sToa was founded in 1991. Olaf Parusel (composition/arrangement) looked at this time for a new way to connect his musical and philosophical thoughts. He found a voice in Conny Levrow. In the same year the first song “Stoa” was released on the compilation “From Hypnotic … to Hypersonic” (Hyperium). The CD “Urthona” (Hyperium) followed in 1992. This CD was one of the most influential albums for the (from the label hyperium so called) heavenly voices style.
Both members worked a lot in other projects in the years before. Conny played the violin for more than ten years and performed in many orchestras. Besides this she sang in some classical choruses and as a soloist. She is familiar with barock and romantic compositions like G.F. Handel, E. Grieg or Pergolesi.
Olaf was in his childhood a member of the “Stadtsingechor Halle” the oldest chorus of the world. Later he played in many musical projects and bands. He also composed for TV. He studied musicology and philosophy.
In 1994 the second album “Porta VIII” (Hyperium) was released. This CD has a concept based on the fairy tale “Ariadne et Barbe Bleue” by Maurice Maeterlinck. But Porta VIII is a continuation of the original fairy tale. This album climbed the mexican charts.
Since 1997 there was a new line-up. Conny left sToa for following her classical career. The new singer became Antje Buchheiser. She was playing violin at this time for more than eleven years. And she was singing in the classical chorus “Hallenser Madrigalisten”. Antje performed a lot in classical music for example in Germany, Japan, Cuba …
Another new member since 1996 was Christiane Fischer. She plays the Cello and was singing the second voice at live concerts.
sToa signed to the german publisher Alster Musikverlag. In 1997 sToa left their old label Hyperium for various reasons. Some years later Hyperium records ended working.
sToa performed sporadically at special places or events. They performed for example at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in a one hundred years old and eighty metres high monument in front of more than 1.000 people, at the “Zeche Carl” in Essen, in the netherlands and several times in Mexico (under support of the Goethe-Institut).
Since 2001 Mandy Bernhardt is the new voice of sToa.