Donna Gray is an anointed singer/pianist/composer with a heart for serving the Lord. She writes from a deep place of worship for a loving and caring God, the results being songs that minister hope and joy to others who need to know that God’s love is unconditional and that He will never leave them or forsake them, no matter what they have done in their past.
Music has been Donna’s life song since a very early age. At age 5, the music in her life began with a simple song that she played on her grandmother’s old, upright piano, “Onward Christian Soldiers”. Her mother was in the kitchen, listening, and she said, “It took my breath away, because I didn’t realize that it was Donna playing.” When she came into the music room, she was amazed to see that Donna was playing the piece by ear. It was then that her mother realized that Donna had a special talent from God, and signed Donna up for piano lessons with Anthony Santangelo, a retired NYC concert pianist.
Donna began singing church specials with her four siblings at an early age, and performed her first piano solo, “Abide With Me”, in church at age 7. Her mother taught her many hymns by playing the organ as Donna played the piano. Donna continued using her gift in the church, accompanying soloists and playing for the services. She was also active in the youth choir, where her love of worship and singing for the Lord was developed. In her teenage years, Donna accompanied her older sister, Duane, on the piano and sang backup to her sister’s solos, and credits this time period as a great learning experience in her musical journey. Other musical experiences included singing in choirs, including advanced area and All State choirs, and playing alto sax and French Horn in various school ensembles.
Following high school, Donna continued studying music education with a concentration in piano at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. In her third year of college, a voice teacher encouraged Donna to add Vocal Performance as an additional major. It was during this time that Donna fell in love with classical vocal literature. Throughout her college years, Donna was honored to perform with well-known college choirs and conductors at such venues as Radio City Music Hall, The Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and several churches throughout the East coast and Southern states. This was an adventure of a lifetime that Donna will always treasure and hold close to her heart.
Throughout this time, she continued to use her musical talents in various church events, and she grew to appreciate a wide variety of other musical genres, including jazz, blues, classic country, and R& B.
“I can truly proclaim that God is the ultimate Healer and I praise Him everyday that He has healed me in so many ways, freeing me from my struggles. Remaining true to His word and His calling for my life has given me a new hope and a wonderful purpose. I can truly understand and have a deep compassion for many others who are fighting some kind of struggle and battle in their lives. I pray that I may be a witness to them to never give up hope and to hold on to God’s unseen hands.”
Over the years, Donna has come to realize that there was a deep significance to the old hymn, “Onward, Christian Soldiers” being the first piece that He instilled upon her heart to play at such a young age because, “God chose me to be His soldier, to always move onward through all the trials that I would face, battle and difficulties that would be ahead of me in my life’s journey. But, “With the Cross of Jesus, Going on Before”, comes the comfort and security of knowing that Jesus carried my cross even when, in my darkest hour, I walked away in disbelief and sin. I now fully realize that He truly loves me and that through it all, “We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.”
Donna and her husband, David, have been married for 16 years and reside in the Kansas City area with three rescue animals: their cat, Nöel, and two large and loveable dogs, Tracy and Sally Mae.