Singer Brittany Mruczek has heard her fans’ request for a Christmas CD and has responded with “A Christmas Song For You,” the Batavia native’s first Christmas collection. The disc will be available at her upcoming Christmas concert at Blessed Angela Parish (St. Hedwig worship site) in Dunkirk, on Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.
The disc is a mix of pop standards, traditional Polish and Italian songs, along with a few rarities, and the tile track newly penned by producer Steven Kroczynski.
“I am really proud of all the pieces, each for different reasons, but I would have to say the beginning and ending pieces, ‘The Christmas Song’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ are my two favorite traditional American Christmas songs,” Mruczek said. “I wanted them to have a different, more jazzy feel to them and I feel we accomplished that mainly because of the wonderful help of Ivan (Docenko) on the keys.”
Other songs include “Silent Night,” The First Noel” and “O Come all Ye Faithful. She also recorded songs to reflect her native heritage that she proudly wears.
“Some of these pieces I have been singing since I can’t even remember, like ‘Silent Night’ and ‘O Holy Night,’” Mruczek said. “I still have the vivid memory of singing these pieces in church for Midnight Masses at Christmastime every year. They are such moving pieces. I remember watching people in the congregation get teary eyed and, of course, that is so moving for me as well.”
The songs have a very familiar and traditional sound to them. With sparse instrumentation, it is Mruczek’s voice that takes center stage. Listening to “Come all Ye Faithful” with eyes closed, one will think they are attending Midnight Mass.
The 22-year-old songstress hopes to create some fond memories for her audience as well.
Kroczynski, who produced her debut disc, “Hymns of Mary,” returned to produce the holiday collection, which came as a request from the fans who attended her Christmas concerts over the past six years.
“We’ve done these Christmas concerts with her for so many years. Every year people keep asking over and over again, ‘Do you have a Christmas CD?’ So, we finally have a Christmas CD from her,” said Kroczynski.
The recording process has been stretched out over the last two and a half years. As Mruczek attended SUNY Pottsdam, recording had to be done during breaks from school. To add to her busy schedule, Mruczek starred in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” with the Batavia Players during the summer of 2010.
Singer and producer tried to experiment with sounds and instruments on these recordings, as well as offer a variety of arrangements.
“On this CD, I did a lot more harmonizing with myself on songs like ‘What Child is This’ and the original compositions by Steve and Mike, ‘A Christmas Song for You’ and ‘The Christmas Star.’ I even played the sleigh bells at the end of ‘The Christmas Song,’ something I was very excited about,” Mruczek said.
Kroczynski, who recorded a Christmas CD with his band the New Horizons in1999, wrote two of the songs on this disc, “A Christmas Song for You” and “The Christmas Star,” with Michael Gmyrek.
Kroczynski focused on tradition, family and all the things that mean Christmas for his singer, as well as him.
“I’ve been thinking of writing a Christmas song for her to do on this CD for a while and I had a couple ideas lyrically, and I put them down,” he said. “Because this CD took so long to come together, it kind of sat there for a while. I picked up a new 12-string guitar and the sound of this guitar clicked with what I was thinking about in this song. It inspired me to finish it.”
His own favorite song on the disc is an obscure, old English song called “In the Bleak Midwinter.” Kroczynski had heard other artists perform it and decided to add it to the disc at the last minute.
“It came together rather magically. I had never performed it. She had never sung it, and, boy, just nailed it,” he said.
Mruczek will also perform Koledy at St. Casimir Oratory in Buffalo on Jan. 8, 2012, starting at 9:30 a.m. and then at 10 a.m. Mass.
“A Christmas Song for You” will be available for purchase at Pro-Multis Bookstore in Tonawanda and Buffalo Standard Printing in Cheektowaga, and at both concerts for $13.