Soulful Singing & Spoken Word

Inspirational, whimsical and passionate, the music of Melissa Simonson reflects the singer-songwriter’s playful personality, past experiences and life mission to help others live out their dreams and find their voice. In her melodic folk style, Melissa’s music speaks directly to listeners with thoughtful lyrics and a clear, reassuring voice that travels from intimate to soaring. Her performances with the talented guitarist Joe Harris have been described as “music that will lift your soul,” “smooth and easy to listen to,” and “pure musical bliss.” Melissa released her debut album of original songs, Be a Light, in December of 2011 and is currently working on her 2nd album.

Through melody and poetry, and deeply personal stories that touch upon the transcendent within the human, Melissa moves audiences to connect with what’s true and freeing within themselves. With her honesty, humor, her lightness and depth, Melissa creates a sacred space where all can embrace their imperfection, surrender shame and find the permission to embrace all of who they are. To experience Melissa in live performance is to experience beauty and grace and to discover something deeply lovable within her humanity that has you falling in love with her AND yourself at the same time.

A master speaker, singer and space-holder, Melissa finds herself at home standing in the pulpit & singing at progressive church communities, as the keynote speaker & performer at transformational workshops and retreats as well as creating intimate concerts in people’s homes. She has a gift for listening for what’s most needed and meeting her audiences exactly where they are.

Previous Performance Topics Include:

“The Wisdom in Our Wounds:The Gifts of an Undivided Life” 

Originally offered as a full service combining music, poetry and sermon at Full Circle Unitrian Universalist Fellowship in Fond du Lac, WI, and then at First Unitarian Society in 2012, Melissa examines those aspects of ourselves that we often shun and hide…that we spend the greater part of our adult lives trying to “improve” in hopes of becoming the persons we think we should be. But perhaps it is not in trying to fix or eradicate these parts of ourselves but rather through honest expression of our wounded nature that we give others and ourselves our greatest gift.

Click here to listen to the sermon Mp3

This can be offered as a fully crafted service, tailored to your church community or as a single performance piece combining storytelling and music.

“Rethinking Humility”

This topic was originally crafted as a full service at First Unitarian Society of Madison in June of 2013. With a long-standing religious and cultural history throughout the world that values humility and looks poorly upon pride, it can become all too easy to see humility as simply a virtue and pride as merely a vice. Yet in our fear of appearing boastful, we can begin to hide behind a veil of humility that limits our self-expression and prevents those around us from experiencing our greatest strengths. This service examines several religious and cultural definitions of what it means to be humble and ultimately, it offers up a new definition that leaves plenty of room for all of us to shine.

This can be offered as a fully crafted service, tailored to your church community or as a single performance piece combining storytelling and music.

“Joy is an Inside Job”

Every day, you are bombarded with images and phrases that are trying to convince you that if you buy that shiny new car, or the big beautiful house, or get that promotion that you will be happy. The truth is that while a certain level of external security contributes positively to our overall experience, joy is primarily an inside job—by shifting our internal beliefs and the stories that we tell ourselves about the world around us, we can create a reality that is joyful and find peace in both our personal and work relationships, no matter what is shifting in the outer world. In this talk, I will share personal stories of struggle and positive growth and take you on a journey of examining the ways in which your perceptions of life can limit or expand your ability to experience joy. You will leave feeling empowered and have a deep awareness of the inner resources that you possess to create joy from the inside out. Originally created as a keynote address for a hospital employee retreat, this talk can easily be tailored to serve a variety of different groups—whether you want to increase joy (and thus, productivity) in the workplace or inspire a group at a spiritual retreat, this talk is powerful and relevant in any arena.

Contact Melissa about bringing her music to your retreat, convention, church, ceremony, or to create an intimate concert in your home:

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