Instrumental pianist Anne Trenning has titled her fifth recording Beautiful Song — Anne Trenning and Friends. Releasing February 19, 2018, this collection features the contributions of numerous Contemporary Instrumental artists and includes five original compositions and six curated cover selections from a multi-genre spectrum. Joined by James Todd, Bill Leslie, David Meyer, Rick Dior, Jane Brendle, Ciro Hurtado, Jeff Oster, John Magnie (The Subdudes), Brandon Bush, Josh Daniel and Mark Schimick, this vibrant musical assemblage features the talents of contributing artists alongside Anne’s emotionally resonant piano stylings. “You Will Know My Love,” “Do I Hear Christmas,” and “If I Could Be with You” are highlighted original works, while “Helpless” (Neil Young) “El Farol” (Carlos Santana) “It’s A Great Day to Be Alive” (Darell Scott) and “Building the Barn” (Maurice Jarre) are newly arranged with an instrumental flair. Fans of Adult Alternative, Contemporary Instrumental, New Age, Latin, Folk, Neo-Classical, and Americana genres will find new original music and familiar favorites to enjoy within. This latest offering was produced and arranged by Rick Dior and Anne at Acoustic Barn Studios in Charlotte, NC.
Trenning has always used personal experiences to create music that she hopes will resonate universally. My compositions are often melodic portraits of challenges I have faced in my own life.” She began exploring those emotional landscapes on her first album, Suite Tea. Highlights from this first offering include “Where Rivers Run,” “Days Gone By,” and a beautiful cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song.” Trenning’s second album, All One World, promoted her belief in global peace, love, and friendship, with favorites like “Ben’s Song,” “Walking Through My Tears,” and “How Fair My Love.” While Suite Tea received substantial airplay, Anne’s popularity soared with her next recording. All One World debuted at #4 on the national New Age Reporter radio airplay charts, and NAR also named All One World one of the Top 5 acoustic piano albums of the year. All One World ranked #9 on the New Age Reporter 2005 Top Airplay titles.
Known both for composing strong melodies, and for arranging memorable tunes in new ways, Trenning’s sound blends her classical training with her love of new age, gospel, Celtic, jazz, classic rock, folk and Americana. Her recordings feature solo piano pieces along with an assortment of selections where the piano is accompanied by other acoustic instruments such as violin, cello, flute, piccolo, guitar, bass, and percussion. All One World and Suite Tea were both produced by classical percussionist Rick Dior. Dior graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, studied with Jazz Composer Bob Mintzer and renowned timpanist Fred Hinger, serves as a percussionist for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Head of the Percussion Department at UNC Charlotte. Dior has backed numerous stars including James Taylor, Harry Connick, Jr., Aretha Franklin, Marvin Hamlish, Ray Charles, Bobby McFerrin and Lionel Hampton.
Anne’s third recording, Watching for Rain (2009), produced and arranged by Rick Dior, contains ten originals plus the Welsh folk melody “The Ash Grove,” the traditional spiritual “I Want to Be Ready,” the modern gospel “Here I am To Worship,” the Don Schlitz-Paul Overstreet country classic “When You Say Nothing At All,” and a 37-second benediction-like coda of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.” Trenning also offers a new arrangement of the Celtic-spirited “Eden Hall” that originally appeared on her first recording. Highlights of original compositions include “You and Me” “The Welcome Song” and “A Prayer for the World.” Produced at The Acoustic Barn by Rick Dior, Watching for Rain rose to #2 on the Zone Music Reporter Radio Charts and remained on the charts for 0 months. Nominated for 4 ZMR awards, it was a finalist for “Best Instrumental Album.” Watching for Rain ranked #4 in the ZMR 2009 Top Airplay titles.
Anne released her fourth recording with a solo piano collection titled The Sunflower Waltz in 2015. Crafted on the beautiful Shigeru Kawai piano at Piano Haven in Sedona, AZ, this collection was recorded and mastered by solo piano recording artist Joe Bongiorno, and features 16 original compositions. Lively and bright, standouts include “Max’s Birthday,” “Letting Go,” “Just Fly,” and the beautifully poetic “Claire of my Heart.”
There is an organic quality to Anne Trenning’s music that derives from her love of nature and the world around us. She has a deep respect for rural lifestyles. She believes strongly in the importance of family and tradition. History is another fascination, reflected by her penchant for antiques and old homes. Her love for the past also is evident in the traditional sounds of acoustic instruments found throughout her recordings. Anne, who is an avid reader of all genres of literature, feels strongly about passing on knowledge. When not writing, recording, or performing, she teaches piano performance.
Anne grew up in the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Illinois, where she began playing the organ at age seven. She remembers “learning lots of sheet music from the Big Band and Swing eras.” When she was 12, Trenning shifted her focus to playing piano. Church and choir also shaped her earliest musical memories. Her father encouraged practicing and a love of four-part harmony by paying her a dollar for every hymn she learned to play from a Presbyterian hymnal passed down from her paternal grandmother. “My entrepreneurial spirit insured that I learned to play most of the songs in that well-worn, treasured family collection.”
Anne has always loved varied and diverse musical forms. Her early classical studies led her to appreciate Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy and Chopin. At the same time, she always loved listening to “just about anything on the radio.” A teenager in the eighties, she found herself drawn to classic rock and pop music from the previous decade, including Crosby Stills Nash and Young, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Steely Dan, The Guess Who, Elton John, The Allman Brothers, and Dan Fogelberg. Trenning attended Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina on a music scholarship, and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and History. In college, her classical studies expanded with new favorites Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, and Ravel. Simultaneously, she was exploring country, folk, and new age music, and was especially inspired when she discovered the music of George Winston. Other artists of influence were Joni Mitchell, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris. Folk and Americana are newer interests by artists including Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Darrell Scott, Steve Earle, and Buddy and Julie Miller.
After college Anne moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Her musical career took a dramatic turn when she began composing music. “I didn’t even own a piano in the immediate years following my graduation from college, but after I purchased my first home, I inherited the family piano. After years of taking lessons, I suddenly found myself sitting at the piano without a set goal for my practicing. That’s when I began experimenting and creating my own music.” As time went by Trenning made a demo tape that she shared with best-selling New Age artist David Lanz, who said he liked her style, and gave her welcome encouragement. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her family, and occasionally in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains enjoying the beauty and scenic nature this area of the country affords.