Marla J. Unterseher Danielson

1962 -

Marla Danielson, an organist, pianist, and songwriter, cares for the music in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Forest Grove, Oregon, a responsibility she has had for twenty years. She also teaches piano, organ, and guitar.

Marla was born and raised in Oregon, one of two children and the only daughter of Elmer V. and Betty Jean Walters Unterseher. Both her mother, a proficient secretary, and father, a pastor of Adventist churches, are amateur musicians and supported her interest in pursuing a career in music.

Marla started piano lessons at age eight and organ two years later. She was particularly inspired in her formative years by her study on both instruments with Lois Coleman Hall. She continued music study at Gem State Academy, where she studied organ with Frank Kravig. Following graduation in 1980, she enrolled at Union College as a music major, where she continued her study on organ with Melvin West.

At the end of her sophomore year, she transferred to Walla Walla College, now University, continuing her study on organ with Kenneth Rudolph and Janet Satre of Gonzaga University and graduating from Walla Walla College with a B.Mus. in music education in 1986. During her senior year, she gave a well-attended organ recital at the Saint Francis Cathedral in Baker City, Oregon, where her father was pastor of the Adventist church.

Following graduation, Unterseher taught piano and organ at Upper Columbia Academy briefly and then married Ronald Danielson in June 1989. The Danielsons, who have three children, Tracy, Troy, and Thomas, now reside in Hillsboro, Oregon.

In addition to her music activities in the Adventist church, where she has filled many different roles in music, she also assisted in the services at times in the Forest Grove United Methodist Church for seventeen years.

At the time of the 2000 General Conference Session in Toronto, Canada, she entered a contest for writing the theme song for that meeting. Although her entry did not win, the experience of writing led to the discovery that she enjoyed this type of creativity and she has since penned many songs. One of these, Holy God, Holy Spirit Come into This Place, was used for over a year as an introduction to the worship service at Forest Grove.

Marla released her first CD, Abide in Me, Songs of Faith from Marla Danielson, in 2004. It featured eleven of her songs and those of nine other composers. Since that time she has penned several more songs and released a number of CDs (see listings that follow).


Sources: Interview with Marla Unterseher, 26 March 2012; Walla Walla College music department Opus, Summer 1986, 13; Summer1987, 13; WWC Westwind Alumnotes, unknown issue, Online sources and Ancestory. com; (Marla and husband); WWC Westwind Alumnotes, Spring 2002 (Elmer and Betty Unterseher retirement); NPUC Gleaner, 20 June 1977, 13; 3 November 1986, 20 (short bios about Elmer U.); 3 February 1986, 21 (organ recital in Caldwell); personal knowledge.

Music by Marla Danielson

Praise and Worship Songs

Psalm 5 (2011)

Psalm 16 (2009)

Psalm 25 (2007)

Psalm 30 (2009)

Psalm 32 (2005)

Psalm 33 (2008)

Psalm 42 (2011)

Psalm 139 (2011)

Psalm 142 (2010)

By the Clear Crystal Sea, (2011)

Come and Bless the Name of the Lord (2003)

God, Our Refuge and Strength (2003)

Holy God, Holy Spirit Come Into This Place (2009)

I Give You My Heart (2003)

I Put My Trust In Thee (2003)

I Will Praise Him (2003)

Jesus (2003)

Lord, I Come (2003)

Love Was Born At Christmas (2011)

On The Cross (2011)

Thank You Lord (2011)

The Humble Shall Hear (2004)

The Lord Is Great (2004)

The Lord Is My Rock (2003)

The Lord Is My Shepherd (2003)

The Lord Is The Light of My Life (2003)

The Mysteries of God, (lyrics by Victor Ramos) (2003)

Transform Me, I Pray (2000)

Trust In The Lord (2004)

Your Presence (2010)

Your Voice (2003)


Come To The Cross (with J. Ron Baker) (2011)

Something Like Spring (with J. Ron Baker) (2011)

Thanksgiving (with J. Ron Baker) (2011)


Children's Songs

Be Thankful (2010)

Think On These Things (2011)


Songs written and arranged for Forest Grove SDA Choir

Calvary (with J. Ron Baker) (2010) (2-part)

Come As You Are (2012) (SAB)

Heaven (with J. Ron Baker) (2011) (SAB)

He's Alive (2012) (SAB)

Over There, Across the Mountains (with J. Ron Baker) (2011) (SAB)

SATB music written and arranged for Forest Grove United Methodist Choir

Psalm 32 (2005)

Thy Will Be Done (2003)

Lord, I Come (2003)

Transform Me I Pray (2003)

God's Love (2003)

The Hope Of the World (2003)

O Come Little Children (2003)


Abide In Me (2004)

Christmas Joy (2007)

Come and Bless the Name of the Lord (2008)

He Was There (2008)

Favorites Made Especially For You by Marla Danielson (2012)

Hymns by Ron and Marla Danielson (2012)

Cover Me (with J. Ron and Pat Baker) (2012)