This CD contains songs in English, Romanian, and French performed by five beautiful, brilliant, and above all, talented people.
One very special song is a prayer written by Ana-Maria Fusu at the age of eight in her native country of Moldova. The song is “Prayer.” Ana-Maria has played the piano since the age of 5 and is an internationally known pianist whose piano playing brings life and passion to the songs.
While looking for a female voice for the CD project, Ana-Maria heard Bianca Hall warming up her soprano voice in the college restroom! Producer, Bill Davidow, then met Ryan Wirtz through a friend. Both Ana-Maria and Bill knew as soon as they heard him sing that they had found the deep male voice that would complement Bianca’s voice and bring about a warm, youthful sound to the Christmas season. Vasil Chekardzhikov brings traditional guitar playing from his European roots.
Ana-Maria Fusu – Pianist/composer
Ana-Maria Fusu, hails from the Republic of Moldova. She is an internationally known pianist and is currently working towards her master’s degree in music at California State University in Fullerton. She teaches piano to students throughout Orange County.
Recent performances include July 2, 2006, at the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, California - Paloma Schramm Art Song Performance.
Bianca Hall – Vocalist (age 26)
Bianca Hall is a classically trained soprano with a strong low/mid register. She sings music from art songs to opera, to jazz, musical theatre, and folk. Bianca’s voice radiates on this CD.
Bianca began her musical studies an early age; she was drawn to singing. She recently completed her Bachelors of Music in vocal performance at California State University in Fullerton. Her professional choral experience includes several national holiday tours with the Boston Pops Orchestra and performances with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, as well as Electro-Acoustic Interactive Opera We Are All Sibyls by Pamela Madsen. She is currently working on her master’s degree in vocal performance.
Ryan Wirtz – Vocalist (age 20)
Ryan is a young singer/songwriter. At the age of six he realized his passion for music and later discovered his gift of singing. After vocal training he began singing in various choirs and was a featured soloist. Ryan describes his sound as pop/soul and has a wide variety of musical influences. He has often been compared to a young Donny Hathaway and Luther Vandross, but he is content on creating his own sound and style. In 2005, Ryan auditioned to sing on "ShowTime at The Apollo" and was chosen among thousands of hopefuls to fly to New York City and sing on the legendary television show. He sang Ordinary People (originally performed by John Legend) and received rave reviews from the audience and fans alike. His performance was featured on the "Best Of" episode which aired multiple times throughout the season.
Ryan will pleasantly surprise you in such songs as Oh Holly Night and the many songs in which he and Bianca Hall unbelievably complement each on this CD.
Vasil Chekardzhikov – Guitarist/conductor
Vasil recently received his Master’s Degree in Guitar Performance and Conducting from California State University of Fullerton (CSUF).
Vasil Chekardzhikov hails from Varna, Bulgaria. Vasil began playing the accordion at the age of five, then switched to guitar at the age of nine. He studied guitar for over a decade with Professor Liuben Haralambiev, and graduated with excellence from High School of Arts “Dobri Hristov,” of Varna, Bulgaria. He premiered Concertino for strings by Ivan Dimov with the Dobrich String Orchestra and four guitars, together with his brothers and sister. In 2002, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Guitar Performance from the Academy for Music, Dance, and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
He has performed as a soloist with the Haskovo Symphony Orchestra, Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra, recorded chamber and solo music for the Bulgarian and Belgium National Radio and Television, and has been active as a solo and chamber musician. He is laureate of over a dozen solo and chamber national and International competitions. Vasil recently received first prize at the Annual Solo Concerto Competition at CSUF in March 2005. Vasil and his brothers, Nikola and Petar Chekardzhikov as the “Triada” guitar trio, received second prize winner in the College and University Division in the 2nd Annual Guitar Chamber Competition in Brownsville, Texas in 2004.
Bill Davidow – Producer/Sound Engineer
Bill is a guitarist and singer/songwriter. His first influences were classical music but in his teens discovered pop and blues. He owns Virlouise which is a recording studio/production company and has recorded and produced various styles of music. His goal with Virlouise Records is to create a modern style independent record label with the focus on artists/songwriting acts. Bill believes it all starts with a great song. He has studied songwriting with Samm Brown III, the late Nik Venet and Harriet Schock.