Nick Biddle recently released a Christmas album titled "Prince of Peace." Biddle, who is a graphic designer and advertising coordinator for the Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg, spends much of his free time making music. He is a choir member and board member of the Williamsport Chamber Choir and Orchestra, a tenor member of the a capella ensemble Black Tie Affair and a fifth-year voice student of Suzanne Revak-Fedele at Les Chanteuses Voice Studio in Williamsport. Biddle answered questions about his Christmas album via e-mail.
BRIAN BUSH: When did your love of music start?
NICK BIDDLE: I always loved to sing, but my passion rose when I joined a musical group in high school, the Meistersingers. I felt the call to music ministry in 2006, so I began hosting contemporary Christian concerts at various churches in the Bedford County area. Currently, I serve as a worship leader of the Greenview Alliance Church and participate in a variety of other musical opportunities in Williamsport (such as the WCCO and Black Tie Affair). As opportunities arise, I share special music and host concerts in local churches.
BB: When did the album start to come together?
NB: My wife and I talked about my goal to record an album last January. When September approached, I felt it was time to get started and began working with Suzanne on song choices. Based on my preference, her recommendation and my ability to sing the songs well, we identified the first round of songs in September. We scheduled the first recording for the middle of October and upon the completion of the first four songs, we scheduled the second recording for the beginning of November, when I completed the final three tracks.
BB: How do you feel about the final product?
NB: I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. It has been received more positively than I could have ever imagined. My wife and I both admit that we are humbly pleased at the blessing this project has become for ourselves as well as other people. We've heard so much positive feedback, for which we are grateful. I also designed my own artwork for the CD sleeve with the help of local professionals.
BB: What was your primary goal in recording and releasing this album?
NB: The original goal was to create a special gift for family and friends to celebrate the holiday season; it has since flourished into something bigger than what we expected.
BB: Could you tell me which songs appear on the album?
NB: The album has seven songs: "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"; "O Come O Come Emmanuel"; "O Holy Night"; "Candlelight Carol"; "A Strange Way to Save the World"; "The Little Drummer Boy"; and "Prince of Peace."
BB: How did you decide which songs would appear? Was it a matter of favorites or did your choices depend on your singing ability?
NB: It's actually a combination of both. The project began as a gift for family and friends for the Christmas season but Suzanne and I also saw it as a way to grow personally and vocally. I had favorite songs I wanted to be on the album, such as "A Strange Way to Save the World" (which is a favorite of mine and my dad's) and "The Little Drummer Boy," but I also wanted to include tracks that were classical and challenging for me, such as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." Overall, it was important that I had songs that I could connect with and that told the story of Jesus' birth. I am a worship leader, so presenting the music in the best way that tells a story was important to me, the order takes you on a journey of the true meaning of Christmas.
BB: How long have you been singing?
NB: I have been singing for about 15 years. I've been professionally studying under Suzanne Revak-Fedele for the past five years.
BB: What made you decide to take voice lessons?
NB: I am very thankful for the gift of voice I have been given. As with all gifts, it's important to utilize, share and develop them. All people need a coach or mentor to improve and grow. I saw voice lessons with such a talented teacher as Suzanne, as the way to grow.
BB: What type of music do you enjoy?
NB: I enjoy listening to artists such as Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Andrea Bocelli, Steve Green and Third Day.
BB: You recently played a holiday concert in support of your CD's release. How did it go?
NB: I held a concert at Lycoming Valley Baptist Church in Montoursville. Because of the extensive time involved in rehearsal and having an album available, it felt like my most professional concert to date. I was in good voice and able to perform songs with comfort and ease. I shared my heart and the message of the album and I felt like my audience was engaged and with me the entire time.
BB: Do you plan to play other concerts?
NB: I have approached another church to possibly host a concert the week before Christmas, but nothing is set in stone at this point.
BB: Do you think you'll record another CD? Perhaps branch out into original material?
NB: It is hard to say what the future holds. My wife and I have decided to enjoy the great moments this album has brought before we consider thinking about the next adventure. She and I always are marching forward; we make a great team.
BB: Where can people get a hold of your album?
NB: Copies of the album are available, as supplies last, throughout the Christmas season, at Greenview Alliance Church, 1955 Warrensville Road, Montoursville.
BB: Is there anything you'd like to add?