Melon Patch Music | Mary's Bio | Nancy's Bio



Melon Patch Music

In The Beginning…
Mary:  “Nancy and I met when I was first called as the Stake Camp Director in the Ammon, Idaho Stake.  She was the First Counselor in the Stake Young Women’s Presidency with responsibilities over camp.  While I was learning my calling I called her a lot, I mean a lot! I had several impressions about camp and what the girls in our stake needed. I wrote them all down. After learning what our camp theme was, I decided to try and put those first impressions into a camp song just for our stake. This was not something I had ever done before. In my bathroom with the fan on I wrote the chorus to “Arise and Shine Forth.” The next morning I wrote the verses to the song.  I called Nancy and told her what I had done and sang it to her over the phone. Later, Nancy wrote the accompaniment for the song. We consider “Arise And Shine Forth” a gift and a blessing to our stake.

One year later I decided to try and write a song just for me. I wrote “Learn in Thy Youth,” which is based on the scripture I live by and love.  It is also my heart and soul. I called Nancy again and it turned out wonderful. She is very inspired and I trust her completely. This has become our favorite hobby, and brings great joy into our busy lives”.

Mary Singing

Mary singing and Nancy editing at a recording session

Nancy Editing

It Works Like This…
Nancy:  “I was amazed that Mary had written an original song for girl’s camp.  I immediately loved “Arise and Shine Forth”.  It was perfect for our girl’s camp that year.  When Mary sang it to me the first time, I “heard” in my mind a possible arrangement.  I was driving on I-15 in Utah at the time, so I couldn’t make any notes about what was in my head.  I hoped that I would be able to remember my impressions when I had a chance to work on the arrangement at home.  I am still amazed at Mary’s talent.  It is so fun to hear her inspired music and lyrics. 

All Mary’s songs are based on experiences in her life (see About-The Songs).  As a song comes to Mary, she records it onto a cassette tape.  After perfecting the tune and lyrics she sings the final version into the tape recorder.  She gives the tape and written lyrics to me and I put the song on my computer and create the arrangement.  Most of our songs are written for a lower voice.  If you would like a song in a different key, or if you have any questions or comments, please contact nancy@melonpatchmusic.com

Most of the vocals you hear are by Mary, but other vocalists and artists have participated as well (see About-Guest Artist of the Month).

Many thanks to Phil McCollam who designed our logo and Julie Anderson for designing our website (see Links)”.

Thanks for visiting Melon Patch Music!!!




Mary's Bio

I grew up in a family of 10 kids in Dos Palos, California, which is a small town right in the middle of the state.  My home was in the country on 10 acres, which I referred to as the Garden of Eden.  My mom loves trees and just kept planting, so it’s quite a contrast to the surrounding fields. I was raised by excellent parents who believed in hard work and living within their means.   My love for music began there, harmonizing with my sisters around the piano.  We spent hours singing, dancing, creating plays, and holding beauty pageants. Some of my fondest memories are walking through the fields and watching the brilliantly colored sunsets.   I would sing from the heart about the way they made me feel. That’s how I felt when I wrote my first song.

Mary's Lane

I attended BYU and graduated in Elementary Education.  During my education I took a break from school and went on a mission to the Pennsylvania, Harrisburg Mission.  I am grateful for the knowledge and experience I gained.  I worked at the Missionary Training Center as a teacher for English speaking missionaries and in the gym.

Mary and Jeff

Then I met a tall, dark, handsome, guy named Jeff who did the dishes, so I had to marry him!!  We have 6 wonderful children, 5 girls and 1 boy; their names are Katelyn, Annalisa, Kyle, Kristen, Natalie, and Olivia. They are 13 to 2 years old in age.  I am a full time mom doing one of my favorite things, teaching my children. I’m not so sure they consider it teaching.

After my 5th child, Natalie, was born, I had a little setback of Thyroid Cancer.  After surgery, treatment, and a lot of celestial service from friends and family, I consider myself mostly back to normal.  Can you be normal with 6 kids?

When I have free time I like to play tennis, volleyball, go on dates with my husband, watch movies, and of course write music. I also love teaching, girls camp, hugs from chubby, sticky arms, reading the scriptures, “Hi Mom”, tender mercies, “ I love you mom”, miracles, the Savior, calls from my husband, Dove Chocolates, inspiration, swing dancing, popcorn at night, prayer, and all of the blessings in my life.

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Nancy's Bio

Nancy 1966
My mom was right:  “When you grow up, you’ll wish you had practiced more”,  she OFTEN told me.   I do wish I had practiced more when I was a young, but I’m glad that I practiced some--at least enough to develop a great love for music.  My earliest musical experience began at a young age a few years before I took piano lessons and could read music.  My parents and others thought I was somewhat of a novelty because I could hear and invent harmony.  I began singing duets with a friend at church and social events in our small town of Malad, Idaho.  My friend sang the melody, and I sang the harmony that I “heard” in my head.  During my preteen and teenage years, I sang in ward and school choirs and played the clarinet and the French horn in band.  I was also the Jr. Sunday School pianist and the Sunday School Chorister. 

In my adult life while living in Rexburg Idaho, Provo Utah, Portland Oregon, Vancouver Washington, and now Windy, Wonderful Idaho Falls, Idaho, I have served in almost every church music calling available.  I enjoy accompanying choirs, ensembles, and soloists, and playing the organ in church services and in the temple.

Several years ago I discovered a computer music program called “Make Music”.  It was primitive by today’s standards, but it changed my musical life.  It gave me the freedom to compose and arrange music and was the beginning of my music tech life.  Now I use Finale and Cake Walk (I’m a Windows girl).  I think they are miracle programs!

Beside music, I love:  Jogging early in the morning, Dates with my husband, Spending time with our 5 children, 2 daughters-in-law, and son-in-law, Hiking up mountains, Playing with our 6 sweet and crazy grandkids, Family reunions, Traveling to warm and exotic places, Paper crafting, Playing softball, volleyball, and golf, Living in Idaho, Bubble baths, and Listening to “Car Talk” on NPR radio during my Saturday morning exercise sessions.


For your never-ending patience during my piano lesson years--


Nancy and Noel


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