co-produced/co-directed the event.
As a music educator, Darlene has been on the voice faculties of UCLA, CSUN, CSLA, Citrus College and their Japanese Kenshu program as well as teaching music in the Chicago suburban school systems in her early career. Darlene’s touring educational workshops are supported by her book with 7 CDs titled Tune Your Voice: Singing and Your Mind's Musical Ear, endorsed by faculty and students from San Diego's Clairemont High to Juilliard, NYU, Berklee, American Idol and many more. Darlene has been able to cross 2 major bridges: one, bringing the academic into the esoteric, two, bringing the world into consciousness of the benefits of music and wellness. Her articles on this topic have been published in the U.S. in "Evolve Magazine" and in Italy's "New Age and New Sounds Magazine." Darlene has taught her ‘Wellness With Sound and Voice Workshops’ at the Global Sound Conference, Integrated Listening Conference, culture festivals, conferences, churches of multiple faiths, youth rallies, and spiritual bookstores nationwide. Darlene participated in former Vice President Al Gore's Climate Reality Project 3 day Leadership Training 8/18 in Los Angeles, becoming a certified leader/presenter. Darlene has been giving presentations on climate awareness herself and has been teaching those in training, how to improve their speaking and communication skills.
In addition to her time on stage and studio, as a woman of deep faith and grateful heart, Darlene feels at equally at home singing her positive message songs of hope, serenity, humanity, honor, spirit, and love, at services and concerts in spiritual centers and churches nationwide. She is a guest speaker, delivering the message of the day on “Connecting Voice With Spirit” – engaging the congregants in a rejuvenating sensory connection of music and spirituality. Darlene conducts 'special event' workshops on ‘Wellness With Sound and Voice’ including therapeutic uses of sound, the voice, and music topics including an interactive, outreach, community building, spirituality workshop for all ages and genders, titled The Sister Act, using themes from the feature film.
At the center of her work is the strong belief is that music comes to us as one of the many expressions of the spirit of God in us all, to lift us to higher in consciousness. When recording in the studio or singing live, woven into Darlene's music is her belief that we are all vessels of God's voice; singing by drawing upon this loving intention and communicating this energy, moving the listener far beyond the ordinary states. Darlene's lifelong passion for the study of sound, vibration, music and their effects on energy, mood, spirituality and health began at age nine with her first hand experience in assisting in the therapy and teaching of her deaf baby sister to speak and sing. Darlene was born and raised in Chicago and resides at her home in Studio City, CA.