Rejoice is the new Christmas release from 16-year-old soprano Abigail Winzer. Even though it’s only October when I write this, one listen to Winzer belting out “O Holy Night” and I’m ready to put up my Christmas tree and usher in the holiday season. It’s that good!
Rejoice includes seven classic Christmas songs that would be great to have playing while assembling and decorating your Christmas tree this year. There’s the gentle “What Child Is This?” and the mysteriously haunting version of “Silent Night.” The Celtic instrumentation, coupled with the use of a unique instrument called the duduk, helps take these Christmas songs to “another place” compared to what you’re used to hearing– these are high-quality, musically-intriguing arrangements.
Now about the duduk… Honestly, I had to look up what a duduk was– it’s not common these days. Have you heard of it ’til now? Turns out a duduk is an ancient double-reed woodwind flute made of apricot wood. Indigenous to Armenia, the duduk is known for helping create a rich, haunting sound. Indeed it does, as played beautifully by musician Arsen Petrosyan on Winzer’s recordings.
Winzer’s goal was to create a holiday album that people would describe as “peaceful and relaxing.” She succeeded. She re-imagines other Christmas classics on Rejoice, including “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “The First Noel,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” All of these songs are a delight to the ears.
Winzer, a North Carolina native, got her start singing in her church choir. As a teen, she received vocal training from Sara Jackson of the Boston Conservatory. She also attended the Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, where she ended up singing on stage at the Grand Ole Opry with Country singer Josh Turner. Now, with her debut, Abigail Winzer is ready to start her own solo career as a singer. Definitely check her lovely sound out here so you can be one of the people to say, “I knew her before she was famous!”