Nothing evokes strong memories like the holidays, and for Maria Riccio Bryce, nothing excites the imagination like Christmas.
“I think one of the most memorable experiences in our lives is Christmas,” said Riccio Bryce, a native of Amsterdam, whose recently released Remember Me, Remember You CD consists of several traditional holiday proposals as well as several of his own musical works.
“I’m starting to be very aware of the passage of time, and at this time of year, every year, it’s all starting to come back to me,” she said.
Recorded at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Schenectady, where Riccio Bryce was musical director for 25 years, it features performances by many residents of the metropolitan area such as vocalists John Allen, Judy Merriam and Gail Garrison, as well as Maalvick musicians. director and violinist Anne-Marie Barker Schwartz. Riccio Bryce is a pianist and Sten Isaksen is a sound engineer.
“When I look back on the long, blessed path of all my years, I hear the music of all those Christmas holidays,” said Riccio Bryce. “The wonderful innocence of childhood; the glorious romance of the years when you are a young woman madly in love with life; the thrill of being a young mom and recreating Christmas to your own kids. “
A graduate of Amsterdam High School and Manhattanville College, Riccio Bryce spent several years in London studying music before returning to the Mohawk Valley to produce Hearts of Fire in 1990, a musical that commemorated the 300th anniversary of the Schenectady Massacre.
In 2001, Riccio Bryce composed The Amsterdam Oratorio, 16 songs about various aspects of life in the Amsterdam area, and over the next two decades she released two other major works: Mom, I’m Here and The Swan. Song.”
Riccio Bryce composed Remember Me, Remember You primarily for her grandchildren.
“I had the idea to create an album that would record these sounds for everyone I love, especially my grandchildren,” she said. “I like to put everything together. I don’t usually play a lot of solos, but there is a lot of me on the album, just me and the piano. I have selected a few of my favorite hymns and created my own arrangements of them. As I worked on them, a flood of images rushed into my head – apparently every Christmas that I have ever known – and they fell right into my hands. “
She also produced her own original CD material, including two Christmas favorites from Hearts of Fire, as well as several numbers she wrote for the Proctors Christmas release back in the 1980s.
“I resurrected several of these songs and gathered a local choir to sing them,” she said. “Some of them are very dear friends who have participated in many of my projects over the years, and I also have my two sons and one of my sisters on a CD. This summer we all rehearsed at my house. “
Riccio and several musicians from Remember Me, Remember You will be performing at the annual Saint Luke Christmas Concert on December 17th. The event starts at 19:00, free and open to the public.
Copies of Remember Me, Remember You cost $ 10 each and can be purchased from the Amsterdam library or by sending a check for $ 12 to Riccio Bryce at PO Box 66, Amsterdam 12010. The CD also streams on Spotify, Pandora, Amazon. Music, iTunes and YouTube.
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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Art