Selected as the Ford Motor Co.’s millennium anthem, “Just Wave Hello” calls for brotherhood as we enter a new era. Jerusalem’s role in God’s eternal plan is central to “The Holy City” (“The shadows of a cross arose upon a lonely hill”). The hymn of praise “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer” invokes God’s mercy for strength and direction. Infants are promised protection by angels (“Lullaby”) and loving parents (George Gershwin’s “Summertime”). “If Thou Art Near” prays for God to stay close as death approaches, and trusts that He will “claim my soul when I arise” on the other side. The young Welsh singer is moved by the heritage of “Songs My Mother Taught Me.” “Men of Harlech” esteems bravery in the heat of battle.
Since when are teenagers listening to opera? Since this 13-year-old phenom proved that it isn’t just tuxedoed Italian guys, weepy clowns and rotund divas in Viking helmets. Forget the three tenors. This petite soprano owns the top two spots on Billboard’s Top Classical Crossover chart, due in part to a fan base of enthusiastic peers. An excellent, spiritually uplifting collection the entire family can enjoy.