From 1993-97, Sierra scored three hugely successful albums, a
string of hit singles and numerous accolades. In 1998, original
member Deborah Schnelle grew weary of the rigors of road life
and left the group. The challenge of finding a replacement who
would fit both as a musical partner and member of the Sierra "family"
was compounded when an impending deal with a major record label
fell through well into preparation for the project.
As the search for Deborah's replacement dragged on, Wendi and
Jennifer found their occasional exasperation tempered with a new
willingness to let go of plans they'd once clung to. As they leaned
more on God, they found it easier to follow His leading. That
leading became apparent through the pastor at the Nashville church
attended by Jennifer. Aware that the women were looking for a
singer, he suggested Marianne, also a member of the church though
unacquainted with either of the Sierra women. Marianne, who had
moved to Nashville in 1993, had established herself as a successful
songwriter for the publishing company of country superstar Sawyer
Brown. Not a Christian at the time, her own personal encounter
and commitment to Christ came several years later.
When what was originally billed as an audition turned into a
spontaneous outpouring of praise and worship songs, Wendi and
Jennifer heard and felt a rare kind of chemistry with Marianne,
in both spirit and in voice. And though their association wasn't
immediately formalized, after the "audition," Marianne
and her partners-to-be knew that the new Sierra had just been
Change was produced by established studio masters John and Dino
Elefante. The dramatic three-part harmonies and counterpoint that
have been Sierra's signature sound remain gloriously intact, as
Marianne's soulful alto brings to the mix a new power and coloration
that is uniquely her own. The title song, driven by acoustic guitars
and percussion with a solid backbeat, puts a modern pop feel to
lyrics that are deeply personal yet universal in their message.