Julie Keim | A Child My Choice - A Sacred Christmas Album

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Holiday: Classical Holiday: Folk Moods: Mood: Christmas
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A Child My Choice - A Sacred Christmas Album

by Julie Keim

Come hear a more intimate spirit of Christmas in this new CD featuring soprano and harp in music spanning from plainchant to the 20th century.
Genre: Holiday: Classical
Release Date: 

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  song title
artist name
1. The Darkest Midnight Julie Keim, Eric Sabatino
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4:17 $0.99
2. Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabella Julie Keim, Gary Davison
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1:53 $0.99
3. Es ist ein Ros (Lo How a Rose) Julie Keim, Roger Isaacs, Eric Sabatino
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2:33 $0.99
4. Gesù Bambino Julie Keim, Eric Sabatino, Kim Miller
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3:56 $0.99
5. Ave Maria Julie Keim, Gary Davison
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1:21 $0.99
6. What Child Is This? Julie Keim, Roger Isaacs, Margaret Neil, Eric Sabatino, Gabe Sto
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3:54 $0.99
7. Les Anges dans Nos Campagnes (Angels We Have Heard on High) Julie Keim, Margaret Neil, Eric Sabatino
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2:54 $0.99
8. Marië Wiegenlied (The Virgin's Slumber Song) Julie Keim, Gary Davison
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1:56 $0.99
9. Interlude (from Ceremony of Carols) Eric Sabatino
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3:52 $0.99
10. Lullay Thou Tiny Little Child Julie Keim
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2:52 $0.99
11. A Child My Choice Julie Keim
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4:20 $0.99
12. Nouvelles, Nouvelles Julie Keim, Margaret Neil, Gary Davison
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2:00 $0.99
13. Lulajze Jezuniu : Infant Holy, Infant Lowly Julie Keim, Eric Sabatino, Gabe Stone
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4:42 $0.99
14. Vom Himmel hoch Gary Davison
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2:11 $0.99
15. Jesus Born in Beth'ny Julie Keim, Gabe Stone
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3:04 $0.99
16. Cantique de Noël (O Holy Night) Julie Keim, Eric Sabatino
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5:18 $0.99
17. E'en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come Julie Keim, Eric Sabatino
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2:49 $0.99
18. A Carol Garland Julie Keim, Gary Davison, Gabe Stone, Eric Sabatino
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4:39 $0.99
19. Noël Nouvelet Julie Keim, Eric Sabatino
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1:55 $0.99
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Album Notes
Nationally recognized soprano, Julie Keim is known for her outstanding musicality and vital vocal quality. The Washington Post has praised her for “the purity and impressive suppleness of her voice.” She has performed in a variety of venues, including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Washington National Cathedral. She was featured soloist at the White House performing before President and Mrs. Bush for the National Day of Prayer which was broadcast live on national television.

Among the many ensembles with which Ms. Keim has been a featured soloist are the Santa Fe Symphony, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Oratorio Society of Charlottesville, Texas Baroque Ensemble, and The Desert Chorale. In the Washington, DC area, she has appeared with many of the leading musical organizations including the Washington Bach Consort, the Cathedral Choral Society, and the National Philharmonic.

Ms. Keim’s concert repertoire comprises a wide range of works, including Carmina Burana, Ein deustches Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert, and the virtuoso solo cantatas “Exsultate, jubilate,” “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen,” and Vivaldi’s “In furore.” She is a frequent recitalist, distinguished for her sensitive interpretation of art songs.

Not limited to recital and oratorio works, Ms. Keim’s virtuosity and versatility extend to classic American popular music. While in rehearsal for an opera production in college, she was cast in a cabaret show featuring music by Harold Arlen and found herself singing Mozart by day, and "moonlighting" singing cabaret at night. Her first CD, “Only Yesterday”, was recently nominated for three Grammy® awards.

Ms. Keim has won awards from the Oratorio Society of New York, the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, and the Lola Wilson Hayes Vocal Artists Awards. A native of Santa Fe, Ms. Keim studied at Trinity University, Southern Methodist University, Temple University and L’Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice in France.


to write a review

Victor Hill - Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians (

A Delight!
This unusual Christmas disc made it to the initial ballot for the Grammys last year, and it is indeed a delight. Julie moderates her vocal approach to a variety of styles, always successfully. For the opening track, an Irish traditional carol, she drops to the lower register, but with a congenial folk-song style rather than an operatic chest voice (or the searching around for pitch that I often hear in a supposed folk-song style). In the upper register, she has a lovely crystalline sound. The selections run from plainchant and a 16th century Noël, through traditional carols and folk material, to some worthy contemporary selections. In addition to the superb harpist Eric Sabatino, she is also supported by a second soprano, a counter-tenor, a string quartet, flutes, percussion, handbells, organ, and piano (the last three played by AAM member Gary Davison, who also produced the recording and made many of the arrangements).

Many of us have used Richard Wayne Dirksen's compelling "A Child My Choice" (text by the 16th century poet Robert Southwell) in its SATB arrangement, but the arrangement here for solo voice with string trio (made with the composer's blessing) has a charm all of its own.

The liner provides texts of those pieces not sung in English, as well as the Southwell poem. Julie's diction, not incidentally, is as excellent in French and German as it is in English, though all I can claim for her Polish is that it sounds convincing!


Excellent singing, framed by minimal accompaniment!
So elegant, lovely, and exquisite, Julie Keim's A Child My Choice is a classical beauty. Although I sometimes shun sopranos as too shrill, Keim wins me over with her supple and warm, yet oh-so-precise instrument. Her excellent singing is perfectly framed by minimal accompaniment, primarily the harp (Eric Sabatino).

This refined offering presents a full hour of gracefully-executed holiday fare. The album opens extremely well with The darkest midnight in December, an Irish traditional carol that is all about sweet melancholy. The gorgeous harmonies (with counter-tenor Roger Isaacs, I believe) on Es is ein' Ros' entsprungen (Low, how a rose e'er blooming), are breathtaking, and the same can be said about What Child Is This?. Keim's plainchant version of Ave Maria is haunting and memorable, especially with the backdrop of handbells. Keim's crackling Jesus born in Beth'ny is an Appalachian trip, and A Carol Garland--with its syncopated percussion and choral refrains--is a very cool melange of diverse carols. In truth, the 19 tracks are all superb.

The mood and musical selections may be classical in tone, but My Child My Choice is accessible to a broad audience. Julie Keim is a phenomenal artist, and her album might well be your wise choice this holiday season.

--Carol Swanson
(Reviewed in 2006)

Craig Smith - Santa Fe New Mexican

Bell-like soprano - Top-flight performances
Many Christmas vocal albums rely on big- time bells and whistles for impact: solo singers with voices like trucks in high gear, mixed choir, a children’s chorus squealing away, orchestra and organ, and a brass quintet as the rather overwhelming cherry atop the pie. Keim , a Santa Fe native and former Santa Fe Desert Chorale singer, takes a refreshingly different approach on this studio recording, her second. (The first, the jazzy Only Yesterday,
was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2004). The repertoire is intimate in terms of arrangements and performances, and the supporting musicians are top-flight: harpist Eric Sabatino, soprano Margaret Neil, countertenor Roger Isaacs, flutist and percussionist J. Gabriel Stone, a string quartet, and Keim ’s husband, the insightful organist, composer, and pianist Gary Davison. As a group, they solidly support Keim ’s bell- like soprano, precise diction, and warm communicative skills, and the results are rewarding. I especially liked Keim ’s floating ease in Adolphe Adam’s “Cantique de Noël” (known in English as “O Holy Night”); her heartfelt ardor in Max Reger’s “Mariä Wiegenlied,” warmly accompanied by Davison; and the rich-hued Michael Praetorius carol “Es ist ein’ Ros’ entsprungen” with Sabatino and Isaacs. In Davison’s exuberant choral medley “A Carol Garland,” Keim soars over the other voices and instruments like a cloud playing in high soprano register. I admit it was also nice to hear that almost creaky classic by Pietro A. Yon, “Gesù Bambino,” so prettily sung, and Paul Manz’s “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” in such a fervent sopranoand- harp arrangement. Instrumentally, Sabatino delivers a sensitive performance of the “ Interlude” from Britten’s
A Ceremony of Carols, and Davison perkily plays a “Vom Himmel hoch” organ chorale setting by Johann Bernhard Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach’s second cousin) on a notably happy- sounding positive organ by the Canadian builder Karl Wilhelm. One caveat: I wish this recording had been made in a larger and more naturally resonant space. Sometimes, the reverberation sounds artificial, and there are occasional sharp or flat edges in Keim ’s intonation — just the natural fluctuation that a voice experiences — that a more expansive acoustic would have blended better. — C.S.

Alfed Chiplin

A timeless gift for the Advent and Christmas Season
I purchased the CD, “A Child My Choice,” through www.cdbaby.com. I have enjoyed listening to it over the last two weeks. It is an interesting blend of pieces, all well crafted and presented. The musicianship is excellent all around, with meticulous attention to detail. I plan to order several as Christmas gifts. Wow, the CD cover photograph of Ms Keim is stunning!