Monday, November 6, 2023

Snow is Falling! New Music and Artist Q&A with Sukey Molloy

The Christmas season is a time for joy, and Christmas music adds to the joy that this time of year brings.  Sukey Molloy's Snow is Falling! Songs for Christmas, Hannukah & Kwanzaa is bursting with the Christmas spirit, so full of joy and energy that you can't help but smile when listening.  Sukey Molloy is an award-winning artist, producing music focused on an audience of children.  But, Sukey's music on Snow is Falling! isn't just for kids - it's here to be enjoyed by everyone, young and old.

I love what Sukey has created with Snow is Falling!  In addition to 12 Christmas songs, including the title track set to the classic melody of "Frere Jacques", there are four Hannukah songs and two Kwanzaa songs.  In the past couple of years, I've searched for good Kwanzaa songs and have come up empty.  So from the moment I saw the tracklist, I was excited about this new record.

And I was not disappointed.  Sukey's takes on classic carols such as "Jingle Bells", "Frosty the Snowman", "I Saw Three Ships", and "Up on the Housetop" are perfect for the youngsters.  They are melodic, well-arranged, and, most importantly, easy to learn and ready for sing-alongs.  

It's the Hannukah and Kwanzaa songs that really make this album one to love.  "I Have a Little Dreidel" and "Happy Joyous Hanuka" help bring this celebration to life.  "Kwanzaa is Here" and "Kwanzaa" celebrate the seven principles in ways that everyone, young and old, can learn from and enjoy.

Sukey Molloy graciously answered a few questions for Merry & Bright!  All I can say to introduce the Q&A is that the world needs a few more Sukeys around 😀

Following the Q&A, please visit the links to Sukey Molloy's website and to Snow is Falling!

One last tidbit - one of Sukey's award winning albums is titled The Adventures of Little Stubby.  Perhaps a certain Christmas music collector buddy will have a special interest in that one...

Q&A with Sukey Molloy

Merry & Bright:
Snow is Falling! is the first album of holiday music that I’ve seen to include songs for Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa. What is your hope for this record, and how its songs will be enjoyed by children and their families this holiday season?

Sukey Molloy:  I am interested in helping to create a shared participation and celebration of life whenever possible which is one of the reasons my Snow Is Falling! album celebrates three different winter holidays together. I try in my performing and teaching to bring children and families together from all walks of life and cultures so we can open to one another and experience how much we share in common. What better way to share that message with children than through the holidays!

MB: I am particularly pleased to see the two Kwanzaa songs, “Kwanzaa is Here” and “Kwanzaa”. What is the story of creating these two songs?

SM: Initially I had in mind to write a Kwanzaa song or two myself since I had done so in the music and movement classes I teach, but when I researched Kwanzaa songs that have been released, I found two songs that I loved, and acquired permission to use them. Co-producer Larry Alexander and I set to work creating our own arrangements and are really excited with the special quality of both recordings! I also learned about the origin of the Kwanzaa celebration in the U.S. and how it is observed by children and families from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1. "Kwanzaa Is Here" is written by Christopher John D. Pennington, Sherry Segal and Wendy Wiseman (copyright Rident Royalties Inc.), and "Kwanzaa" is written by Donlad E. Monopoli and Laura E. Monopoli (copyright Kaladon Publishing).

MB: There is so much joy in your singing! What’s your secret to making music for children that can be enjoyed by adults as well?

SM: Well of course it is a challenge, but the centerpiece of my work is always to inspire everyone, young and old, to enjoy, participate, and experience a sense of their own personal listening. This holiday album brought an unexpected challenge since I was not writing the songs myself but bringing my own feeling to each well-known song throughout the process. Larry is the real reason I‘m able to connect with so much joy in the recording studio. He always makes sure I am having fun myself or we stop and take time to reconnect with the real reason we are making music. That is to help children feel good about themselves and the world they live in, and their parents as well! I receive so much happiness from the children and families I share music with every day and it’s important to me that that sense of joy and reassurance is shared by all of us when we’re listening.

MB: Your Christmas song selection is just perfect for kids. They are the first songs so many of us learned when we were children ourselves. How much fun was it to record these traditional songs?

It was great fun, and challenging! It was really very interesting to learn about the origin of many of these holiday songs. Some of them are traditional, as you say, and some turn out to still be current and not yet in the public domain. While others go back to the 1800’s and even back to the 1500’s, some are more current and first recorded in the 40’s and 50’s by famous artists like Burl Ives, Bing Crosby, Woody Guthrie, and Gene Autry.

MB: The four Hannukah songs are happy, easy for kids to learn, and start to teach what the celebration Hannukah is all about. How did you settle on these four songs for your album?

SM: I have been singing "I Have a Little Dreidel" with children for a number of years, as well as "Oh Chanukkah", and they are of course both very popular and in the public domain. They were a lot of fun to record! I wanted also to look for a few less well- known songs that could bring a new listening experience. In my search I discovered that Woody Guthrie had written and recorded several Hanukkah songs and I chose two of those with permission from Ludlow Music Inc/Woody Guthrie Publications: "Hanuka Dance" and "Happy Joyous Hanuka". They were a joy to arrange and record with a new sense of listening and appreciation.

MB: Sukey, thanks for the Q&A time! You have a wonderful album, and I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!

SM: Thanks so much Aaron. I would like to wish every child and family a very special and peaceful holiday season with many warm moments of sharing, love, and celebration. Let’s hold each other close and give our hearts to healing and loving and receiving all the many blessings we share.


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