This Christmas season, 5,000 U.S. troops around the world will be receiving a special gift from 15-year-old soprano Katrina Swift (http://www.ereleases.com/pr/2008-KatrinaSwift.jpg). Her debut Christmas album, titled "Christmas Cheer"(http://cdbaby.com/cd/katrinaswift), is dedicated to members of the U.S. military and will be made available to troops through the nonprofit United Service Organizations centers in the United States and abroad.
"Our family is community-oriented, and this dedication was a family decision," said Terralynn Swift, Katrina's mother. "We wanted to send this upbeat album to all the service troops who couldn't be home this holiday season."
The ideafor the album and the dedication came about after Katrina completed a music video that she had been making with noted musician and early childhood educator Louie Miranda(http://www.louiemusic.com).
"We thought it would be fun to do something like this and have it be community-oriented,"said Swift.
Miranda and his partner Joy Suarez took on the role of producers and arranged the vocals and music for the songs while the Swifts handled marketing and the logistics of distributing the album. In addition to military installations throughout the nation, CDs of the album will be distributed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Japan and Italy.
"We've been partnering with FedEx to get the CDs overseas," said Swift. "We send them to the USOs and the USOs give them to the troops."
This is the first CD in which Katrina performs as the lead vocalist. Songs in the album include Christmas favorites such as "Little Drummer Boy (Girl)," "Winter Wonderland," "Silent Night," "Silver Bells," "Rudolph," "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)," "White Christmas," "Noel" and "Feliz Navidad."
The young vocalist became a citizen of the United States when she was adopted into the Swift family at age 4.
"She was very proud to be an American citizen," recalled Swift.
Since Katrina grew up with music, she expressed that pride by singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at local sporting events, which also led to developing her intrinsic singing talent.
Katrina's classically inspired voice led to numerous public appearances, including performances with the El Paso Youth Orchestra, the San Jose Chamber Symphony, and a December 14 performance as guest vocalist with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra - where Katrina received a standing ovation. She is attending the Professional Children's School in New York City, which serves children who are preparing for, or already have, careers in the performing arts.
For those who are not members of the U.S. military, the "Christmas Cheer" album and its individual songs will be available for purchase on iTunes by holiday season 2009. Ring tones will also be available. The CD will be available in stores nationwide Christmas 2009 but is available now online at CDBaby.com: