Powell/ Wulf : Songs of Christmas
Songs of Christmas is a collaboration between two musicians and friends, Amanda Powell and Patricia Wulf. The album is an eclectic mix of holiday tunes and includes everything from classical cello to New Orleans style tuba and acoustic guitar. You will hear wonderful musicians featured on the album including jazz greats, Bob Larson, Golder O'Neill, Alphonso Young, Matt Neiss and Dan Paterson. Singers, Amanda Powell and Patricia Wulf share a common passion for diverse styles of music and decided to embark on a project that would encompass many of these styles. Following is information about the musical careers of Amanda and Patricia as individuals, as well as a short story of how Songs of Christmas came to be. Amanda Powell It is important for singer, Amanda Powell to experience 'a little bit of everything' in the music world. From performing art song and opera to studying improvisation with jazz greats, Sheila Jordan, Billy Taylor and Jay Clayton, Amanda strives to be a well-rounded musician. Amanda continuously looks for ways to use music as a medium of communication and expression. As a part of her musical outreach, Amanda performs and leads workshops on global music. During summer 2001 Amanda embarked on a two-month Music in Mission tour of Asia. In October 2003 she joined singers Shirley Jones and Steven Kimbrough at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN to perform for a nationwide telethon to raise funds for the countries she visited. Amanda enjoys working with young musicians and helping them to find their own musical gifts. She is currently on the music faculty at Wilbraham and Monson Academy where she and her husband, Sergio lead the music program. Amanda continues to perform in diverse venues around the country. Patrica Wulf Patricia Wulf is an award-winning mezzo-soprano. She has performed lead roles with numerous opera companies, including Piedmont Opera Company and Sarasota Opera. Patricia has performed alongside opera greats including Placido Domingo and Mirella Freni. Patricia made her Washington Opera debut as Papagena and later, in 1997 returned to the Kennedy Center to sing the role of the Second Lady in The Magic Flute. Patricia has mastered the 'pants roles' of Tebaldo in Don Carlos and Nicklausse in Tales of Hoffman. Patricia is an avid supporter of Healthy Families and often gives recitals to benefit their cause. Patricia is an in-demand teacher and clinician and has taught in multiple University settings. She currently maintains a private studio and teaches at the Piedmont School in Virginia. Amanda and Patricia and Songs of Christmas Patricia and Amanda began their musical relationship at Shenandoah University where Patricia was an adjunct Professor of Music and Amanda was studying classical voice performance and opera. After years of working together as teacher and student, Patricia and Amanda found themselves amidst a wonderful friendship. In spring 2004, both women experienced big changes in their lives, and individually decided that they were ready for a new musical adventure. Patricia decided that after years of being a successful singer in the opera realm that she wanted to try something new and exciting. She had always loved rock and jazz and wanted to give them a try! After preparing for graduate school auditions in classical voice performance, Amanda made the decision that instead of pursuing opera, she wanted to get back to her roots of jazz, blues and folk. After sharing these thoughts with each other on numerous occasions, Patricia suggested the great idea that they collaborate on a recording. Songs of Christmas was conceived! Now Patricia and Amanda were working on a project where they were both able to explore diverse kinds of vocal literature. Soon Patricia and Amanda were meeting many times a week to pick out holiday repertoire and rehearse for the recording sessions. This time when they met instead of singing arias and art songs they were bopping to the beat of jazzy Christmas tunes and funky renditions of holiday favorites. Their teacher-student relationship turned upside down and soon Amanda was coaching Patricia on 'swinging' the music while Patricia was showing Amanda the right way to hit those high notes! During July and August, Amanda and Patricia worked long hours with their extraordinary producer and engineer, Brad Swanson to record their tunes. Take time to listen to the samples provided online and enjoy the eclectic mix of holiday tunes on this album. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!