As many of you know, I’m not just a researcher and writer. I’m actually a classically trained flutist and have spent many, many of my years as a performer, and some years teaching music and producing community outreach programs. While my corporate career and writing have since kept me busy, my music always remains close to my heart. The story behind this CD is a special one. If you’re interested, read the history after the jump.
That’s me on flute, piccolo, alto flute and bass flute wherever you hear them.
Read full credits below.
- Good King Wenceslas – What Child Is This
- The First Noel
- Coventry Carol
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing (wind ensemble)
- Angels We Have Heard On High
- Winter Wonderland
- O Holy Night
- Frosty the Snowman
- Low How a Rose E’er Blooming (wind ensemble)
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
- White Christmas
- Joy to the World (wind ensemble)
- Sleigh Ride (wind ensemble)
Making CD recordings with friends and family had always been a favorite activity of mine as the winter months approached every year. Initially begun as an impromptu “jam session” after hosting a post-Thanksgiving dinner for college friends in 1993, this event became an annual tradition that dually served not only as a recording session but as a reunion of sorts, providing the perfect outlet to have fun with friends and to make music together in a casual setting. The end result was a new Christmas CD every year that spread like wildfire in our local communities.
Somewhere along the way, we began making a more coordinated project out of the annual event, and recording became a career and way of life for some time. For years, a few of us actually aspired to move to Vermont or New Hampshire and become something of a new generation of remote mountain-dwelling Windham Hill recording artists (yes, odd, I know…especially for a non-liberal). But we always kept the “home grown holiday” feel to our little grass-roots project. And through it, we created permanent memories from our music, which could be shared with each other and with others – many of the performers on the CD sent it out each year in place of the standard holiday card. Something about it for me had always brought me closer to home, as my grandparents, their seven children and dozens of us grandchildren enjoyed listening to each CD together all throughout the holidays every year.
While I still aspire to move to the New England mountains and retire to my writing and my music someday (I love the snow), things are different nowadays – some friends are busy raising their children, others have moved away; sadly some friends and family have since passed away, and others have simply moved on. But the music always remains with us still, and this one represents a compilation of some of my favorites of our old recordings. They’re the selections that my grandmother used to play while she was making holiday cookies, and that her sister – my great aunt – would listen to while putting out luminaries along her driveway and down the block. The music just reminds me of sipping hot chocolate with family by a burning fireplace on a snowy day. It’s always sort of nice to feel a little of that “home grown” spirit again.
Enjoy the selections!
All arrangements are by Richard Phillips except where otherwise noted. (Yes, he was my ex-hubby…).
Several selections performed by The Eastern Wind Symphony , a wind ensemble with which most of the musicians on the CD (including me) previously performed, under the direction of Dr. William H. Silvester. EWS scores transcribed & conducted by Dr. William H. Silvester.
To provide at least some semi-privacy for the performers, I’ve used only the initial of last names. If you want to get in touch with any of the performers or find out more, feel free to contact me via email and I’ll be happy to assist.
- Good King Wenceslas – What Child Is This: Mandy N.—flute / Amy P.—oboe / Rich P.—mandolin, guitars, bass
- The First Noel: Mandy N.—flute / Brian B.—congas / Rich P.—guitar choir, bass, banjo head, tambourine
- Coventry Carol: Mandy N.—flute, alto flute, bass flute
- O Come All Ye Faithful: Mandy N.—flute / Billy D.—fiddle / Rich P.—bass, banjo, mandolin, guitar
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing: The Eastern Wind Symphony
- Angels We Have Heard On High: Mandy N.—flute / Rich P.—bass
- Winter Wonderland: Mandy N.—flute / Rich P.—guitars, bass
- Pat-a-Pan: Mandy N.—flute, piccolo / Rich P.—mandolins, e-bow guitars
- O Holy Night: Mandy N.—flute / Amy P.—oboe / John O.—accordion / Rich P.—guitars, bass
- Frosty the Snowman: Mandy N.—flute / Karen C.—trombone
- Low How a Rose E’er Blooming: The Eastern Wind Symphony
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear: Mandy N.—flute / Rich P.—piano sequencing, guitar, bass
- White Christmas: John O.—accordion
- Joy to the World: The Eastern Wind Symphony
- Sleigh Ride: The Eastern Wind Symphony