Arizona Musician Joins with Marvin Goldstein to Use Music to Foster Peace Around the World

By: Cecily Markland Arizona Beehive Newspaper

Arizona musician, Vanessa Joy, is using what fans call a “magnificent,” “angelic,” and “Olivia Newton-John like voice” to enchant audiences close to home while helping to foster peace around the world as well.

Working with well-known pianist Marvin Goldstein and his Peace with Music Foundation, Vanessa has performed in venues around the world to “promote peace and understanding among cultures through the medium of music.”

A member of the Lake Pleasant Ward, Peoria North Stake, Vanessa appeared in concert with Marvin in Cairo, Egypt, in 2010 in conjunction with the Daniel Pearl World Music Days; and, in Israel, they performed with Jewish and Arab musicians.

“It was neat to see that we were able to do music peacefully together,” she says.

Although making preparations for these international events can be rather gruelling and time-consuming, it’s been more than worthwhile, she says.

“It’s been so rewarding to see what we’ve been able to do,” Vanessa says. “Doors open with music. Music speaks every language.”

They now planning trips to Frankfurt, Germany, and to Venice, Florence and Rome.

Vanessa’s musical career began at age four, when she started playing the violin. She performed in orchestras throughout her youth. Her violin teacher was the one who first discovered that Vanessa had a beautiful singing voice as well. She starred in her first operetta at age 13 and beginning in junior high, amassed several music scholarships and soloist awards, including the National Choral Award and All-American Hall of Fame Choral Honor.

She earned her degree in Music from Brigham Young University and was certified in Houston, Texas, to teach Musikgarten to small children. She has taught a number of vocal instruction and theatre classes as well.

Vanessa has held major leads in opera, theatre and musical productions across the United States, performed with a variety of prestigious ensembles, and shared the stage with many accomplished singers including Grammy award winner Billy Dean and NBA star Thurl Baily.

But, it was after moving to Arizona that her work really took off.

“I met Marvin Goldstein two and a half years ago in Mesa. I had just moved to the Phoenix area from Washington and I signed up for a music seminar where Marvin would be teaching about the music business,” Vanessa says. “He heard me singing at that seminar and he told me he wanted to do a project with me. We got started immediately after that.”

Shortly thereafter she completed her debut solo album, “The Voice” and inspirational album, “Sweet By and By,” both of which were recorded in Mesa. She also did a DVD, “Expressions of our Savior,” with her inspirational music set to the inspirational art of Greg Olsen.

“I did all that in one year. It was hard, but very exciting,” she says.

Vanessa, who has also presented at BYU Education Week the past two years, says her pure voice and diversity make her unique as an artist.

“I feel my talent is a blessing,” she says, “singing is my mission-to be able to share good music with people and, somehow, to help people along their way in life.”

She says a suggestion from Marvin prompted her to record her inspirational album.

“It never occurred to me to do that, but it really did make sense,” she says. “If I’m going to leave anything behind it would be my testimony. This album testifies of Christ, which is my life. I wouldn’t have anything if I didn’t have Him.”

She says her work with Marvin has allowed her reach new heights.

“It’s been an amazing collaboration. We make a good team and it’s wonderful to work with him,” she says.

“It’s exciting to be able to do what I’ve done so far,” Vanessa adds. “I’m thankful to have music `a part of my life.”

Vanessa will appear with George Dyer in Mesa on March 7 at the Dutton Family Theater. She and Marvin Goldstein will perform in Snowflake April 13 at the Silver Creek Performing Arts Center and will present their “Classy and Classic” concert April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chandler Center for the Arts (

To learn more about Vanessa and for details about these and other upcoming concerts, visit

For more about Marvin Goldstein and the Peace with Music Foundation,