Traditional Christmas carols are some of the most timeless musical pieces ever produced. For Elmira’s Maggie Wang, the songs were a natural choice for her first recording. Produced last month at AME Recording Studio’s in Kitchener, Wang’s CD, “Dreaming of Christmas,” comes in the wake of a performances that brought her to the public’s attention. Last year, at the age of 14, she was a finalist in the Faith FM Rising Star talent contest. Earlier this year, she won the Wellesley Idol singing competition.
The CD is a jazz album that includes eight songs, ranging from the traditional favourites such as Silent Night and Let it Snow, to songs like How Many Kings and The Christmas Song. Wang first came to the attention of producer Andrew Horrocks after winning Wellesley Idol.
“My dad took a voice recording of me singing jazz in to Andy in November, and he agreed to help us out,” explained Wang. “I like the traditional jazz Christmas music by Diana Krall, that’s what I grew up on, so it just fit.”
Unlike most albums, which are produced over a series of days, weeks, or even months, “Dreaming of Christmas” is the result of a one-day session in the recording studio. Wang, along with a five-piece jazz band, spent 10 gruelling hours in the studio to get the album done in time for Christmas.
“It was fun but it was really tiring,” said Wang of her experience. “You couldn’t forget to keep drinking water. I drank about 10 or 11 bottles of water just to keep my voice fresh.
“It was fun, it was tiring, but it was completely rewarding, for sure.”
The result is a live album that features the feeling of spontaneity between Wang and the musicians that might get lost in an album produced over a longer timeframe.
“It was cool, because when you’re doing it live – especially with jazz – it just has a different feel. You can feel the connection between everyone in the studio. It was really cool to see.”
Wang has been making a few appearances over the holidays to spread the word about her album and to give live performances. She was at the Wellesley Tree of Light ceremony back on Dec. 10, as well as the Woodside Christmas banquet on Dec. 18.
It’s not too late to pick up a copy of her CD for this holiday season. They are available for sale at the Elmira Foodland, as well as at Elmira Sports, and you can also find her on iTunes by searching for “Mags.”