MIDI artists, take note... This CD is a clear example of what can be done, with a good keyboard (Roland XP-50), computer (Compaq laptop), sequencing & recording programs (Cakewalk Professional 8 and Sonic Foundry Sound Forge), and recorder (Tascam 4-Track Porta-Studio). With only one exception, all sequencing and arrangements were personally prepared by Beryl prior to performance of vocal tracks, and all recording was accomplished using her home "studio" (shades of Paul McCartney). Professional mastering of the entire CD, and the arrangement/ accompaniment for the title song "Like The Seagull" was contributed by Vince Tividad, Beryl's son, a professional musician and Chief Engineer at a recording studio in California. Tray card design and assistance with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator was contributed by Lance Tividad, Beryl's artist son who lives in Arizona.
One of the original female soul singers in New Orleans as a young adult, Beryl (a native of New Orleans) was born to parents of modest means, but rich in moral values and faith. Music was already a household item when she was born, with her Dad writing songs, and Mom loving her piano and hymns. From the time she was a baby only 2 years old, Beryl gave impromptu "command" performances at neighbors' houses, the compelling factor being her sharp memory and the ability to learn long and complicated songs.
With grown children, a 9-year-old granddaughter named Harmony, a new grandson named Logan, a successful "first" career behind her, and having performed all types of music (country, rock, jazz standards, and Dixieland jazz), she is taking advantage of the opportunity for a "second" career embracing her lifetime love of music. While working and raising her children, Beryl first "practiced" praise and worship music for the past 27 years with a contemporary guitar group at church appropriately enough named the "Contemporaries." In recent years, she began an additional personal music ministry, playing and singing for local weddings, funerals, baptisms, masses, and special church events.
The songs included on Beryl's debut CD were personally chosen to reflect the emotional intensity of "passages" through life events. Having already faced the loss of her teenage daughter Cheryn years ago, recent years also brought the decline of health and eventual separation from both of her beloved parents. Several of these songs, including the title song, were actually sung at their funerals. Often requested in her music ministry, they are of special value to anyone who enjoys church and hymns, and also those who may be facing life challenges of their own. "Like The Seagull" sets to music scriptural messages which teach us to place all of our cares on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd, to trust our Blessed Mother to intervene on our behalf with her Beloved Son, and to anticipate our ultimate goal of sharing Heaven with all whom we love and have loved. Add to that our Lord's assurance that, if we trust in Him as do the birds of the air (including seagulls, no doubt), He will care for us - His children.
The title (original) song "Like The Seagull" was written by David Caruso, Jr., Beryl's brother.
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The following information has been quoted in its entirety from Dedication Page:
"My life is truly blessed....
...A loving husband, Juan; five children....(two sons Vincent and Lance, a daughter Cheryn, and two stepsons Reade and Lee; a granddaughter named Harmony (Vincent and Wendy's daughter); a childhood rooted in love, faith and encouragement; a heritage of musical traditions; a beautiful home in New Orleans; a successful Federal career in Human Resource Management; and a God-given gift for expressing my prayers in song.
Some of my earliest memories are of Mom's piano playing; Dad's songwriting; and hymns being sung in the Baptist church next door. Our Catholic parents, by example, taught my brother David, my sister Lee and me to live by the Golden Rule and always place God in the center of our lives. A beginning of dancing and singing lessons and radio/TV performances as a child; a "doo wop" group (the "Velveteens"), New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) and local opera productions in high school; as a young adult forming my own band known as "Beryl Hart (Lady Soul) and the Versatiles"; appearances with various bands here (in New Orleans) and in California while raising my children; and more than 27 years with the "Contemporaries" of St. Dominic Parish....
These experiences, plus the freedom of an early retirement, have evolved into not only a personal music ministry, but also the opportunity to make this recording a reality.
It is my pleasure to share with you a few favorite hymns, and also a unique, prayerful song, "Like The Seagull," composed by my brother, David Caruso, Jr. Thank you, David, for the privilege of singing and sharing it.
Musical accompaniments and vocal tracks were produced using my keyboard, computer and home recording equipment, with the exception of "Like The Seagull" (arrangement and accompaniment by my son Vince Tividad).
I have always found a joy in music like no other, but God has granted me one more blessing.... the joy of combining my music and faith in praise of Him.
This labor of love is dedicated to my wonderful Dad and Mom, David and Leonie (Flick) Caruso, my beautiful daughter, Cheryn Tividad, Baby David Christopher Caruso, Grandma Philomene (Suau) Flick, Bobby Quinton, "Mama Sara" Panzeca, Deacon Chris Weber, Fred Toncrey, and many other beloved relatives and friends who have already experienced their "homegoing." Lord, I believe you are the Resurrection and the Life. Grant my dearly departed the fullness of life in the house of God, our Father. Amen."
Check out the artist's website:
1. Like The Seagull
2. I Am The Bread Of Life
3. Pescador De Hombres (Lord, When You Came)
4. Were You There
5. Amazing Grace (Duet)
6. Ave Maria
7. Valleys Of Green (Psalm 23)
8. You Are Near (Psalm 139)
9. Just A Closer Walk
10. Be Not Afraid
11. Eye Has Not Seen
12. I Am The Resurrection
13. How Great Thou Art
14. Hail Mary, Gentle Woman
15. Like A Shepherd
16. I, The Lord
17. Song Of Farewell
18. On Eagle's Wings
19. (Reprise) Like The Seagull