The story behind the story of "A Heritage of Faith"

Funny thing about this CD, "A Heritage of Faith.". It was NEVER meant to be released!!!!! They had never been mastered or anything else!!!!! About 4 years ago, I went to my friend, Greg Bostock's studio in Shreveport, LA to record some hymns for use as background music in his videos.

Greg was a videographer for a major network for several years. He and I worked together at a church in Ft. Worth, TX in music ministry. He now has a music ministry that goes ALL over the world, He and his sweet wife, Glenda are flying home from Vietnam this weekend after a 2-month missions trip.

Anyway, I went into his studio with a Methodist hymnal. I had NO plan and NO idea what I would be recording. He and I just flipped through the hymnal between songs and he said, "Hey - do you know this one?" And off we went!!!!! EVERYTHING was done in ONE take and the arrangements were whatever happened "in the moment." NOTHING is written down! I left the tracks with him to be used for background and came home.

Fast-forward 4 years. I went back to Greg to record 115 hymns to be used as accompaniment for churches. I went in and played all 115 hymns as though I was playing in front of a congregation for them to sing the hymns. When I posted something on FB about recording hymns, about 40 people responded saying, "Oh, thank God! We've been waiting for years for you to do a hymns CD." My first response was, "Uh, OH!!!!!!!!! I don't have a hymns CD!!!!"

So, I called Greg and asked if he still had the tracks from 4 years ago. He did. He sent them to me and I sent them to Doug Hammer, who engineered and orchestrated my last CD, "On the Other Side," and said, "Hey - can you do anything with these?" They were recorded on a digital piano. But, being the GENIUS that he is, Doug worked with ONE track to see if he could make it work. And OMGOSH!!! Did he ever make it work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The entire CD is what I recorded "in the moment" 4 years ago and what Doug did with it!!!!!!!! That man is a genius! It's like he takes a little trip through my mind and my heart and inherently KNOWS what I'm trying to say!!! This entire CD is a work of God!!! NOTHING has ever been written down!!!!! I have churches calling me to come and play this stuff. And I can't!!!! I have NO idea what I played!!!! It is just what happened "in the moment!!!" I'm going to have to have Donovan Johnson transcribe it to even have ANY idea what I played!!!!!! How do I even get myself into these situations?!?!?!?!?!?!

 

Kathy Parson's Review of  "A Heritage of Faith"

 

A Heritage of Faith
Cathy Oakes
2019 / Sierra Keys Music
55 minutes

A Heritage of Faith is the fifth album from pianist/composer/arranger and former pastor Cathy Oakes. Fifteen of the sixteen tracks are Oakes’ expressive interpretations of favorite hymns, several of which are medleys; the sixteenth track is an improvisation. The album is dedicated to the memory of Oakes’ grandmother who would often rock Oakes while singing hymns to her when she was a child. Nearly all of the hymns in the collection are traditional classics that most Christians know, and several are quite old. Oakes has very effectively brought them up-to-date with her flowing style and heartfelt emotion. Even though she didn’t write the original songs, she has certainly made them her own! The overall feel of the album is one of relaxed contemplation, providing almost an hour of peaceful piano music. Doug Hammer added light orchestration and subtle choral voices to the otherwise solo piano arrangements - a very nice touch! I also want to mention the gorgeous cover artwork by Matt Strieby of New Leaf Design that shows a country church set in the middle of a huge field of red tulips with a piano keyboard pathway leading to the church. 

A Heritage of Faith begins with one of my favorite hymns, “In the Garden.” Oakes keeps the simple, poignant melody uncluttered while expressing the beauty of this ageless song. The first medley combines “Amazing Grace” and “Grace Greater Than Our Sin,” a hymn I wasn’t familiar with. The gentle string washes behind the piano add soft tonal colors and give the songs wings. The second medley joins “We Gather Together” with “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” a combination that really works! “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” quietly soothes the soul, as does “My Jesus, I Love Thee” - such beautiful melodies! “Blessed Assurance” is another one of my old favorites, and Oakes’ arrangement really coaxes the piano to sing (without words, of course!). I’ve always loved the warmth and welcoming feel of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and Oakes captures that feeling perfectly. The last pairing is “It Is Well with My Soul” and “Be Still My Soul” - so peaceful and yet so passionate! The closing piece is an improvisation called “Hymn of Thanks,” an eloquent meditation on gratitude and appreciation for the many blessings we are given in our lives. 

Whether you are a faithful church-goer or simply enjoy lovely piano music, A Heritage of Faith is sure to please! It is available from CathyOakes.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.

Kathy Parsons

MainlyPiano.com

Review Page:  https://mainlypiano.com/reviews/cathy-oakes-a-heritage-of-faith

 

 

 

Cathy Oakes Releases "A Heritage of Faith"

Cathy Oakes released her fifth Album " A Heritage of Faith" April 4, 2019. The Album includes 15 original arrangements of traditional hymns and an original improvisation that blends well into the mix.

The album is dedicated to the memory of Cathy's grandmother Lucy Shingleton Connor. As a child Cathy would be comforted by Connor holding her and rocking her while singing hymns of the church. Cathy has always loved hymns and remain a source of comfort and strength. Thus the album is dedicated to her Grandmother. 

The CD was recorded by Greg Bostock of Blastoff Music Ministries in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was orchestrated and mastered by Doug Hammer of Dreamwork Studios in Lynn, Massachusetts. The artwork for the CD was designed by Matt Streiby of Newleaf Design.

 

 

Pam Asberry's Review of "On the Other Side"

 

Cathy Oakes
On The Other Side
Reviewed By Pam Asberry

 

“On the Other Side” is composer and solo pianist Cathy Oakes’ fourth release and her first venture into the world of orchestration. Five years in the making, it is imbued with all the emotion, passion and reverence born of the myriad of life experiences that took place over the course of that time. It is, in a word, spectacular.

 

The album opens with the majestic and flowing “Hymn for Peace,” a prayer for the United States. “From This Day” was composed for Oakes’ oldest son Michael and his wife Kristin to celebrate their marriage. With its lyrical melody and dramatic key change altering the color and tone of the piece, this one perfectly captures both the joy and solemnity of a wedding day. “Echoes of Time” is a musical portrayal of the most precious and memorable moments of a lifetime, both happy and sad, with rapid shifts between major and minor keys, low notes and high, flitting about as thoughts so often do. “Home with Annie” was written in memory of Oakes’ cousin Bob Shingleton and his wife Annie, its poignant piano melody conversing with the oboe in a song of love.

 

The merry “Kessia’s Waltz” was composed for Oakes’ granddaughter Kessia and put me in mind of a carousel ride. “Puddle Dance” was inspired by Oakes’ experience watching a friend teach his toddler granddaughter how to jump in puddles. This one is a favorite and sounds like so much fun to play! It perfectly captures the innocence and delight of one of the simple pleasures of childhood and made me want to get outside and stomp in a few puddles myself! The epic and cinematic “Flight of a Princess “ was written for Oakes’ youngest child pursuing her dreams as a real-life princess at a theme park in Florida and is another favorite. “Lullaby from Afar” is dedicated to the women who never have the opportunity to hold their babies. Its pure melody sings like a mother’s voice over a gently rocking left hand accompaniment and brought tears to my eyes.

 

“Just Us” is an improvisation written for Oakes’ husband, Buddy, as a valentine gift and musically summarizes ups and downs of a love affair that has survived life’s challenges with triumph. The beautiful “Midnight Tide” ebbs and flows like the memories and regrets during the wee hours of the morning. The theme for “Sienna’s Dream” was composed by Oakes’ then nine-year old granddaughter Sienna during a holiday visit and skillfully developed into a memorable composition. I look forward to future collaborations between these two generations! The tender “Ripples on the Water” reminded me of the way “everything affects everything” and the impossibility of measuring how much impact our behavior has on the lives of others.

 

“Remnant Tears” refers to the tears of joy and sorrow that catch us unawares long after initial stages of grief have passed; the music reflects both sorrow and acceptance. “Heal Me” was composed as Oakes recovered from a serious illness and expresses both questioning and yearning. “Beloved Promise” is dedicated to Oakes’ son David. Graceful and affectionate, it is an expression of his steadfast nature. “Be Still My Soul” reflects Oakes’ delightful personality as an artist while remaining absolutely faithful to the original hymn. The title track, “On the Other Side,” written as Oakes processed her grief over her mother’s death, conveys both sorrow and hope; it is both virtuosic and profoundly moving.

 

“On the Other Side” is an amazing musical journey. Arguably Cathy Oakes’ finest album to date, I give it my highest recommendation!

http://www.enlightenedpiano.com/Enlightened-Piano-Cathy-Oakes.html

Thanks to Pam for a great review!

 

 

Kathy Parson's Review of On the Other Side

 

On the Other Side
Cathy Oakes
2018 / Sierra Keys Music
76 minutes

 

On the Other Side is the fourth album from pianist/composer Cathy Oakes and her first release in five years. The album is dedicated to Cathy’s late mother, Trellis McIntyre, and was released on her birthday. In the liner notes, Cathy writes: “Thank you, Mama. I love you and I’ll see you On the Other Side,” which obviously explains the title. The album was recorded at Dreamworld Productions and was produced, engineered, mastered and orchestrated by Doug Hammer. The orchestrations themselves are light and add depth and tonal color to the Cathy’s expressive piano. The seventeen tracks include pieces written for friends and family, as well as events in everyday life. All are original compositions except for an original arrangement that is a medley of two favorite hymns. It’s a very engaging collection sure to warm the heart and brighten the day!

 

On the Other Side begins with “Hymn For Peace,” a prayer for our nation. The melody is uncomplicated but deeply heartfelt, with a cello enhancing the poignance of the piano. “From This Day” was composed for Cathy’s oldest son and “daughter-in-love” (I love that!!!) to celebrate their wedding. The sweet melody and graceful flow of the piece express an abundance of love and tenderness - a favorite! “Home With Annie” is dedicated to the memory of Cathy’s cousin’s and his wife who are now reunited “on the other side.” A lovely oboe and cello accompaniment runs throughout the piece and is the perfect complement to the piano. “Puddle Dance” was inspired by watching the innocent joy of a friend and his granddaughter jumping in puddles after a rainstorm. Playful and carefree, I defy anyone to listen to this piece without smiling at least once! “Flight of a Princess” reflects the magic and wonder of a special place and a beloved daughter chasing her dreams. “Just Us” is a deeply emotional love song improvised as a Valentine gift for Cathy’s husband. Embellished with gentle string washes, it’s another favorite. “Midnight Tide” reflects on the way the joys and sorrows of life tend to ebb and flow as late-night thoughts when sleep won’t come. Cello again plays a lovely and emotive counterpoint to the piano. “Heal Me” was written as a prayer for healing and has the open-hearted sincerity of someone truly in need of comfort and support - another very beautiful piece! The hymn medley of “Be Still My Soul” and “It Is Well With My Soul” combines two favorite hymns of Cathy’s mother, her close friend, and her own - a stirring combination! The title track is the piece Cathy wrote as she processed her grief at her mother’s passing. Although the piece is sad, it expresses profound hope as well as a sense of loss - one of Cathy Oakes’ best and most moving pieces to date!

 

I hope it won’t be another five years between albums, but On the Other Side was certainly worth the wait! It is available from www.CathyOakes.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.

 

Kathy Parsons
MainlyPiano.com

https://mainlypiano.com/reviews/cathy-oakes-on-the-other-side

Thanks to Kathy for a wonderful review!

 

  

 

On the Other Side Released

I am proud to present to you my newest CD, “On the Other Side.”  This is a project that has been five years in the making. The songs were born of the many experiences over the past five years of my life - the marriage of children, children moving away from home, my mother and other loved ones passing and the joy of sitting at the piano with my granddaughter as she wrote the theme for Sienna’s Dream.  It is my first venture into the world of orchestration. This music was recorded, orchestrated and engineered with the amazing Doug Hammer of Dreamworld Productions. It has been a journey of joy, sorrow and reflection and the experience of a lifetime. I invite you to share the journey with me.

 

You may hear sample tracks by clicking on the “Song Clips” tab and choosing “On the Other Side” at the top of my page or you may hear them in my store.  You may order your CDs through my store or through CDBaby, where digital downloads are also available by using the CDBaby tab on the right of this page. It will also soon be available through popular audio streaming sites such as iTunes and others.  

Thank you for listening and for sharing my journey.

 

 

 

 

 

On the Other Side CD Presale

 My new CD, "On the Other Side." is not up on my website yet. But if you want to pre-order a copy, just Paypal $15 (shipping included) to buddyoakes@hotmail.com. I'll get a  copy in the mail to you immediately!!! This one is TOTALLY different! It is orchestrated by the AMAZING Doug Hammer!!!

 

 

Cathy Oakes "On the Other Side" releases September 27

OK, folks - it's a WRAP! This CD is as perfect as the AMAZING Doug Hammer and I can make it! I'm working with the AWESOME Matt Streiby to get the cover done and then, it's off to post production. If everything goes perfectly, I'll have it in my hands by my mom's birthday, Sept 27. It would be very fitting since the album is in her memory. I can't wait to share it with you!!!!!! 

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