Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Windham Chamber Singers release Holiday Snapshot album - By Michelle Libby

For the first time in a few years, the Windham Chamber Singers in conjunction with Ray Clark and Pine Point Creative are releasing a new album. The album titled “Holiday Snapshot” went on sale Tuesday at local retailers, the school and through chamber singers themselves. This is the group’s fifth overall album.
This album features a lot of the songs that the chamber singers perform at their annual American Family holiday concert, said director Rick Nickerson. The theme is “home”. 

“Most pieces are about the connection one has to home,” said Nickerson. There are 10 songs on the CD. “They are all favorites in some way,” he added. “I’m partial to Caledonia because I learned it on my honeymoon. It’s about the love one feels to ones homeland. It’s a Celtic ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’.” 

The performers are all of last year’s and all of this year’s chamber singers and a 1997 graduate, Dr. Elisabeth Marshall, who sings a solo in “O Holy Night.” Symantha Morales, a 2013 graduate sings a solo in Caledonia.

Another special song on the CD is “The Gift of Life.” The song was created by Nickerson from a text message he received from a retiring teacher Steve Gannaway. “He wrote his own Christmas cards to the staff. The music is set to his poetry,” Nickerson said. 

Windham graduate and professional performer Dan Strange was also helpful in the arrangements and calling in favors to music contacts to contribute to the album, said Nickerson.

The first album was released in 1995 and seemed “primitive” to Nickerson compared to what they were able to do this time around. He also laughed that most of the time when they were recording the songs it was 90 degrees outside and sunny.

Nickerson said they are not putting the CD on iTunes yet and that they are only selling physical copies. “They will certainly be available at the sold out American Family Holiday show,” he said.

Track list

1.      Come On, It’s Christmas
2.      A Baby Just Like You
3.      An American Family Holiday
4.      I need a Silent Night (Jennifer Bernier, ’15, solo)
5.      Christmas Bells Are Ringing
6.      Do You Hear What I Hear?
7.      Caledonia (Symantha Morales, ’13, solo)
8.      O Holy Night (Dr. Elisabeth Marshall, ’97, solo)
9.      The Gift of Life (text by Steve Gannaway)
10.  Let There Be Peace on Earth

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