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The Holidays in Music
© Tom Brusky, 2016

Catalog #: PP5038
Released: August 10, 2016
Produced and performed by
: Tom Brusky
Emma Bee, Abby Broeniman, Steve Brunton, Mollie Busta, Jayme Dawicki,
     Mark Demmin II, Ryan Meagher, Matt Newton, and Gabriel Riccio
Length: 46 minutes

The Holidays in Music is an emotionally-charged, uplifting, musical journey through our country's most celebrated holidays. Each holiday is represented by its own song.
You all know Tom as a polka musician, but his musical interests cover a much wider spectrum. Tom stepped farther outside of his Polka roots than ever before to create a unique collection of authentic music spanning multiple genres.
Tom performed and produced all of the music himself and spent a great deal of time seeking out and hiring the most qualified, professional vocalists to give each of his songs the sound he was looking for. In addition to the diversity of genres and incredible vocal performances, two other integral parts of this album are the songwriting and arranging — brand new songs as well as fresh, unique arrangements of old songs are showcased.
The Holidays in Music took an estimated 370 hours over ten months to write and record.
1. NEW YEAR'S DAY - New Year's Kiss (1940s-Style Ballad)
This original song by Tom Brusky was arranged in the style of a 1940's-era ballad, complete with a lush string ensemble and a vocalist who croons in the vintage style of the era. Many lounge, opera, and big band singers answered the call, but Tom didn't find the nostalgic vocal sound he was looking for until he came across Mark Demmin II (Naperville, IL). To hear anyone deliver a ballad as exquisitely and proficiently as Mark, you'd have to go back in time at least seventy years.

2. VALENTINE'S DAY - Oh Promise Me (1980s-Style Ballad)
Oh Promise Me was written in 1887, but the song takes on new life as Tom advances it one-hundred years with an arrangement that gives it an iconic, 1980's sound. Finding the right vocalist was critical to the success of this arrangement, because many singers today have an edgy, contemporary tone which isn't the best fit for an 80's-style pop ballad. After more than a month of auditioning vocalists, Tom heard a sample of Gabriel Riccio (Chicago, IL) singing, loved the retro vibe, and hired him on the spot. Sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported back to a Valentine's Day some thirty-five years ago.

3. ST. PATRICK'S DAY - The Maid Behind the Bar (Irish Folk Song)
What makes traditional folk music so appealing, regardless of the nationality, is that it is often just as upbeat and uplifting as American polka music. In a Dublin pub, surely nothing gets one's foot tapping like a peppy Irish reel. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Tom chose this classic folk song and arranged it with a blend of contemporary and traditional instruments, including the bodhrán, uilleann pipes, and tin whistle. Sláinte!

4. EASTER - One Day (Volksmusik Waltz)
Volksmusik from Europe's alpine regions is one of the most joyful sounds on Earth, and that makes it a perfect fit for the celebration of Easter. Tom arranged this traditional Easter hymn with a sound reminiscent of Slavko Avsenik's Oberkrainer style. The song's four-part vocal harmony is led by two of the Polka genre's most talented, young singers: Abby Broeniman (Hortonville, WI) and Mollie Busta (Ridgeville Corners, OH).

5. MOTHER'S DAY - For All You've Done for Us (Bluegrass)
Like polka music, bluegrass music has always shared that cheerful quality that instantly makes people feel good when they hear it. Tom wrote and composed this song to honor all mothers on their special day. Sung in perfect bluegrass-style harmony by Emma Bee (Madison, WI), Matt Newton (Nashville, TN), and Ryan Meagher (Milwaukee, WI), this song is all about the gratitude felt by three grown children for their mother's wisdom, patience, and determination over the years.

6. MEMORIAL DAY - Tribute to the Fallen (Choir, Orchestra & Brass)
This emotional piece arranged for boys' choir, orchestra, and brass quintet is dedicated to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the defense of our freedom. It starts with Tom's original composition, "Finest Hour", as an ode to the bravery with which they fought and died. A handbell and choral performance of "America the Beautiful" follows in tribute to the land they so gallantly defended. The song concludes with a solemn rendition of "Taps" to bid our country's heroes a peaceful, eternal rest.

7. FATHER'S DAY - The Love of a Father (Contemporary Folk Ballad)
Tom wrote this sentimental song all about a father's love for his daughter. The song is sung from the perspective of the daughter as she fondly reflects on her childhood. Tom's moving arrangement layers traditional folk instruments over an upright piano, but what will propel this song directly to your heart is the delicate, intimate vocal delivery of Jayme Dawicki (New Berlin, WI). Once a student at the grade school where Tom's father, Jim, was the principal, Jayme grew up to achieve national recognition as a singer/songwriter.

8. INDEPENDENCE DAY - Hail to the Spirit of Liberty (Symphonic Band March)
Perhaps no song is more associated with the 4th of July than John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever, but it certainly wasn't his only patriotic song. Tom chose this more obscure but equally inspiring Sousa march to amplify your American pride in celebration of our country's founding.

9. HALLOWEEN - Halloween Rag Medley (Spooky, Swingin' Ragtime)
Is it a horror movie soundtrack? Is it sinister theater music? Is it piano ragtime? Is it polka band ragtime? Is it swinging jazz? The answer is yes — all of the above! Based around two ragtime Halloween songs, Harem Scarem Rag and The Greenwich Witch, this compilation arrangement of music by Tom Brusky is as incongruent and bizarre as it is musically entertaining. Happy Halloween! Muahahahahaha!

10. VETERAN'S DAY - Armed Forces Polka Medley (Cleveland-Style Polka)
To honor all those who have served our country, Tom arranged four military service songs into an instrumental Cleveland-style polka medley. Our veterans are our greatest national treasure. All polka bands are encouraged to take time out of their busy schedules every now and then to provide live music at veterans homes in their area.

11. THANKSGIVING - Gratitude (Big Band)
The lyrics for this song are adapted from two poems written by Edgar A. Guest cir. 1917: Gratitude and Thanksgiving. Tom composed the music and arranged it for big band. Swingin' the vocal is one of Milwaukee's most unique gems in the entertainment circuit — "Diamond Steve" Brunton from the Brewhaus Polka Kings.

12. CHRISTMAS - O Holy Night (Contemporary Orchestral Carol)
One of the most iconic and beautiful Christmas songs of all time, O Holy Night is also one of the most challenging songs for even the most professional of vocalists due to its extended range and dynamics. For this song, Tom traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to capture the incomparable talent of Matt Newton. Matt's powerful and soaring vocals on this contemporary orchestral arrangement will surely catapult your Christmas spirit to new heights.

It is a copyright violation to record this music while it is playing over the internet. To legally obtain a copy of this music, please purchase a CD or download.

 Available on compact disc at...


1. New Year's Kiss
New Year's Day
Lyrics 99¢ Add to Cart
2. Oh Promise Me
Valentine's Day
Lyrics 99¢ Add to Cart
3. The Maid Behind the Bar
St. Patrick's Day

99¢ Add to Cart
4. One Day
Lyrics 99¢ Add to Cart
5. For All You've Done for Us
Mother's Day
Lyrics 99¢ Add to Cart
6. Tribute to the Fallen
Memorial Day

99¢ Add to Cart
7. The Love of a Father
Father's Day
Lyrics 99¢ Add to Cart
8. Hail to the Spirit of Liberty
Independence Day

99¢ Add to Cart
9. Halloween Rag Medley
99¢ Add to Cart
10. Armed Forces Polka Medley
Veteran's Day

99¢ Add to Cart
11. Gratitude
Thanksgiving Lyrics 99¢ Add to Cart
12. O Holy Night
Christmas Lyrics 99¢ Add to Cart
     Album of all twelve songs

$7.99 Add to Cart
Songs 1-8, 11 and 12 also available at:
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