Val Mace-Mapa, a soprano and key singer with the Heritage Singers, began traveling with the group at age nine. A daughter of Max and Lucy Hatley Mace, founders of the pioneering self-supporting gospel music ensemble, she began singing in its concerts full-time two years later. Her distinctive voice is central to what has been called the "Heritage sound."
At age 17, she recorded Dreamer, her first solo album. She later recorded others, including Lullaby of Heaven, a CD for children as well as adults. Later, when her son was born with a rare medical condition that required a lengthy stay in critical care, the CD was often played to soothe him. This use of her lullaby CD and the eventual complete healing of the child were profoundly moving experiences for her and her husband, Art Mapa.
Val married Mapa, a gifted guitarist, composer, and arranger, in 1991, six years after he became part of the Heritage Singers in 1985. He runs the Turning Point Studio, a part of the HS operation, where he oversees production of HS and solo album CDs as well as DVDs, music videos, and accompaniment sound tracks for concerts. He also continues as a sought-after performer on guitar.
Val continues to travel on all the HS tours, along with her father and her brother, Greg, who is the sound technician. She, Art, and their son, Austin, live in northern California.
Sources: Interviews with Lucy Hatley Mace, June and July 2009; Heritage Singers website biography.