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Biography of
Marlene Elliott O’Neill
Marlene (Elliott) O’Neill – born and raised in Toronto, Ontario Canada, she is no stranger to the Gospel music audience given her 50-plus years of experience in that genre! From the age of 5 she has been on stage in both group and soloist capacity. Many Southern Gospel fans, specifically in Ontario, watched Marlene literally grow up on stage, singing with her mother and brother as ‘The Elliott Family’. They performed on hundreds of stages and in just as many venues – both big and small across Canada and parts of the northern United States. Her reputation was then established both as an accomplished soloist and as an affective group member, learning (by ear) the art of vocal harmony at the age of five (5), a strong lead vocal position and the technique of blending vocals in a vocal group setting.
Marlene studied first in the Fine Arts Program (theatre, dance and music) at York University and then excelled in the sought-after Vocal Music Program at Humber College (Toronto). In 1987 she embarked on a part-time solo career. She moved into a fulltime career in music in February 1998. With the loss of Marlene’s brother Tim to cancer in 1997, she is determined to share the healing gift that music has been and still is to her. With gratefulness to God whose faithfulness, love and grace sustained her and her family through that trying time of life.
O’Neill has ten (10) solo, gospel recordings to her credit. Her latest release is titled ‘the Hymns Project’. In addition, she has lent her voice to numerous compilation CDs, song demos, movie soundtracks, duet recordings with other artists, background studio work, corporate recordings, etc. As part of the seasoned, female vocalist duo, the Tonettes (est 2007), she has also recorded two (2) albums. ‘Heart & Soul’ (a collection of Soul classics) and their self-titled Gospel album.
Touring travels have taken her from coast to coast in Canada, parts of the United States, Scotland, Africa and Ecuador. Current musical performances include everything from musical theatre stage productions, conferences, tribute shows, corporate events, church services, banquets and concerts, to voicing the national anthems at NBA games (Toronto Raptors) at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Television experience includes regular musical guest spots on the nationally televised 100 Huntley Street program and The Peoples Church-Toronto/Living Truth – broadcasting to as far away as the UK and India.
Overseas missions are another extension of Marlene O’Neill’s career as her territory continues to expand. In addition to current touring, she has twice been abroad to Chingola, Zambia, Africa participating in humanitarian efforts with MATE/FCC (Toronto). With the other team members, they provided, amongst other things, free daily medical clinics, general hygiene instructionals, and evening concerts to encourage the impoverished and provide them with the absolute joy and hope that music brings. Most recently, Marlene was invited to participate in a mission to Guayaquil, Ecuador where a team of 12 Canadians provided a daily Bible school to children and youth. Daily music education with the children, teaching a 75-voice children’s choir and presenting several concerts while there rounded out her responsibilities on this trip.
Willing to go any distance throughout the years has allowed Marlene to witness and experience many life-changing events; both in herself and in others. Many of which involve people being encouraged by joyful, soul-stirring music with the message of hope. With years of experience and, yes, challenges along the way, Marlene is still reaching out in a tangible and crystal-clear way with a polished, professional approach to sharing life-changing messages through music. Her transparent communication with the audience lets them know that she is simply a ‘real life woman’ with a ‘real life’, yet professional approach to sharing music.
Listen to Marlene O'Neill Sing
What Kinda Man Is This?
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