In the words of George Frideric Händel, when asked what his feelings were on writing the 'Halleluja Chorus', he said, "I should be sorry if I only entertained them, I wish to make them better." We have thoroughly enjoyed working on this recording, from the many hours tuning the organ right down to the final take! Our vision was to take these sacred oratorio arias from well-known composers, and step outside of convention. We wanted to bring a fresh sound to these arias, by exploring the beautiful and varied colours of the organ and the voice. The idea began a year ago when we collaborated on a number of these arias for Sunday services and thought it would be a marvelous idea to put all of our collaborations on disc. These arias were recorded at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto, Canada June 28 to July 7 2009. They indeed represent some of the best in sacred classical repertoire, and it is our hope that they will inspire and uplift your soul. Jamaican Tenor Paul Williamson has 'a startlingly rich voice' (Edmonton Journal) and is now taking his place on the operatic and concert stages of Canada. With a Bachelor of Music degree from the Houghton College School of Music in New York, a Masters degree in Opera Performance from State Glinka Conservatoire of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Paul continued his vocal studies at the University of Manitoba. In 2007, while a student in the Opera Diploma program at the University of Toronto, he starred as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, where he was reviewed by Opera Canada as 'a very pleasing tenor with Italianate colour, lovely phrasing and even the requisite sob' who can 'play with his voice for nuance and has lots of power when needed." Fluent in Russian, Paul appeared as the Czar with Toronto's Opera in Concert in Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden in April 2008. The Globe and Mail declared 'High tenor Paul Williamson, as the czar, had some ecstatic moments; his springtime aria was a high point' while Opera Canada's review of this performance stated, 'lyric tenor Paul Williamson impressed as the czar.' As an opera apprentice with the University of ?Manitoba, Paul performed the role of Wilhelm in school tours of Dean Burry's popular The Brothers Grimm. Oratorio performances include Bruckner's Te Deum (University of Toronto Combined Choirs and Orchestra), Britten's St Nicolas Cantata (Tryptych, Toronto), and the Beethoven Mass in C with MasterWorks of Oakville. Mr. Williamson recently placed second in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition in New York. -------------- Marty Smyth is a renowned classically trained organist who is equally at home as a rock bassist, choral conductor, and recording engineer. He is the Director of Music at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto, Canada and holds the Associateship diploma in piano performance with the Royal Conservatory, the Associateship diploma with the Royal Canadian College of Organists and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto. At the University of Toronto, he studied organ performance with John Tuttle, complemented by double bass lessons with Tim Dawson. He has appeared in solo and ensemble classical music performances across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. A multi-instrumentalist, he performs frequently, playing various keyboard and bass instruments in the worlds of jazz and rock music as well as delighting in the opportunities he encounters as a busy freelance recording engineer. In March 2007, Marty released his second pipe organ CD, Synchronous, an eclectic set of pieces based around the pipe organ, which included transcriptions of 20th and 21st century rock and pop, and classical music (including Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, and Ravel). This project proved that the pipe organ still has a place in the contemporary music scene. The CD release was followed-up by a concert, entitled Beatles vs. Bach. It showcased the pipe organ's versatility in modern and classical music, from a swinging Bach Toccata and Fugue, to music by Rush and the Beatles. With the success of the show and CD, Marty, in collaboration with other Toronto musicians, wanted to expand the audience beyond the church and is now bringing the show's concept to Toronto's live music scene in, AM!