It's Christmas Time
2007 ECMA (East Coast Music Awards) nominee. This is a beautiful Christmas CD by award winning performers Donna & Andy . It's Christmas Time is a collection of 11 original songs written by Donna Rhodenizer. Although the theme is consistent throughout, the musical styles are varied, and the CD sparkles with the musicianship fans have come to expect from this talented duo. As on other Donna & Andy CDs, talented Nova Scotian musicians provide their expertise to create first-rate instrumental accompaniments. The 11 songs on this CD are presented in two versions: full performance tracks as well as sing-along tracks (instrumentals only) for those who want to be the solo performer with the support of a professional back-up band. Donna & Andy have spent much time and given great attention to the details of this CD. Gentle, tender songs, choral anthems, Samba-flavoured tunes, humourous songs, and even a traditional carol are all treated with outstanding musicianship and are guaranteed to provide hours of listening pleasure. Handbells and brass instruments give several tunes a real Christmas flavour, while other songs benefit from musical collaboration with North Preston's Hallelujah Praise Choir; sax player, Chris Mitchell; one of Nova Scotia's finest bass players, Jamie Gatti; and multi-instrumentalist Greg Simm providing banjo, mandolin and guitar. This is a musical journey that is interesting, exciting and well worth taking. Donna Rhodenizer and Andy Duinker are versatile musicians enjoying a multifaceted career of performing, recording, composing, and publishing. Donna & Andy are mulitple ECMA and Music Nova Scotia award winners who have been performing together since 1996. Their performing experience shows in their versatile vocals, instrumental accompaniments and variety of musical styles. Their repertoire includes their own original songs as well as traditional folk songs, and songs by well-known maritime and Canadian songwriters. In addition to performing and recording, Donna Rhodenizer and Andy Duinker are songwriters and composers, and co-founded Red Castle Publishing to print and distribute their music to schools and choirs across Canada and the U.S. They have published over 100 original songs in a series of five songbooks (with complete piano scores) and 30 individual titles for High School, Community, University and Professional choirs. Donna's lyrical melodies and attention to interesting harmonies are presented in songs that are popular with choirs, elementary teachers, students and listening audiences who are privileged to hear her music. All of Donna's music resources, including children's CDs have been approved by the Nova Scotia Department of Education as Approved Learning Resources (ALR) for use in Elementary schools. These resources are available from the Nova Scotia School Book Bureau. Search for Red Castle Publishing on the Book Bureau website. MUSIC EDUCATORS Our CDs also come with a Songbook or Teacher's Resourse for the regular classroom. Please contact us for details. Andy@redcastlepublishing.com 902 681 6260 REVIEW 'It's Christmas Time' describes snow, presents, family and travel, and all the things we associate with the season. The French horn instrumental section helps to create the ambiance of Christmas and the flowing waltz-like music supports the sentiment expressed, "Christmas all the time, wouldn't that be fine, feeling like this every day." 'Deo' is a rousing choral anthem. Donna & Andy are joined by the Hallelujah Praise Choir of North Preston, Nova Scotia. Multiple layers of harmony are intertwined with percussion, bass, Hammond organ and driving piano rhythms that bring this musical celebration to life. 'Star Above' is a gentle and poignant song examining the qualities of stars and the light and hope from which we can draw inspiration. Juxtaposed with the adapted American spiritual, Great Big Stars, this is a song that crosses the Christmas classification to become a lovely thought and a great song for the entire year. 'Sing Gloria !' will make you think of warm island Christmas celebrations. The baby, the shepherds and the Wise Men of the Christmas story are placed in a samba-like musical setting. Donna is showcased in multiple vocal tracks with a backup band that is as hot as a Brazilian samba. 'One Small Voice' was inspired by the Acadia University Youth Choir, embracing the concept that even one small voice can be strong when added to other voices. Masterfully performed by Andy showing off a great part of his vocal range, with delicate violin counterpoint, this song is classical in nature and timeless in it's appeal. 'Huron Carol' is an original arrangement created by Donna Rhodenizer featuring handbells, strong modal harmonies from xylophone, piano and harp instrumentals, all supported by acoustic bass. Andy's strong vocal lead is joined by Donna's vocal harmonies and creates a haunting rendition of this traditional carol. 'Mister Santa' I've Been Good features pizzicato strings and banjo and will remind the listener of a good old Western musical. Instrumental breaks are included for hand jiving or foot stomping. The lyrics portray a child trying to highlight exemplary behaviour that might bode well for the future filling of Christmas stockings. Sure to become a toe-tapping favourite of the season. 'Father Christmas' leaves subtlety at the starting gate. This is straight up asking for stuff! The lyrics are built within the familiar folk tune Alouette and the arrangement is brightened by the interplay between mandolin and clarinet that appears throughout the tune. 'Waiting Patiently for Santa' provides the listener with lots of ideas for things to do while waiting for the arrival of the big man down the chimney. The delightful combination of brass quintet and banjo creates a musical cushion for the lyrics as the details unfold. 'Christmas A to Z' is the perfect way to organize everything that is Christmas. Handbells add sparkle to the piano and bass accompaniment and all support the vocal performance of Donna & Andy. 'Joyful Bells' is an instrumental offering featuring Donna playing multiple handbells. The bright tune and lovely sound of the bells will surely put listeners in the Christmas spirit.