Cheryl Anne Roach Review - ChristianMusic.com

Cheryl Anne Roach
All the Things You Are Review - ChristianMusic.com

"All The Things You Are" Video

MISSION / GOAL:

"God gives each of us gifts—gifts that we are to use to glorify Him and to be used for uplifting His Kingdom and spreading the Word. This is what I believe and why I sing. My first CD, In the Mornin,’ was a recording of songs of faith. This recording is of songs to lift people’s spirits by the joy and love conveyed in the songs." -

Cheryl Anne Roach

This collection of 26 songs, found on ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE, were created by talented American composers and lyricists from the first half of the 2Oth century, who used their musical and lyrical gifts to create them, using the versatile instrument, the piano. These special selections, which were recorded at Cheryl Anne Roach's concert at the George Nakano Cultural Arts Theatre, were chosen by Cheryl Anne Roach from a huge collection of 200 songs.

Cheryl Anne explains their origin, "This music is very special to me. I have very strong memories of sitting at the grand piano in the living room of my family’s home in Dallas, playing and singing all these songs by the hour, plus hundreds more. (This piano is now in my living room in Hermosa Beach, California.) There was a pile of music about three feet high, which I still have, and I would just go from one song to another. Until recently, I haven’t had the opportunity to perform these songs in public. Singing them was purely for my own pleasure, and any friends and family who happened to be in my living room."

"When I began the selection process for which songs to include, it was overwhelming because I love--really love--so many. I started with around 200 songs, and kept narrowing it down to the 26 that are on the recording."

In order to appreciate what a treasure this collection of songs is to the listener and how wonderfully these songs are presented musically by Cheryl Anne Roach, which truly do lift and encourage the spirit, the reader should first get acquainted with these talented composers and their songs which meant so much to so many people, and still offer so much to present day generations.

Songs lovingly presented on ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE.....

(Recorded at a concert at the George Nakano Torrance Theatre.)

Jerome Kern (1885 – 1945): A gifted pianist and composer, known mainly for his musical theatre and film work. Because of his characteristic use of "rich harmonies" throughout his musical repertoire, many of his songs have been adapted by the jazz community. He was a master of romantic melodies, creating timeless tunes which are memorable, sometime haunting, and always musically interesting. Pairing up with talented lyricists, such as Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein 11 and Dorothy Fields provided the perfect lyrics for each of his songs.

CD Selections: “Long Ago and Far Away (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)” (1944), COVER GIRL (Film musical} -
“All the Things You Are (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 11)(1939), VERY WARM FOR MAY (Stage Musical) -
SWING TIME - “The Way You Look Tonight (lyrics by Dorothy Fields)” (1936);Won Academy award for best song.
SALLY(Stage Musical) “Look for the Silver Lining” (1921);

Song Notes: Cheryl Anne chose “All the Things You Are" to be the title of her new CD. She explains, "If I had to choose a favorite, this would be it—that’s why it’s the title track, and was the encore. I even performed it once for Michael Feinstein, who autographed the music I was playing from, which was my mother’s, with her signature."

"The Way You Look Tonight" - Won Academy award for best song, for good reasons!

“Long Ago and Far Away" -Combination of a hauntingly beautiful melody and Ira's effective lyrics create a song which sends every romantic to the moon. Beautiful modulations between major and minor key creates a lovely sound.

“Look for the Silver Lining” A classic, timeless anthem for stepping out in faith, being positive about the future.

Irving Berlin (1888-1989): Son of Jewish Russian immigrants, who was a brilliant lyricist and even composed his own melodies in one key, F#, (using the black keys). Self-taught and motivated, is considered the most famous American classic songwriter. Was responsible for 3,000 songs over his long life span, which saw personal heart ache; (early death of father, first wife and an infant son, 2nd marriage family woes) WW1, the depression, WW2, etc. Early works were written for general music revues on Broadway. He also composed 17 film scores and 21 Broadway scores. As he didn't read music, he dictated the bulk of his tunes to his long time, musical secretary, Helmy Kresa. His song, GOD BLESS AMERICA was sung by the Congress after the attack on 911.

CD Selections: “I Love a Piano” (1915) - (Transcribed by Cliff Hess)
“Always” (1925), “What’ll I Do” (1924), “How Deep Is the Ocean” (1932) -Transcribed by Helmy Kresa
“Blue Skies"(1926) - -Transcribed by Helmy Kresa

Song notes: "Always," “What’ll I Do,” and “How Deep Is the Ocean” - Three very romantic, love-filled songs, expressing the commitment to everlasting love, paired with dramatic compositions, not afraid to use minor key modulations and other interesting chord progressions.
"Always" was composed in a 3/4 meter tempo, with a lovely, flowing melody, and heart-felt lyrics, promising a love which will withstand the ups and downs of life. For many years, it was a favorite at weddings. Irving signed over the royalty rights to his new bride, Elaine after she was disowned by her father for marrying outside her Catholic faith. One of this reviewer's favorites!
“Blue Skies"- Written the year he married his beloved Elaine, used perhaps to cheer her up as well.
“I Love a Piano” A spirited, dynamic composition which celebrates the versatility and potential of the piano! Interesting, peppy, and diverse musically and in tempo, including an ambitious interlude, in the style of 1915!!

Cole Porter (1891 – 1964): He is described as a songwriter with "a wit and sophistication rarely heard." His most successful years on Broadway were during the 1930's. His music shined in such musical theatre gems as THE NEW YORKERS, GAY DIVORCE and ANYTHING GOES. Despite his tragic riding accident which crushed his legs, Porter continued to write and compose music for both the stage and Hollywood. Other big hits include, LEAVE IT TO ME, KISS ME KATE; (won a Tony for Best Musical & a Tony for Best Composer and Lyricist) and two Fred Astaire films, "Broadway Melody of 1940" and "You'll Never Get Rich."

CD Selections: “You Do Something to Me” (1929) -FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMEN (1929)
“Night and Day”- GAY DIVORCE musical play (1932). & 1934 film version, THE GAY DIVORCEE

Song Notes: “You Do Something to Me” and “Night and Day” were much loved romantic songs, with memorable melodies, infectious rhythms and very poignant lyrics dedicated to true love.

George Gershwin (1898 – 1937): Also a son in a immigrant musical Russian family. For his 38 years of life, George Gershwin, a brilliant, inspiring show tune, jazz and modern classical music composer, left his legacy in some truly glorious songs and compositions. His musical talent on the piano became obvious early in his life. At the age of 19, his ragtime piece, Rialto Ripples" was very popular. First big national hit was his song, "Swanee," in 1919. Some of his other well-known work are the opera, PORGY AND BESS, and the classical masterpiece, for piano and orchestra, "Rhapsody in Blue."

CD Selections: “Our Love Is Here to Stay” (words by brother Ira Gershwin) (1937), The Goldwyn Follies Movie.
“The Man I Love (George's piano arrangement)” (1924), LADY BE GOOD-Broadway Theatre
“Do It Again”( words by B.S. Desylva, ), FRENCH DOLLS (1922) (Judy Garland also recorded it in 1958)
“I Got Rhythm” (words by Ira Gershwin)(1930) - GIRL CRAZY; Broadway Theatre

Song Notes: "The Man I Love" - A dynamic, beautifully romantic composition, featuring a soaring melody, written in a minor key, carried with dramatic full chord progressions, spiced with key modulations and interesting rhythms.

"I Got Rhythm." - George teamed up with lyricist brother, Ira, to write a number of songs with great success. The musical composition itself became very pivotal in the development of the modern jazz genre. Sources say it is the chord progressions or "rhythm changes" which turned the world of jazz, often treated then as a step-sister, on its ear, allowing it to evolve into a respectable member of the musical establishment. Another favorite of this syncopation-challenged reviewer!

"Our Love is Here to Stay" - George and Ira created a timeless, romantic ballad which has been cherished by people in love everywhere! Cheryl Anne Roach shared with ChristianMusic.com, "'Our Love is Here to Stay'" is my husband’s and my “song” that we danced to at our wedding."

Richard Rodgers (1902 – 1979) & Lorenz Hart (1895 – 1943): Rodgers and Hart teamed up to write songs for more than 30 musicals (mostly comedies), 1919-1943. Rodgers was known for composing poignant, effective, irresistible melodies and Hart was known for his "smart, touching and sophisticated lyrics." Together, they raised the musical standards for the musical theatre of their time. In their songs, there was always an element of "wistfulness and sadness, co-mingled with expressing the joy of being in love," etc.

After Hart died from his alcoholism, Rodgers teamed up with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein 11, and created the wonderful melodies for a series of wildly successful musicals in the '40's and '50's, such as OKLAHOMA, THE KING AND I; and THE SOUND of MUSIC, to name a few. They earned thirty-four Tony Awards; fifteen Academy Awards; two Pulitzer Prizes; and two Grammies.

CD Selections- Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers: “Johnny One Note” (1937). Comical look at turning limitations into a positive result.
“It Never Entered My Mind,” “I Could Write a Book,” and “Bewitched," From musical: PAL JOEY; 1940:

Song notes: I loved this three song arrangement of “It Never Entered My Mind,”“I Could Write a Book,” and “Bewitched." Especially like “It Never Entered My Mind, which has a sad, haunting, beautiful melody, some great chord modulations, and wonderful lyrics.

Harold Arlen (1905 – 1986): Considered to be one of the greatest American 20th century pop music composers, who wrote music for around 400 songs. In 1930's wrote songs with lyricist Ted Koehler for shows at Harlem's Cotton Club. Arlen also composed music for Broadway musicals and Hollywood films. A characteristic that one finds In Harold Arlen's songs are elements of blues, making them popular with jazz singers.

CD Selections:“Accentuate the Positive,” lyricist Johnny Mercer (1944), released as a record.
“That Old Black Magic,” lyrics by Johnny Mercer (1942), released as a record. Love the rumbling, broken chords.
“Over the Rainbow,” lyricist Yip Harburg (1939) WIZARD OF OZ - Won academy awards for Best Music and Best song.

Cheryl Anne shares with ChristianMusic.com, "The last group of songs are songs that I love and had to include. They are by composers who may not have written as many songs as the previous composers, or whose names are not as well-known, but whose songs are equally wonderful."

Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin and Larry Shay (1928):“When You’re Smiling,” recorded by 100 different artists. The ultimate positive-thinking song which many people hung onto during the depression era.

Isham Jones (1894 – 1956): A Band leader, violinist, saxophonist and songwriter. Recorded records / and did live gigs.

“It Had to Be You,” lyrics by Gus Kahn (1924) - Originally released as a record, but also was sung in 1939 film, "The Roaring Twenties," the 1942 film, "Casablanca,"and the 1951 film , "I'll See You in My Dreams."

Jimmy McHugh (1895 – 1969): “It’s a Most Unusual Day,” lyrics by Harold Adamson (1948) A DATE WITH JUDY film
Vincent Youmans
(1898 – 1946): “More Than You Know," lyrics by William Rose and Edward Eliscu,(1929)

REVIEW OF ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE * "All The Things You Are" Video

What an uplifting, encouraging, romantic collection of songs, presented in wonderful musical compositions!! The cuts on this album not only inspire the listener to remember and appreciate what is loved and cherished about a spouse or significant other, but also encourages the listener with some wise advice on how to face the inevitable troubles in life, making the best of our talents and limitations, appreciating the blessings we do have! These values and attitudes about cherishing a loved one, and looking at life, come from older generations of people who survived two World Wars, a depression, epidemics and hard times, and offer hope from the power of love and positive thinking to persevere through difficult situations, and work on relationships, by remembering the positive qualities of one's partner.

Cheryl Anne Roach shares, "In my performances of these songs, I often go to various types of senior residences. I love sharing this great music with those who were young when these songs were written. I am often told by listeners that they remember dancing to the tunes, or where they were when they first heard a certain song, or even that one of the songs was “their song.”

While these songs mean a lot to the older generation, they also are relevant to newer generations as well. Their sentiments and lyrical messages are timeless, because human needs and nature haven't changed, and the difficulties and stresses of real life still effect relationships and are ever with us.

We can benefit from the loving inspiration from these songs which encourage one to remember those loving feelings experienced at the beginning of a relationship and why love grew in the first place, bringing to mind all those positive, wonderful qualities of a person who now shares the toothpaste! This can be a great antidote to the dour and crabby feelings one may feel about any annoying behaviors of spouses / significant others which tend to bubble up to the surface sometimes in a marriage / or relationship! (Love covers a multitude of sins!)

1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps not record of wrongs. It always, protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Furthermore, the definitions of love stated in 1 Corinthians 13 are then easier to put into practice with a loving positive attitude, putting self second to one's beloved, kindling the reciprocation of love, kindness, and thoughtfulness, and maybe even the willingness to work on annoying habits and behaviors, in the spirit of putting oneself second!!

The following variety of songs, which range from lively to dramatically poignant to anthem-like, are wonderfully romantic, perfect to inspire and nurture relationships. Musically, they offer a variety of interesting melodies, musical compositions and tempos to fit perfectly with the various lyrics and moods established by the composers.

Songs about Being in Love:

Falling in Love - IT'S A MOST UNUSUAL DAY * DO IT AGAIN * LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY * NIGHT and DAY
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC

Adored Qualities of the beloved - ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE * THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT * THE MAN I LOVE
I COULD WRITE A BOOK * BEWITCHED

Having True Commitment - ALWAYS * HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN * OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY * MORE THAN YOU KNOW * IT HAD TO BE YOU

Remorse of a broken heart - IT NEVER ENTERED MY MIND * WHAT’LL I DO

The upbeat, positive delightfully different songs listed below offer encouragement and advise on how to approach life, which often strains relationships themselves. Attitudes affect our perceptions of the problems which enter our lives.

Making the Best of it and Being Positive....

Making good use of gifts: JOHNNY ONE NOTE * I LOVE THE PIANO

Being thankful for blessings: I GOT RHYTHM * IT’S A MOST UNUSUAL DAY

Keeping an optimistic positive outlook: WHEN YOU’RE SMILING * BLUE SKIES * LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

Keeping hope alive: SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW (Wizard of OZ)

Many of these songs I have heard parts of during my own childhood and growing up years, but it is a real blessing to be able to hear the wonderful lyrics, the refrains and the piano compositions in such a delightful, inspiring, professional, musical presentation, courtesy of Cheryl Anne Roach. Her wonderfully dynamic, poignant vocals and her considerable skills at expressing the spirit and life of each of these 26 compositions through her piano playing are not to be missed, as her love of this music shines through!

For Cheryl Anne Roach is an accomplished, enormously talented, versatile pianist and an experienced professional mezzo-soprano, with an open heart for the Lord and insightful musical instincts, which together have brought to life the music of each composer and lyricist. The combination of Cheryl's inspiring expressive vocals, and her wonderful piano renditions of these truly fabulous musical treasures, provide a powerful presentation of these songs by the masters of yesteryear for a whole new generation of listeners.

A great pianist and vocalist not only plays the notes and sings on key, but can actually sense, think and express the musical essence of each composition in his or her repertoire. Cheryl has this gift in spades, using just the right piano technique & presence, paired with the perfect vocal dynamics and style. She has the power and coordination in her hands to play Berlin, Gershwin and Arlen, the delicate, soft touch to play Rodgers, Kern & Porter, and the dramatic instincts to fully express the emotion and musical nuances in all the songs presented.

While she is playing the piano so effectively, she can also give powerful to poignant vocal performances at the same time! She truly offers an inspiring, uplifting musical presentation with clear tones, great diction, an impressive vocal range, stellar breath control, all with feeling and joy which comes from the spirit and soul.

Cheryl Anne Roach

Cheryl Anne shares with ChristianMusic.com how these composers and their lyrics inspired her performance, and how the Lord uses her abilities for the blessing of others.

"Probably my most important mentor for this music is the composers and lyricists themselves. If we open ourselves, then the emotions in the songs come through, and the performer is just a conduit for the listener to feel the emotion of the music."

Cheryl continues, "That is exactly what we as human beings and as musicians are to God, also. We are the way others see, hear, and often experience, God. So, as a performer and a Christian, I try to get out of the way, and let the music, and God speak through me."

Wow!!!! What an inspirational album which is highly recommended by this reviewer. It is a MUST for married people, and for people involved in a relationship!! For it is the perfect musical inspiration to pop in your CD player or computer to uplift and bolster your resolve, renew a positive attitude and spirit and / or kindle a loving attitude toward a spouse or significant other.

More about Cheryl Anne Roach...

Cheryl Anne Roach has earned:

A Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal arts from University of Southern California
A Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois.

Cheryl has been on the faculty staff of several universities and colleges, and has taught privately as well.

Cheryl Anne performs widely in recital and oratorio work:

As featured soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, & the Beverly Hills Symphony.
Also featured with the Camerata Singers of Long Beach, the Long Beach Bach Festival, and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers.

Cheryl has performed in operatic productions with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra

Cheryl Anne's considerable musical gifts and the ability to perform appeared at an early age. She began piano lessons as a precocious 5 year old, which was the beginning of her great love of the piano, singing and music. I can see her sitting at the piano in her family's Dallas, Texas home, practicing her music lesson, happily singing the words which were printed in her music lesson for that week!

Cheryl Anne played any music she could get her hands on as she grew up. She also loved to sing. She would play and sing in the living room for family and friends, much to their delight. She not only had the talent, but also had the heart and will to share her gifts with others.

Her church was very important in her musical development. Her school experiences were also good training for her future service in music, using her gifts to let the music and the Lord speak through her.

When asked about her early singing experiences and training, Cheryl Anne shares with ChristianMusic.com, "Always in church; the church was my main network. And the school, as well. I sang and was always the accompanist for the group I always sang in the choirs at church and school and did solos on talent shows at school. I usually accompanied myself on the piano, or even the ukulele at that time. That was in the big folk music revival in the 60's, so I did a lot of that kind of singing."It wasn't until her under graduate years that she began to study voice. While she was a piano performance major at the University of Illinois, she minored in voice. However, when she went to graduate school to earn her Masters in Piano Performance, she began a serious study of voice. Cheryl Anne recalls, "My assistantship in graduate school was vocal accompanying (still majoring in piano), and that is when I really got into serious study of the voice. However, I was mostly known as a pianist and did most concerts on the piano. The first concert that I remember actually singing as a part of the recital was probably the first incarnation of my sacred recital. It was at my church in Champaign, Illinois, Temple Baptist Church. I did sacred songs along with some piano hymn arrangements. That was in 1978, right before I moved to California."

"It was in California that I kind of switched careers. I was on the piano faculty of the University of Illinois, and started here in LA teaching piano at El Camino, then someone heard me sing, and I started teaching voice there. I taught at El Camino for 11 years, then Loyola Marymount University for 11 years. Along the way, as I was teaching and performing almost exclusively now as a singer (LA Opera, LA Master Chorale, Zephyr, alto soloist at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church for 11 years), I decided to get a doctorate in voice, since my other degrees were in piano."

Cheryl Anne continues, "The piano and voice were always together. It's just until my 20's I was mostly known as a pianist, and in the last 20 years have been known as a singer. The singing became my main focus because I wanted to communicate and sing, but the piano always remained an integral part of me."

To hear samples of this wonderful album, ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE, visit
Cheryl Anne Roach's website
and buy this "got to have" CD! * Cheryl Anne Roach Home page

Reviewed by Julie Carr for ChristianMusic.com

Sources: ChristianMusic.com Interview, CD insert, Cheryl Anne Roach Promotional Materials

warnerchappell.com * straightdope.com * en.wikipedia.org


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