WHO ARE THE RAISE KIDS? WHY A CHRISTMAS CD?
Over the past 22 years, Raise Productions has offered classes in the gospel arts at our Center for the Gospel Arts in Columbus, Ohio. Over the years we have come into contact with some very talented children who have been trained in our classes to perform in plays, musicals, operas, and concerts. Once children have been trained and presented in Raise sponsored productions and performances, we refer to them as “Raise Kids.” The particular group of children featured on this recording is comprised of children ages 6-12, who attended our 2007 Gospel Arts Summer Camp program. Children who attend this program receive training in piano, voice, theatre, dance, art, creative writing, and public speaking. In addition the children create and present an original musical, concert, or recording every year. 2007 marks the fifteenth year for our summer camp program and this recording is the 5th recording that features the Raise Kids. The Raise Kids are directed by Raymond Wise and Frank Lane, who also serve as the composers, arrangers, and musical directors.
As Raise embarked upon recording the first Raise Kid CD entitled "Gospel Songs for Children''s Voice," we had no idea that there was such a need for children''s music. Due to the success of the first Raise Kids recording, the Raise Kids launched a Radio Broadcast entitled "Lessons for Life." In addition they were featured on a video entitled "Singing and Signing for Children." As a means of providing an additional resource for children''s choirs, the Raise Kids recorded two additional CDs, entitled "More Gospel Songs for Children''s Voices" and "The Bible Rap."
We were encouraged by children''s choir directors to create a recording of Praise and Worship songs for children, since many churches now have children''s praise teams. In 2004, "The Raise Kids in Praise" recording was released. We were also encouraged to produce a Christmas CD for children. Therefore the goal of this recording is to provide music that is appropriate, relevant, and usable by children''s choir''s for the Christmas season. (Easter is on the way!!)
When putting together our children''s projects we have always done so based upon the following musical and spiritual objectives. 1.) The songs should be age appropriate and relevant to children. 2.) The songs should teach and minister to both the children and the listening audience. 3.) The songs should be suitable to children’s voices and vocal ranges at different maturity levels. And 4.) The songs should be pitched in comfortable keys and will allow children to sing and minister successfully without doing harm to their voices. Note, that these songs are written for the group of children that we work with at Raise Productions. Feel free to change the songs as needed to make them more assessable for you children.
The goal however, for this project was not only to provide songs with Christmas themes but to offer songs that teach children about the true meaning of Christmas. Over the years Christmas has become such a commercial celebration that many children are unaware of the true meaning and significance of Christmas. So many people focus on Santa Clause, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, that the birth of Jesus Christ is totally lost. Others are so concerned with offending non-Christians that they totally refuse to mention the name or display the image of Christ at Christmas. If we are to preserve our tradition of faith we must be sure to teach our children the true meaning and purpose of Christmas rather than allow the world to teach them.
Another objective for this recording is to offer children an appropriate response at Christmas time. Children must know that through Christ they were given the greatest gift of all. So Christ must be celebrated and honored first at Christmas. Children must learn to first give themselves to Christ and then live in a way that allows others to see Christ in them. We pray that this music will help children understand the significance of Christmas and why we celebrate Christ at Christians. If children are taught the true meaning of Christmas, perhaps they will learn not to focus on material things but on the spiritual meaning and purpose of Christmas.
We pray that as you and your children listen to and learn these songs, you will both be blessed and inspired to bless the Lord by giving your lives and gifts in praise to Him. More importantly we hope that they learn that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. So be blessed and let the celebration of Christmas began!!
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