In the spirit and flavor of his original Irish album, Ireland In My Heart, tenor John Ogrodowczyk’s third album, Christmas Memories, draws us into the songs that fill our hearts with fond memories of this joyous season. Opening the album is like coming home. A door bell rings, happy people greet each other and the nostalgic melody of Home for the Holidays greets you. It soon takes on a peppy, tap your toe beat, while the chorus and kids join in. We move next to a rousing rendition of Ding Dong! Merrily On High with John and the Heartland Pops Chorus.
Next we hear the soft Christmas lullaby, Lulajze Jezuniu, sung in Polish, John’s heritage language, with a verse in English. The album features three more songs sung in both English and other languages: French (Minuit Chretien, O Holy Night), German (Stille Nacht, Silent Night), and Italian (Tu scendi dalle stelle, One Cold and Blessed Winter).
With their tender three part harmonies, the listener is treated to the delicious voices of the Immaculate Conception Church Choristers, 11 children’s voices from Jackson, MO, as they join John in Children, Run Joyfully. A trio of these Choristers, Caroline, Mallory, and Molly, sing their own version of that country song, "There’s a New Kid In Town." Later , the kids charm us once again as they join John in a delightful rendition of "Silver Bells."
Shifting between alternating tempos, a calypso rhythm beats out that favorite, Mary’s Little Boy Child, soon followed by John’s beautiful and poignant Ave Maria by Charles Gounod. Sing along as the album closes with a medley of Angels We Have Heard On High, O Come All Ye Faithful, Adeste Fideles and Joy to the World.
With John’s pure, clear voice, inspiring adult and children choirs, and splendid musical accompaniment, Christmas Memories is sure to warm your heart in this great holiday season.
Growing up in a Polish-American family, Christmas music was a big part of my life, especially the Polish kolędy (carols). Sharing our music, food, gifts, and well wishes brought us all together like no other time of the year. So, I'd like to share a variety of Christmas songs here with you, old and new, in hope they will bring back many happy memories. May the Christmas Star give birth in you to new memories for the future. I hope that you will find these songs to be an inspiration. Please enjoy them with those you love.