Just in time for Christmas....We are very happy to announce the debut of a new Christmas CD by Sarah Lentz!
"O Joyful Night with love, from: Brooklyn to: Uganda"
In Sarah's words..."In lieu of my annual Christmas benefit concert this year, a slew of artist friends and I have put our Christmas arrangements together to make a benefit CD for Fount of Mercy. With 15 songs ranging from folk, pop, instrumental, gospel and bluegrass, it is a BEAUTIFUL collection of carols and original songs. And almost all of these songs can only be found here! The CD is being offered for download by donation only with all proceeds going to Fount of Mercy. I am suggesting that a dollar a song or $15 for the project (or more? ;) ) would be a wonderful way to support this amazing organization and be a great thank you to all of the artists for sharing their gifts. Your generosity is so appreciated. I hope you enjoy what you hear!"
Sarah has been a strong supporter of Fount, and a great friend to our staff for many, many years. I interviewed her about her new Christmas CD on our blog. Here are her heart-felt words....
When did you start having a yearly Christmas concert?
I can't find a definite record of the year we began but it was I believe 2003. First year was in the manse of the church and we packed it out, one other artist and I, even though it was a large room, with people sitting down the stairs even. That's when the priest offered his sanctuary for the following year. I hadn't even thought about making it an annual thing until then, and when I saw the sanctuary I thought I would never be able to fill that space. That's when I got the idea of inviting more artists to join in. And it grew in attendance every year. It became a special tradition for me and many of the artists and attenders.
What prompted you to have the concert?
I often played in churches and enjoyed rearranging carols for a special Christmas service. I had a good collection of them and thought it would be nice to play them all in one concert. A friend was doing a fundraiser for sponsoring a child in need at the time and that seemed like a great reason to do a concert as well. So the first two years I did it for that sponsoring a child, and then following that is when I met Michelle and Lori and decided to start doing the concert for Fount...since 2005 or 2006?
Why did you start donating your Christmas concert proceeds to Fount of Mercy?
Ever since I met them I knew I wanted to support them. I have always had a draw to ministries in Africa. I have always dreamed of visiting or helping children there in some way. I always have dreamed of adopting a child, and that may or may not happen, but in the meantime I really wanted to help in any way I could. For now, that's through the concerts and the CD. I love that with Fount, all the money goes straight into the good work they are doing. They have people in the US volunteering their time and then person or two on the ground in Uganda using the funds exactly where they are needed, going straight to helping these widows and their children.
What inspires your music, and this Christmas cd specifically?
For my music in general, emotion inspires and matching an emotion to a lyric to a chord really is what excites me. In the hopes that when I play it, others will either resonate with that emotion within themselves, or will bring out something that they haven't felt or thought of before. My first Christmas CD was inspired again from having this collection of songs that I only ever got to sing once or twice because of the church setting and holiday focus. This second CD came out of writing for the annual concerts and having a new set of songs that only got sung once a year. The same went for a lot of the other artists, they either arranged something for that night or had things that there were few chances to perform. This CD was a great way to document all of those songs and to capture a bit of what those concert nights were like.
How do you celebrate Christmas personally?
I used to always say that the concert night was my real Christmas, my most special night of the year. But I also of course celebrate with my family when I can relax after the concert....and for this year, now that the CD is finished! I have two little boys and we enjoy time with their grandparents and enjoy doing special things in New York City like seeing the Rockefeller tree and all the lights on Fifth Avenue.
Is there anything else you would like fellow Fount-supporters to know about you, or this cd?
This CD is a beautiful document and tribute to the first 10 years of concerts we've done. I thank so much everyone that helped bring it together, especially Paul Kim who recorded my songs and helped organize all of the artists work. I had a dream for several years of doing this and feel so blessed by all the musicians and songwriters who offered their time and talents to this project. Most of the songs you cannot find anywhere else, not on the artists' CDs or on iTunes or Spotify so this is a really special compilation that I hope everyone will enjoy!
From Tara: If you want some beautiful music for your own Christmas celebrations, and want to support Fount's work at the same time, please download her CD in part, or in full, by clicking the link below. We think it will be a great addition to your Christmas celebrations!
here is the link: http://sarahlentz.bandcamp.com/album/o-joyful-night-with-love-from-brooklyn-to-uganda
Sarah's website: www.sarahlentz.com