Winchester Musicianary releases innovative Christmas EP

Trish Torline’s newest project consists solely of original work

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

When an artist describes her calling as that of being a musicianary chances are she will have some extraordinary projects.

Such is the case for Trish Torline, a Winchester resident whose six-song EP, “All Hearts Come Home for Christmas,” was released Dec. 4. The self-produced project consists of totally fresh material, all written or co-written by Torline.

The theme is decidedly Christian, in keeping with Torline’s musicianary status, about which she talked with KentuckySings in 2018. You can read that story here.

We caught up with Trish recently. She’s now retired from her career as a middle school and high school Band Director in Clark County and spending much of her time exploring avenues by which she can further develop her ministry, which is concentrated in central Kentucky but has traveled as far as northern Indiana.

With many COVID-19 restrictions in force, we talked about the new EP via Facebook Messenger. Even though we were not able to meet in person, the excitement about her new project freely flowed through her keyboard.

She says the new EP is consistent with the ministry she has developed over more than 20 years. “A musicianary is a musician with a missions heart, whose primary tool is one of music, using songs to spread the gospel,” Torline says. “Each of the six songs present moral values, insightful perspectives, and meaningful commentary on life that is inline with Scripture. All the songs draw our attention to Jesus and what he taught us.”

Torline’s new work is her second Christmas album, having released “What Child is This?” in 2001. Her inner fire was burning for a different look at Christmas.

“I have wanted to do another one for several years, but did not want to do covers,” she says of the new EP. “I wanted it to be all originals. That’s more easily said than done. What’s left to write about? Everything has pretty much been said in the songs we know and love, so if the album was going to be all originals, I had to put a new spin on the same content.

“Since I retired, I’ve been able to spend more quality time in my studio writing, recording new songs and educating myself on the art of songwriting. In July, I had just the feeling in my spirit that I was ready to take on the challenge of writing Christmas songs. Because of time constraints to get it released in time for Christmas, I decided to do a six-song EP.”

The production is first class with Torline joining 14 other musicians, including her mother, Michele Sturgill, who plays the keyboards. Trish joined her mom playing keyboards and also working on acoustic guitar and auxiliary percussion. While the instrumentation is strong, the album is most about the message of Jesus Christ.

From the liner note describing “Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle,” Torline says,

With the combination of family, food, shopping, and parties, a lot of us get our tinsel in a tangle. Instead of throwing a Clark Griswold-style holiday tantrum, take a lot of deep breaths adn remember the reason for the season, celebrating the birth of a Savior who signifies peace, hope and love for all. Being mindful of this can allow you to maximize the big picture and minimize the smaller details.”

“Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle” is a fun look at many of the common snafus that cause so much stress at Christmas time. Think getting snowed in with family and such.

Ultimately, she sings, one can “Let the lights of the season remind you of the reason and your Bah-Humbug will turn to Ho Ho Ho.” An animated lyric video of the song is posted on the home page of trishtorline.com.

About another cut, “The Lights that Shine at Christmastime,” she notes, 

“I have always loved Christmas lights. Through the years I have come to see them as symbols of faith and felt that displaying Christmas lights can remind us to follow Christ and His path. … Amid the confusion, don’t miss the real Light of Christmas and pass it on.”

True to her musicianary spirit, Torline set out to deliver the timeless old message in a new and exciting manner. Releasing an original Christmas EP met that goal but is uncommon for a regional artist.

“It is rare and the reason I think that it is, is because if you do cover tunes, you have to fool with copyrights,” she wrote, “and then you have to come up with a different take/arrangement/production of a song that has been recorded many times before. Those two things alone deter many from doing one.”

It didn’t deter Trish Torline, however. Combining her deep faith, keen insight to the gospel message and strong musical talent, Trish Torline has found yet another avenue for transporting the gospel message.

All Hearts Come Home For Christmas is now available on all music platforms and at trishtorline.com.

Physical CD’s are also available at trishtorline.com.

Torline says those who purchase from her website will also “receive goodies that are not available on other platforms, i.e. a download of my 2001 Christmas album, ‘What Child is This,’ and my eBook, ‘All Hearts Come Home for Christmas – The Message Behind the Music.”

What they are saying about Trish Torline’s “All Hearts Come Home for Christmas.”

“Trish Torline has released a fun, loving and emotional Christmas CD, ‘All Hearts Come Home for Christmas.’ From the ‘Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle’ (btw, the ONLY song I’ve ever heard with ‘Bah Humbug’ & ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ in it!) to the emotional hoping to heal a broken heart ‘I Wish Tonight,’ to the season reminding ‘All Hearts Come Home for Christmas,’ to the ‘Lights that Shine at Christmas Time,’ to one of my personal favorites, ‘Dear Santa,’ this is a wonderful addition to your Holiday Music collection. The music is wonderful, Trish’s vocals have never sounded better and every single song will hit home for someone. Wonderful, relatable, music from the heart.”

– Karl Shannon, retired radio on-air host for WSM in Nashville and K-93, WBUL-FM and HANK 96.1 in Lexington.

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