Many of you know about our crazy family holiday musical gifts. It began in 2006 as a gift from Leah, Marta, and me to Jerry, and has grown in many different ways since that time. This would be the 9th year, and it has provided quite a track record of the developing musical abilities of our kids (and perhaps the declining musical abilities of their parents). Each year, we also have fun drafting an album cover for Leah & Marta’s gift to Jerry, and bios that are “About the Artists,” that captures the accomplishments and funny moments of the previous year.
We do all our recordings cheaply with a now 9 year old microphone that originally cost us about $60, and free garageband software on the mac. They aren’t flawless recordings, but they are a gift to ourselves in the time we spend together creating them for others, as well as our very favorite gifts to receive.
Here’s the 2014 selection of music that we gave to one another. We know there are many of you that enjoy following our crazy tradition, and so this website is hacked together just to share them. Some day, I’ll polish it and get all the older recordings up for your listening pleasure. A few of the older ones are up: 2013, 2012, 2011, & 2010
Leah, Marta, & Winnie’s Gift to Jerry:
- Mary’s Boy Child – Leah, Marta & Winnie singing. For the first time Leah did all of the accompaniment and was the recording technician.
Jerry & Winnie’s Gift to Leah & Marta
Leah’s Gift to Winnie & Jerry
- Stars & the Moon – the accompaniment is not an original Williams’ family creation. It was borrowed. But the lovely voice is Leah’s!
Marta’s Gift to Winnie
Jerry’s Gifts to Winnie:
- Morning Glow
- A Simple Song – Marta is on flute in this
- You Raise Me Up – a redo, as his garageband skills are better than the first time he did it
- To Make You Fell My Love – also a redo, this time with lots of harmonies
About the Artists
Marta Williams is a senior at Woodbury High School and plans to attend Luther College in the fall of 2015 to study classics or biochemistry. She traveled with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus on their European tour, where she made great friends and had an amazing time. She returned for a week’s break before heading off to All-State Band. In September, she was named a National Merit Semifinalist. Her standardized test scores (which put her parents to shame) include a perfect 36 on math and reading on the ACT, and a perfect 800 on writing on the SAT. The fall was full of college applications, a production of Curtains, and the start of SEC band rehearsals. She is still working on the 18000 piece puzzle mentioned last year, and still works as a writer for CUNA.
Leah Williams is now a sophomore at Luther College, where she is planning to be a Biology major with a music minor. She is very happily settled into life at Luther, loving being in a suite with friends, managing to eat breakfast each morning, and making the Dean’s List each semester. She continues to study voice and music theory, and was part of Cathedral Choir this year. This summer she became a certified nursing assistant and spent her summer working in a nursing home, where she was clearly a blessing to all with whom she worked. She had some amazing experiences while shadowing at United Hospital in June, not the least of which was seeing her first birth. For the first time this year, she is the chief recording artist for LeaMarto’s album, and was completely responsible for the accompaniment.