Professor, local artistscreate Christmas albumto benefit kids' home

By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
December 4, 1996

The sounds of the holiday season take on a decidedly southwestern theme in a new compact disc produced by a UA music professor to benefit the Arizona Children's Home.

Professor Jeffrey Haskell is joined by local artists like soprano Nancy Davis Booth, baritone Richard Clark, and the University of Arizona Choraliers on the compilation album titled "Southwest Sounds of the Season," the culmination of a project begun over a year ago by Haskell to benefit abused children.

Barbara Levy of the Arizona Children's Home said she already had an overwhelming response for the CD, which is not available in stores yet.

"We just got the shipment, but we've gotten several hundred orders," she said of the $12 CD.

Haskell said the idea for the Christmas album came from the staying power of holiday music.

"It's got legs, it's got shelf life," Haskell said. "It may benefit the home next year more than it does this year. The tunes that surround our holiday season don't go away."

Levy, who used to work for the UA, said she was excited about the project because she knew the reputation of the artists.

"I know Jeff and the quality of the musicians, so I was thrilled with the idea," she said.

Davis Booth works extensively with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra during the year, while Clark, whom Haskell said has a "huge, huge voice," has performed with tenor Luciano Pavarotti and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Haskell himself performs on the piano on the CD.

The Tucson Latin Jazz Orchestra, Jazzberry Jam and the Tucson Boys' Chorus are also featured on the CD.

"The idea was to go around and ask musicians if they would donate their services and give their talents to the Arizona Children's Home," Haskell said. "And they did."