Article by Madison & Marian Pontz • Photos by Will Marks
Originally appeared in FLL Magazine, Issue #35
Christina Berg is Saint Elouise. Think Lady Gaga, Madonna, Cher. Saint Elouise is more than just a stage name, though; it is a persona. Her chosen name embodies every bit of the upbeat theatrics, classically trained musical talent, and unique jazz pop hooks with which she infuses her work.
A Lititz native, Christina fell in love with the spotlight early on in her life. She began piano lessons at five years old as the uncommon child who “actually loved practicing, even though nobody does,” she explains with a smile. Christina wrote her first song at age 12, but did not perform musically in public until she played at an open mic when she was 19 (not that she shied away from performance in general, however). In her youth, she took up ice skating, a pastime that she still enjoys. From this hobby, Christina became involved in theatre on ice—a type of production in which actors perform entirely on skates— sparking her love for theater.
“I wanted to bring that aspect [of theatricality from my performance] to the stage,” Christina says. “That can be harder in Lancaster. There’s not always the opportunity for it.”
Christina finds a way, however, to bring flair to everything she does, creating music that is remarkable in its uniqueness of both sound and skill.
“I call my music ‘jazz pop with a Latin influence,’” she says. “I am classically trained, and that comes into play in my songs as well.” Christina sings and plays keyboard (with drummer Scott MacFeat, bassist Jon Seiler, and violinist Caleb Brown) as Saint Elouise, using live performance as an outlet for artistic expression.
“I love performing live so much,” Christina explains. “It’s an outlet for a kind of creativity you can’t do elsewhere. You can’t behave that way in everyday life. It’s just a little bit more over the top, a little more ostentatious, a little more everything.” She continues, “People can see a side of me that they wouldn’t see otherwise. It’s so fun engaging the audience, making them laugh or cry. You have the opportunity to move people in ways you wouldn’t in everyday life. I just want people to be moved by [my work].”
But, it takes two halves to equal a whole. In Christina’s case, her two halves are so bursting with talent and compassion that the whole makes one spectacular human being, not just in music, but in her aim to help the world become a better place as well.
Saint Eloise is the patron saint of orphans and outcasts, as Christina’s bass player once informed her. Christina channels the guiding spirit of her namesake, a 12th century nun, and seeks to care for our society’s outcasts and orphans—victims of human trafficking. Her work with North Star Initiative, mainly managing the organization’s social media platforms, enables her to spread the message that our fellow humans are being orphaned by society. North Star works to create a place of refuge for modern slaves and trafficked persons here in Lancaster County; this is Christina’s passion for justice.
But what does the future hold for this woman of many talents? In the next ten years, she sees herself living in either New York City or Los Angeles, perhaps composing music for feature length films and, of course, writing and performing her own songs as she does now. Christina also hopes to someday open a home for survivors of sex trafficking, a place of refuge very much in the vein of her sobriquet.
For now, Christina Berg will continue to perform as Saint Elouise, making a name for herself and her wonderfully unique music, laying the groundwork for what will surely be a bright future for herself, fans of her music, and all those souls who Christina aids in her passion for philanthropic work.