The Choir Visible
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The Choir Visible

Band Christian Rock


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"Nazareth and No Other Name Rock the Dow"

Saginaw News
by Sue White

. . . Then came the night's hidden treasure, No Other Name, a five-piece ensemble from Owosso as musically adept as it was spiritually motivated. Joanne Newton's flute offered a haunting balance to Greg Jenkinson's fleet guitar. Keyboardist Laura Hoffa and bass player Dave Bell harmonized on vocals, and it was, as promised at the show's beginning, a little taste of what heaven is going to be like. And drummer Jeffrey Park matched the mood, moving from a rock beat to a shimmery veil of sound. The set's finale . . . a compelling blend of music and scripture that took the audience through the crucifixion to the final victory, was worth the price of admission alone. - Saginaw News

"Different styles, same song of praise"

Sue White
The Saginaw News

Laura Hoffa always knew her life would include music, but her focus through the years, even in her studies at Michigan State University, was on the classical end of the spectrum.

Her brother, Jeffrey Park, was the resident rocker, spending 20 years in Los Angeles studios, engineering concerts and recordings for some of music’s biggest names. Greg Jenkinson took another route, heading for Nashville to find his niche.

And Joanne Newton imagined her flute would also lead to a role in classical music. Then again quipped Dave Bell, another old-school rocker, “the flute gives us some classical legitimacy.”

The thread is there, but when the five came together two years ago, it was as No Other Name, an Owosso-based contemporary Christian band opening today for comedian Nazareth at the Dow Event Center, 303 Johnson. Also performing is Perry Lahaie, with the show beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10.

“It really began about five years ago, as Joanne and I met through our church’s musical ministry,” Hoffa said. “We started writing songs together, and we sent a tape to Jeff in Los Angeles.”

“That was the summer of 2001,” Park remembered. “I told them to send the songs along and I’d put something together, a local, homegrown recording that they could sell at churches to help the youth ministry. But when I heard the nine songs, there was much more there.” He started commuting between Owosso and Los Angeles, and Hoffa and Newton flew to California as the project came together. “People loved it, and they encouraged us, but there was no band behind it at the time,” Park said. Two years later, he moved back to Owosso for good, and that’s when things geared up. And six months ago, three of those original songs--“New Song,” “Praise You” and “Take my Heart”-- were released on the band’s first album, “No Other Name Acts 4:12.”

From there Hoffa said, it’s been “pray and practice,” along with a tremendous amount of support from family and friends, and a commitment to follow the spirit wherever it takes them.

“We have enough for the next two CDs; they’re already in our minds” she said with a laugh. “And this one is already in its second pressing.”

The spirit is moving them, all agree, and they’re ready for the task at hand. While all are active in their home churches—and Bell is the “token Salvationist” quipped Park, noting his work with the Salvation Army—their goal is to take their music to the unchurched, to those who haven’t heard the message of Jesus Christ.

“God turned on the light,” Hoffa said. “Joanne and I were classically trained, but we moved into more heartfelt songwriting, and it just started flowing.”

“We never wrote as kids so this was all new to us,” Newton said.

Now, Park said, it’s a matter of getting the word out and making themselves known. LaHaie, a staple at Family Life Radio—WUGN-FM, 99.7—has supported No Other Name’s work. And they’ve performed around the Midwest, at Christian clubs and music festivals, one time before a crowd of 3,500, where their music was very well received.

“It’s going to be nice to play in the theater, a joy, where we can really let it go,” Hoffa said. “We’ve been preparing for this.” It’s not just the daily rehearsals, she added. They are working to make music so engrossing; even those unfamiliar with the message will want to hear more.

“We’d like to bring it to a secular audience, to touch their hearts,” Park said. “Our focus is on the music, to make it so powerful, it draws the listener in where the spirit can do its work,” added Hoffa. “Jeff has a passion for it, to make it excellent musically.”

It obviously works, she said. After one concert, a woman who admitted she was unchurched told them, “This is great, but it’s a little heavy on Jesus.” “You’ve got to love it,” Hoffa laughed. “What a tool we have in hand.”

The album is available on most major Internet retailers; such as and on the groups own Web site,

Also, today, concertgoers can purchase the album for half-price--$7.50—to send to troops in Iraq. The band is working with an Army chaplain, who in May will hand-deliver purchased CDs to men and women in need of a spiritual boost and a taste of home.

“We have so much support,” Hoffa said, “and it confirms our call. It’s been one tremendous blessing.”

Sue White covers entertainment for The Saginaw News. You may reach her a 776-9601.
- The Saginaw News

"Home-grown Rock"

Are you young enough to remember when some of the best rock bands in the country came from Michigan? Such as Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent or Bob Seger along with many others?
It has been a long time since this area of the country has put out some good music. That is, until now. I had the privilege to see and hear a new band, from Owosso, that has more talent and charisma than the majority of the bands you will see and hear today, including the classic bands that haven't recorded in 25 years. With Laura Hoffa on keyboard and vocals, Joanne Newton on flute, Jeff Park on drums, Greg Jenkinson on lead guitar and Dave Bell on bass guitar, they are "No Other Name" and their genre is Christian worship. However you don't need to be of their religious beliefs to enjoy their music. They uniquely blend elements of stadium and classic rock, along with classical flute, to create a new sound with moving worship improvisation.
Have you ever liked listening to a band on the radio but when you see them live they were awful? Not this band! In secular language, "they rock;" in Christianese, they are "truly anointed."
Don't take my word for it. Check them out yourself. They will be playing at the Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids on Friday, Nov. 4; at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are only $8 and may be purchased at
Tom Manke
- Owosso Argus Press


New Song
New Song
Who are you to Me
Before the Dawn
The Creator
Take my Heart
Trust in the Lord
My Everything
Praise You
To the Cross
Nothing but the Blood
Praise to the King




"The Choir Visible is not about spirituality, but about the Spirit!"
--Cincinnati City Beat-- 9/06

"This is an incredibly moving worship album-I love it!"
-- Jim Duncan--Westwood One Radio Network

"These songs hit the nail on the head, bringing the worshipper to the throne room of God. Well done."

"Have you ever liked listening to a band on the radio but when you see them live they were awful? Not this band! In secular language, 'THEY ROCK!'; in Christianese, they are 'TRULY ANNOITED!'."
--Tom Manke--Owosso Argus Press

". . . Then came the night's hidden treasure, The Choir Visible, a five-piece ensemble from Owosso as musically adept as it was spiritually motivated. The set's finale . . . a compelling blend of music and scripture that took the audience through the crucifixion to the final victory, was worth the price of admission alone."
--Sue White--Saginaw News

"Thank you so much for the CD, New Song. It is so beautiful and uplifting. It's something I can dance to and pray at the same time. I have not heard anything so fantastic in years, or maybe not ever!"
--Kathy Cech--Owosso, Mi.

"I heard one of your songs on the radio yesterday and was deeply moved by the lyrics, music and voices. I wanted to thank you for your heart of worship and passion that I heard...'Who are You to Me' is truly AWESOME!"
--Esther Isabell--Bay City, Mi.

The Choir Visible is a Christian Worship Band whose mission begins with the desire to glorify God through Spirit led music. “It is our firm belief that God loves to minister to His people through their worship of Him. We believe that God desires to pour out his strength, his joy, his peace, his healing upon those who seek communion with Him,” says Laura Hoffa, worship leader of The Choir Visible. “Worship is a lifestyle. We also believe that the lost can be reached through the creative use of music.”

Laura Hoffa began studying music at the age of six and continued through college. During that time she was called to music ministry in her local congregation and went on to receive her Master’s degree in piano performance. The Lord continued calling her to music ministry in a profound way. “I knew that there was a deep calling on my life to use my natural gifts to glorify God. I began to understand that I would never be completely satisfied performing music for any other reason.”

Joanne Newton’s flute is one of the defining aspects of the unique sound of The Choir Visible. “Joanne is my right arm,” says Hoffa. “She is unbelievably gifted, and the Lord uses her music to take us soaring in the Spirit!” Joanne and Laura began working together musically in 1998. Since that time, the Lord has enhanced their musical ability in the area of improvisational prophetic worship as well as worship leading and song writing. “The song writing was a big surprise for both of us. Neither of us ever dreamed that we would be used by the Lord in that way. The Lord has literally given songs to us”, says Newton.

Jeff Park, Laura’s brother and drummer of The Choir Visible, is also a graduate of Michigan State University and has been a recording engineer and producer in L.A. for twenty years. Early in his career he worked with Christian artists Charlie Peacock, Kyle Henderson, Steve Camp and Bryan Duncan. He also worked on albums including: The Indigo Girls, Was Not Was, Matthew Sweet, Jennifer Warnes, Wendy MaHarry and more. Jeff recalls, “In addition to engineering and mixing music scores for film, TV and commercials, I spent ten years working as a mix and production engineer for Westwood One Radio Networks. That gave me the opportunity to work with seemingly everybody who is anybody in the music business. It was a great time and a wonderful experience.”

Jeff received a calling from the Lord several years ago to record and produce a worship album comprised of the songs that Laura and Joanne had written. “Jeff called me from California and told me that he had this vision, a dream of us in music together. Initially I thought he was crazy but as the years went by, we began living the dream. Thanks to Jeff’s unrelenting persistence, his vision has now become a reality.”

The Choir Visible project has blossomed into a very meaningful collection of worship songs that incorporate elements of classic rock, moving worship improvisation, and beautifully orchestrated ballads. “It’s truly an album that can span the generations. There’s something for everyone. Laura and Joanne have described their song writing experience as receiving the songs; I can honestly say that the same goes for me. I would hear the song once on a rough tape with piano, vocal and flute, and the entire full score arrangement would immediately come to me,” says Park. “It was an amazing experience to have the Lord use our natural gifts in such a supernatural way.”

About The Choir Visible band, Jeff adds, “While working on the album, we be