Fum BellsLive!Christmas classics uniquely arranged for big band and choir by Bradley Sowash
In 2008, Richard Rudolph, director of music for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, VA had an unusual vision: to combine his traditional music-reading choir with the nearby Kingdom of Life sing-by-ear gospel choir to perform Christmas classics. Furthermore, a 17-piece big band would join them instead of the usual piano accompaniment. However, sacred Christmas music for this combination of musicians and singers was not available. So Richard commissioned Bradley Sowash, who had previously been a guest artist with the church, to write new arrangements. The community responded enthusiastically by filling all of the Covenant Presbyterian pews and the standing room areas for two shows. Richard then commissioned five more Christmas arrangements intended to premier the following holiday season. On the scheduled December date, however, an epic snowstorm forced postponing the concert until January. Despite the unusual timing of a post-Christmas holiday concert when most herald angels had ceased singing and halls were no longer holly-decked, the community turned out again for another successful program. This recording preserves that concert, captured live with no overdubs or multiple takes. You hear it exactly as it happened. Only now, you have the advantage of enjoying it before Christmas!