Testimonials and References

“Thank you so much for bringing your wonderful music to our worship service!  From where I was sitting, I could see people’s feet underneath the pews, and there was a lot of toe-tapping going on.  You are an incredible duo, and I hope you will come back and play for us again sometime.  Our congregation really enjoyed hearing you!”

Judith Melander, Director of Music
St. Paul’s UCC on Summit


“Who says worship cannot be enthusiastically inspiring and uplifting?  Through their wonderful music, Dana and Martha Mathewson have enhanced our worship experience at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, in various settings, for over twelve years. They can take an old, familiar hymn, and raise it up to another awe inspiring level, or they can exhilarate the sanctuary with a newer, faith based sound. Our members and I leave church with great excitement and a sense of enlivened reverent worship. Without any reservation, I recommend Dana and Martha to you with a warning…They may be received with more fervor than the sermon.”

Pastor Ken Kotzer
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church (http://mtolivet.org)

Marthaplaying1“Martha adds pizzazz to every song she plays.  We have been fortunate to have Martha sub [at St. Thomas Becket] because she can just come in and make it all happen, including coaching the small ensemble of singers and coordinating with the presider.  Dana generously adds his tremendous talents to the mix.  Experience oozes out of both of these fine musicians.”

Patrice Pakiz, Director of Music
St. Thomas Becket Catholic Church (http://st.thomasbecket.org)


“Martha and Dana provided the music at St Thomas Becket Church in Eagan, MN on Memorial Day weekend. They did a prelude of “America the Beautiful” that was so appropriate. Martha’s arrangement did a progression of “keys” with each verse and Dana’s solo almost brought tears! I cantored the psalm and their accompaniment was flawless. Their performance that day was typical for them! They are the best!!”

John Lonnee, cantor
St. Thomas Becket Catholic Church

“I always look forward to when we have Martha and Dana playing.  They bring a most wonderful spiritual energy and vitality to the service.  Their solo music is a joy to listen to and they have a way of getting people to participate in the congregational music…people want to sing when they are playing.”

Carolyn Tritschler, Cantor
St Thomas Becket Catholic Church

“We wanbothplayingt to say how much we have enjoyed and valued [Martha and Dana’s] music renditions many times over the last several years.  From entertaining us at our home to [their] performances at our 50th wedding anniversary and in between, being entertained in other locations, [their] style of swing, big band, and jazz is exactly to our liking.  [Martha and Dana] are both true artists and virtuosos when [they] perform on [their] respective instruments.”

Dick & Babs Erlandson

“Martha and Dana Mathewson are superb musical artists; their instruments are true extensions of themselves. They have worked closely with teens and children in musicals I have directed, and the professional experience they have shared with the kids has been invaluable; the young people thought they were great.  They are a warm, charming, and friendly couple, and their music reflects their personalities.”

Rudd Rayfield, Managing Director
Simley Theatre Guild

MarthaDana“I have had the distinct pleasure to work with Dana & Martha Mathewson in a variety of musical capacities over the past ten years now, and each and every time I have been completely impressed and inspired by their talent, their musicality, and their creative musical vibe! For several years Dana & Martha shared the stage with me at the Historic Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, performing holiday classics old and new to thousands of eager and appreciative fans in my yearly holiday production, “John Trones, Christmas in the City”. Dana & Martha consistently “hit just the right note”, pun intended, with their arrangements, their style, and their flair for an inviting and embracing performance. In the recording studio I was once again thrilled and blown away by their exquisite live performances they laid down to track for several of my recording projects. They have “appeared” as guest artists now on several of my CD’s and I could not be happier with the quality and timelessness of the product they both delivered! From their expertly crafted arrangements to their flawless studio performance, they hit home run after home run nailing take after take and saving me hours of extra studio time! If all of that that weren’t enough, I have also been lucky enough to share the cabaret stage with these two as well.  Take Dana’s ability to pick up and master a wide variety of instruments (which also came in VERY handy in the recording studio), and Martha’s innate sense and ability to read my mind as a vocalist, and you’ve got the recipe for one incredibly creative and confidant stage experience. I cannot say enough about the talent and professionalism of these two talented musicians. It has always been an honor to perform with them, no matter the material or the venue, always a joy!”

John Trones
Recording Artist & International Vocalist

mathewsons“I have had the pleasure to know, work with and write for Dana and Martha Mathewson, a dynamic and well-respected performing duo from the metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul region, for well over a decade. We were introduced when one of my publishers, Augsburg Fortress, forwarded a letter the Mathewsons wrote to me asking permission to re-arrange a few of my piano arrangements for other instrument combinations. They were quite successful in that effort and I was both impressed and flattered to hear their renditions recast for small ensembles including saxophone, string bass, clarinet, trumpet and even vocals (used as vocalise partners)! We worked together in a few churches in the suburban Twin Cities area and, in 2002, at a specially organized public concert in the Hampton Roads Virginia region where Dana, Martha, and their daughter, opera singer and professor Regina Zona, were featured concert artists. Recordings were made of several works of mine at these venues. In addition, the Mathewsons produced an entire CD album of my work written for the church-at-large in 2004. Beyond those wonderful re-arrangements as well as my originals, used in a wide variety of worship events where the Mathewsons were engaged, I have had occasion to write secular pieces over the years as gifts for them whereby I could experiment, exploring Dana, Martha (and Regina’s) separate and joint talents and skills as interpreters of my contemporary Jazz arrangements and original compositions. As a “voice” behind the scenes, I’ve always been pleased to hear the results. Dana and Martha Mathewson are certainly musical treasures deserving of your consideration as honored guest artists and/or fellow musical liturgists in worship. Beyond that, the Mathewsons are consummately able to plan and execute programs for the concert consuming general public. They are each musically qualified and possess the wit and élan to keep audiences pleased and satisfied with their performances.”

Michael Hassell

NOTE: Dana and Martha are sorry to have to announce that Michael Hassell passed away on June 10, 2019 after a lengthy illness. His music and personal support enriched our lives immeasurably over the years in which we were privileged to know him, and we feel his loss keenly.

For contact information of any of the references below, please contact us at info@danamarthamusic.com

Carol James, Executive Director
Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center

Rev. Kelli Clement
Unitarian Universalist Church

Jerry Rubino, Director of Music
Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church

Steven Stucki, Artistic Director of Skylark Opera (http://www.skylarkopera.org)
Organist, Choirmaster of Spirit of Christ Community Lutheran Church

Upon request, we can provide additional senior facility performance-related
References and Testimonials