Quotes from Participants

Nothing is more important than supporting music programs! The work you do is HUGE in our community. Heidi Stauber, October 4, 2015.

Think of what you’re doing and where…there has been, and will be, talent born for greatness on your stage. A greatness by the world’s standards but more importantly, a personal greatness for the hearts and souls of the performers. You’re doing a wonderful job of managing the timing and talent for the show. Thank you so much for pouring your heart into the adventure. Jackie Norris, May 9, 2012.

My family had such a wonderful time at this event. A community gathering on a rainy November night in the loft of an historic barn to sit under wool blankets in the stocking caps to share music and watch children whisper and scurry—It doesn’t get any better than that.  Thank you for helping make it happen! Dr. Kathleen Allan of Tolt River Family Medicine, Carnation, November 14, 2015.

Just wanted to let you know that Kerensa has accomplished a long held goal…. she is one of two drummers in the Redmond Middle School Jazz Band. Thank you, Maren, for introducing her to the drum set [through private lessons]…She’s very happy and totally motivated to be at school at 6:30am every day! We love you all, Grandma Sue [Burrus], her faithful driver. September 17, 2015.

Ashley Sullivan and I met at Soundfalls when her band Rooftop Dogs and several of her violin students were featured in April 2012 (a couple months after I had joined Raleigh in a performance).  I recruited her into our Irish band, The Fire Inside, and we played all together for you in March 2013.  We’ve since fallen terribly in love and are getting married in November. We love the Soundfalls project and feel like we owe the existence of our relationship to you and the work you’ve done bringing the community together. We’d love to have you join us in November, but even if you can’t make it we wanted to let you know how much you’re appreciated. Daniel Horn, September 21, 2014.

Although we haven’t communicated in a very long time, I still receive your Soundfalls emails. What a fabulous recital you are having. I must congratulate you on involving the parents so well. Those kids have music in their homes and as a part of their lives. You are doing wonderful work. I am rather curious how you did it but I can imagine. You generate community – hence Soundfalls. I am glad that you are well and your teaching is such a wonderful success! Mary Anne Szollar, Piano Teacher, Redmond, WA, May 30, 2014.

This sounds wonderful. I love how it’s not a traditional recital format. You and I like to think outside of the box. Cheers, Karin Llyr, Band Director, Tolt Middle School, May 30, 2014.

We are thankful for your role in the community and in our lives! Raleigh Wilson, October 18, 2013.

I’ve always enjoyed the times I’ve gone to a Soundfalls night! Teresa Taylor, October 1, 2013.

Thank you, Miss Maren. The [parent-child] recital was a treat and a lovely moment to settle in the present. You are a blessing. Elizabeth Wing, Elementary Teacher, Carnation, June 9, 2013.

OOOOH…this looks like a wonderful show!…As you may recall, in past years by dad came to a number of Soundfalls shows – maybe even the first – when it was at Miller’s on the rickety stage…and he always remembers them fondly! Janna Treismann, April 13, 2013.

Thank you for the tremendous work you do to keep the arts alive in our beautiful valley! It is important work and your passion and excellence shine through the offerings. Humble thanks. With gratitude, Paige Denison, Riverview Education Foundation, April 3, 2013.

Think of what you’re doing and where…there has been, and will be, talent born for greatness on your stage. A greatness by the world’s standards but more importantly, a personal greatness for the hearts and souls of the performers. It was a good show! I was unaware of the time until I got to my car. Actually I was unaware of the long intermission you mentioned too. I got in a little chat time, as did other folks as they had a snack…Claudia is “greatness.” She is so polished and professional! I hope you’ve had time to mullet over and give yourself a break. You’re doing a wonderful job of managing the timing and talent for the show. Thank you so much for pouring your heart into the adventure. Jackie Norris, May 9, 2012.

Thanks for all you do to produce this for everyone to enjoy. I enjoy the good music, and if there’s more of a garage band playing too, then that’s ok because they need the exposure and it’s great that you give them that opportunity. It’s a good small town event, and I have fun bringing my city friends to it.  Vicki Goode, May 9, 2012.

We had a great time at Soundfalls! Wow, Claudia Schmidt is an amazing vocalist and performer. She reminded me of a cross between Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman. Wonderful. On the way back, the kids talked and laughed about Byron’s best places to camp. Claudine and Pete Benmar, May 7, 2012.

I LOVE Soundfalls. I’m always disappointed when we can’t attend. I think you are doing an amazing job, and I love the relaxed nature of the evening. We enjoyed the fiddle music, especially since Miss Ashley is Rowan’s fiddle teacher. Thanks so much for all your hard work! Kimberly Gallagher, May 7, 2012.

We were so excited to see Soundfalls, and of course Claudia – we also enjoyed her first time there. She was amazing. Jennifer Resler, May 7, 2012.

Wow, what an amazing night. Warm for this time of year, and beautiful. Once again, thank you to Maren and Byron for giving this gift to our community. Raleigh Wilson, May 1, 2012.


Hi Maren. Brian and I both left wondering why we haven’t been coming every month! We look forward to joining you again. You guys have a great little gig and it’s just one more thing to love about Carnation. Susan Melrath, Duvall, February 9, 2011.

Hi Maren and Byron. I just wanted to say thanks again for the opportunity to play.  My family and friends had a great time and loved the venue.  Claudia exceeded my wildest expectations.  Thanks for making an amazing night possible.  I enjoyed helping out on Friday and visiting after the show! You guys are a blessing to this community! Thanks again, Raleigh Wilson, Carnation, April 3, 2o11.

Maren and Byron

It was a wonderful evening and I love what you are doing with Soundfalls! One of the highlights for me was the girls dancing. A person in the audience thought that we drummers regularly played together professionally, and was surprised to hear it was our first time together. Thank you for your warm hospitality after the show. I felt honored to spend time with Claudia and you all. Linda Jean Sheperd, PhD, April 4, 2011.

Dear Maren, I’ve been wanting to write and thank you for the opportunity to be part of your very unique little scene there in Carnation.  I would come back [to perform again] in a heartbeat!  (next spring?)  Here’s what I especially loved…that the audience was not one bit jaded, AND that they hung in for a long evening (even the kids) in this cultural AD climate we live in now, and I think that’s just wonderful.  You assume they will and they DO…good for you! Claudia Schmidt, Minneapolis, April 8, 2011.

We had lots of fun. It made me a proud dad to have that opportunity [to perform with my son during the Young Artist Spot]. I thank you for that. Amazing thing you two are doing. Very well done productions. Perfect really. Keep it up! John Gallagher, April 18, 2011.

I thought the evening was charming, entertaining and fun.  I do love it when you two banter, I didn’t notice the lack of it.  Each show takes on a personality and life of its own, as this one did.  You both allow us into your personal daily lives and engage us with music, poetry, humor and talent.  That’s the best part for me, getting to see your hearts as you share the past and the present.  I enjoy Byron’s sense of humor!  How he could sit under a blue tarp for several minutes and sell it to us as the latest greatest invention I still can’t fathom, but it was so funny and I wanted one (never mind that we probable have a dozen).  I really appreciate the young talent too.  It takes a lot of courage to perform in front of an audience.  I particularly like Julia and her friend’s skits.  They display confidence while having fun.  The sky is the limit for them because of the stage they’re sharing with a lot of great talent… Dan, Susan and Julie were truly amazing and my friend Joy and I really enjoyed them.  Jackie Norris, June 23, 2011.

I love the totally hometown community feel of Soundfalls, it’s not about show biz, but revives the feeling of a time when people were totally happy entertaining themselves and each other, and there was no such thing as ‘passive consumer’…or American Idol!  I feel lucky to be a part of such a treasure. Claudia Schmidt, Minneapolis, November 1, 2011.

Maren, I’m still thinking of you and your beautiful barn! :-))  I really enjoyed being there with you all on Saturday night, there was magic in the air, which is probably not a rare thing given the love and attention that you and Byron put into your shows. It was really great to meet you and your friends and neighbors, thank you so much for including me. Julie Mainstone, Seattle, June 9, 2011.

Both Mike and I enjoyed the show very much, as we have whenever we have attended… I thought your reading [Maren] on creativity was a delightful and affirming way to open the show, and provided just the right context.  It reminded me of something I had heard Toni Morrison speak about recently, about individuals needing something that was uniquely theirs…We look forward to future Soundfalls and thank you for your many contributions to our community.  Best, Jane McClure, June 10, 2011.

Maren – Thanks for creating a great opportunity for some of our younger artists. Sean really enjoyed being part of the skit, as well as performing. Thanks again — Trudy Hakala (Sean’s mom), November 15, 2010.

Great show last night!  My favorite so far. I think the location adds to the venue. The rhythm of the Barn has such a presence. It sets the stage before you even reach the loft. Andrew Cromarty, Carnation, March 21, 2010.

We so enjoyed the show and meeting you and Byron…thanks for the invitation, and I wish you tremendous success at the loft—such a charming place. You have created a new community. Susan Burke, Duvall, March 21, 2010.

Sounds like a great combo of people!  I think it is so cool you are still making this happen.  You are a Carnation Cultural Icon! Heidi Ricks, Minneapolis. March 20, 2010.

Loved the show – sorry we could not stay longer – did not want to push the kids to the point where they started to fuss – I think my favorite part was just hearing you talk and listening to Byron play at the beginning of the show… What a neat venue, too! Thanks much again for the invitation to the show. We like Carnation very much. ‘Never realized how much of a valley it is. Incredible mt views! Jane Horn, Sammamish, March 22, 2010.

What a wonderful show! Great music, great venue, and great MCs! I particularly enjoyed the song you sang with Byron and Susan. I’m listening to Susan’s CD in the car. Kristen Johnson, Woodinville, March 22, 2010.

What a spectacular evening.  The kid players were great.  Loved the whistler.
The Loft is a perfect place to congregate. Jeannine Luce, Redmond, March 21, 2010.

It was great to be able to be at Soundfalls, finally! I couldn’t believe you’ve been doing it for 4 years and that’s the first time we made it. It was great! We had a lot of fun. Kimberly Gallagher, Carnation, March 29, 2010.