Alaskan Andrea Sandefur Named NCS Songwriter of the Month
Andrea Sandefur is a wife, Mom, worship leader, songwriter, and civil engineer living with her family outside of Anchorage in Wasilla, Alaska. Specializing in water conveyance and water treatment, Andrea values serving her community with her education and with her music.
Raised in a musical family, playing piano by ear came more naturally than reading music. Although her sister undertook the discipline of a concert pianist, Andrea memorized her piano pieces by ear until her teacher caught on to the game. “There was this hilarious moment where she was, like ‘Fine! I’m going to play it the way I want it to sound and you can just go for it,'” Andrea recalls. “It was like she gave up on me. But I see my kids doing that to their teachers now and it just makes me laugh!”
The Psalms Project
As part of her ministry with Wasilla Bible Church, Andrea has helped to put the entire Book of Psalms to melody for their congregation to worship through each chapter. “The Psalms range from rejoicing and praise to the lowest lament and sorrow,” she says. “It was so interesting to watch how the Psalms were meeting our congregation right where they were. One morning we would do a psalm of lament and there were families that were literally walking through something really hard. It met them right where they were.”
“The Psalms range from rejoicing and praise to the lowest lament and sorrow.”Andrea Sandefur
No small feat to undertake, Andrea and her worship pastor co-wrote many psalm settings beginning around Psalm 60. They broke the lengthy Psalm 119 into twenty-two sections. She remarks that there was a beautiful celebration the morning they presented the final setting of Psalm 150. Now in the process of recording and releasing them, Andrea and the Wasilla Bible Church team hopes this significant resource will bless many congregations.
Finding Her Own Musical Voice
Apart from her contribution as a songwriter and worship leader at Wasilla Bible Church, Andrea is developing her own artistic voice with a unique blend of worship, Scripture, encouragement, and exhortation. Calm and contemplative, she feels her mission is to sing light into the darkness. “My style is simple, I’d say. Just very meditative. It’s been called haunting,” she laughs. “But I’ve really grown comfortable with my style and it’s good to see it as part of how I’m created. It’s the voice that God wants me to release into the world.”
“I’ve really grown comfortable with my style…It’s the voice God wants me to release into the world.”Andrea Sandefur
Andrea is currently working with Nashville producer Jeff Nelson to further define her sound. Sensing a strong call on her life from God to create music, she sees songwriting as an act of obedience and stewardship and a strong component of her personal devotion. “Even when I feel a lot of doubt creep in,” she admits, “I have to listen closely to the Holy Spirit and obey Him above all of the other voices. There’s a call of obedience in that. I can’t not write songs!”
Developing Her Songwriting Skills
Andrea found her songwriting tribe in Nashville Christian Songwriters through a Google search. “I was looking for a community of Christian songwriters and you guys popped up,” she says. Connecting first with the Song Revolution with John Chisum podcast, Andrea soon realized that this community was the one she’d been searching for.
She joined the Facebook group, attended a live NCS workshop in Nashville, and enrolled in the eight-week online coaching and mentoring experience called NCS Pro Song Coaching led by John Chisum and Robert Till.
“I started to notice that there were some pieces missing in my songwriting toolkit.”Andrea Sandefur
“I started to see that there was some training that I was missing,” Andrea says. “Just in attending masterclasses and listening to the podcast I started to notice that there were some pieces missing in my songwriting toolkit. I slowly but surely started to incorporate those. I started to feel convicted that I needed to connect with you guys face to face and learn from you directly through song coaching. That seemed to transform a song quicker than anything I’d ever done before. Having somebody else who is much more seasoned was just really helpful.”
“Looking back, the eight-week NCS Pro Song Coaching was what really kicked me into high gear,” she recalls. “It further deepened the foundation that I was missing in my education. It was a huge encouragement. It was a fantastic process.”
One of her favorite activities is encouraging creative artists in her congregation through planning and hosting Arts for the Kingdom events that honor God through contributed expressions of art and music. Andrea is also a host for Theophany Media’s Creatively Christian Podcast, which seeks to inspire, inform, educate, and empower creative Christians of all types.
You can connect with Andrea Sandefur with these links and listen to two of her songs on the Nashville Christian Songwriters homepage Soundcloud player.
Other Links & Streaming: https://linktr.ee/andreasandefurmusic