St. Joe's grad tops Billboard charts

Fri, Nov 25th 2016 07:00 am
The cover of `O Emmanuel.`
The cover of "O Emmanuel."

CINCINNATI — Topping this week's Billboard Classical Album chart is Dynamic Catholic's new Advent and Christmas CD, "O Emmanuel," which sold 2,600 copies in its first week.

"We made the decision to try something new: world-class music. It's incredible to see people respond to this project with such excitement," says Matthew Kelly, Dynamic Catholic founder and chief executive officer.

Dynamic Catholic partnered with GRAMMY Award-winning pianist, conductor, and composer, J.J. Wright to bring O Emmanuel to life. Wright says the Billboard recognition is an incredible honor.

"I can't remember the last time a newly composed piece of sacred music made it to the top of the Billboard charts," says Wright, who is a graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore and son of 101.7 FM WLOF Station of the Cross owners Jim and Joanne Wright.

Click here to see how the album was made, and to hear a sample.

The 10-track album by Wright features the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble and the Notre Dame Children's Choir. O Emmanuel takes listeners to the heart of the holiday season through the harmonious blend of angelic children's voices, a jazz piano trio, adult vocal soloists and talented instrumentalists.

Using ancient traditions paired with a modern twist, the CD moves listeners directly into the drama of salvation history and the birth of Jesus by fusing the ancient texts of the "O Antiphons" with chant ("Hodie Christus natus est"), hymnody ("Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"), and jazz improvisation.

Recorded at the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, O Emmanuel was produced and edited by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Thomas Moore and engineered by GRAMMY Award-winning engineer Robert Friedrich of Five/Four Productions, Ltd.


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