Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Dawn Holt Lauber

Something Borrowed, Something Blue marks soprano Dawn Holt Lauber's first solo recording for Albany Records. Mixing genres in the concert hall has been a key ingredient to Ms. Lauber's career, and this recording, a collection of classical and jazz, familiar and new, wedding songs, is no exception.

As an oratorio soloist, Ms. Lauber's voice has been described as “exquisite” in Vivaldi's Gloria by Classical New Jersey magazine, and The Trenton Times reported “[Ms. Lauber's] lovely soprano soared” in Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem.

Ms. Lauber has appeared extensively with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, including in conductor William Russo's Chicago Suite No. 2, Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert, and the world premiere of Russo's Jubilatem. She first performed Ellington's sacred works at The Riverside Church in New York City with members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Ms. Lauber has also performed many of Dave Brubeck's sacred pieces, including in Chicago's Jazz by the Fountain series.

A typical season for this soprano, included the All Bach Millennium Concert on New Year's Day 2000 with conductor Mark Laycock and the Princeton Chamber Symphony, Mozart's C Minor Mass at The Riverside Church, and as the soloist and cantor in the Congolese mass, Missa Luba.

A soloist with The Riverside Church for five years, Ms. Lauber is accompanied here by fellow Riverside and New York musicians.

Other New York oratorio performances include Bach's Magnificat, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Fauré's Requiem, Kodaly's Missa Brevis with the Jose Limon Dance Troupe, and Wachet Auf with the St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra..

To aid the rebuilding of a South Carolina church that was destroyed by arsonists in 1997, Ms. Lauber produced a solo benefit concert in Princeton, Take Me to the River. Accompanied by a jazz trio, she performed spirituals, jazz songs, and her own compositions.

Music to Marry By

Just as she blends a masterful mix of musical genres in concert halls across the country, engaging oratorio soloist Dawn Holt Lauber will inspire the musical choices you make for your wedding day with this collection of the old and new, appropriately titled “Something Borrowed, Something Blue.” Listen in and you'll be lured by a handful of selections that are a bit off the beaten path - a beautiful marriage of classical and jazz that promises to be a perfect accompaniment to the beginning of your new life together.

A Romantic Rhapsody:

Where it All Begins

Boy meets girl and the rest, as they say, is romantic history. In the blink of an eye, you're about to embark on a journey like no other: wedding planning. Now's the time to set your love to music - so to speak - by tuning in to what's atop the wedding music charts. Happily, wedding music is not the singular category it once was. Boundaries are crossed at every turn as you'll find that jazz isn't just for the reception anymore, but that a song such as “Heaven” by Duke Ellington might make a poignant close to your ceremony. Sophisticated brides-to-be know that in today's fast-paced world, romance is still alive and well, it has simply stepped out of the box a bit. Planning a wedding still means a bow to etiquette and tradition when they matter most, but it also means playing up your personality by weaving your favorite style of music throughout the celebration. Simply put, you can stage the formal wedding of your dreams and still sway slightly from tradition, with the addition of some distinctive melodies. Think of the songs you'll choose as love notes to each other- lyrics and melodies you'll keep close to your heart and still feel passionate about when you hear them again next month, next year and on your 20th wedding anniversary.

You may be dreaming of “something old and something new” but if you haven't set aside ample time for planning your wedding day music, you've missed out on the chance to set the tone for the entire celebration. Not to be taken lightly, making beautiful music together on your wedding day takes more than a starry gaze. It begins with listening and learning: Listen to the tunes around you, learn the many genres (jazz vs. classical vs. rhythm & blues or soul) and then listen again … this time to your heart. The same melodies that make your heart smile now will enchant your guests as well, so if you hear something you like at a party or concert, don't hesitate to ask someone to name that tune. It just might turn out to be your song.

Perfect Harmony

But finding the right rhythms for your special day doesn't happen over night. Do your homework by first consulting with the wedding coordinator at your ceremony site: Many churches forbid secular selections; a hotel, historical venue or outdoor setting will be less strict. Don't set your heart on waltzing down the aisle to a favorite Broadway tune, only to find it frowned upon by your hometown church. Some churches require the use of their own musicians, many don't, but can certainly recommend an accomplished organist or instrumentalist. Local music schools can also provide potential soloists or accompanists or will offer audition tapes showcasing their talents (if they don't offer a sample tape or CD, ask). And shy away from well-meaning friends and relatives who offer their singing talents as a gift, unless you know their performance abilities personally!

Once you know what type of music is allowed, consider your space: a tiny chapel would be overpowered by a symphony, while a single harpist would be lost in a hotel ballroom, but picture perfect for an at-home or garden wedding. Do your guests vary in age? Be true to your own tastes, while keeping the audience comfortable, too. Jazz is immensely popular with all ages, for example, while show tunes are also tried-and-true crowd pleasers. Be creative as you set the stage for your prelude, processional, recessional and postlude, and select tunes for dining and dancing later that maintain the mood of your celebration - purely romantic or more of a party atmosphere.

And being creative has never been easier. You'll find some favorites in our collection, along with some new possibilities. Duke Ellington's “My Love” is a now-popular ballad for ceremonies and receptions. Vaughan Williams' tender love song “Hands, Eyes and Heart” features lyrics, appropriately enough, written by his wife. “The Call,” with text by poet George Herbert, is perfect as the ceremony begins or for special moments such as communion or candle-lighting, as is the sacred “Pie Jesu.” If tradition beckons, count on “Ave Maria” and “Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.” For Bach enthusiasts, “I Follow Thee” is an alternative solo for the ceremony. Rachmaninoff's “Vocalise” makes a moving, purely instrumental solo as well, while “Panis Angelicus” is a beloved prayer or communion piece, performed in English or Latin. Mozart's romantic “Laudate Dominum” is written to include a choir if it strikes your fancy, while “Vocalise” by Chenoweth strikes a joyful note when the presentation includes a string trio. The beautiful “Alleluia” by Vivaldi is a stirring alternative for the processional or recessional, while “A Nuptial Blessing” can be a powerful background for a closing prayer or benediction as the ceremony ends.

The Finale

Just as music touches nearly every celebration in life, it graces the wedding day like no other element of your planning. Music is its own language, and while your guests may not recall the color of your bridesmaids' dresses in a month or so, they'll likely remember the trumpet salute that heralded your grand entrance or the romantic ballad that echoed throughout as you shared that first dance as husband and wife. After all, you two do make beautiful music together.

—Notes by Martie Emory

Production Team

Michael Fine, Producer

Ben Rizzi, Engineer

Joe Castellon, Engineer Assistant

Master Sound Studios, Astoria, New York - October 2000

Brian MacDonald, photographer

Cover design by Bates Miyamoto Design


My Love, and Heaven by Duke Ellington: Tempo Music.

Hands, Eyes and Heart (from Four Last Songs) by Ralph Vaughan Williams: Oxford University Press

The Call (from Five Mystical Songs) by Ralph Vaughan Williams: Galaxy Music Corporation

Vocalise by Wilber Chenoweth: Lawson-Gould Music Publishers

A Nuptial Blessing by Michael Joncas: Gia Publications

The remainder of the songs are all public domain.


With love and thankfulness: to David, Caroline and Andrew for the joy and blessings they bring to my life every day; to my mom and dad for their constant love for and faith in me; to Lisa, Courtney, Brad and their families for always being there for me through the years. I thank you for your support of my music.

With deep appreciation to: Michael Fine and the staff at Master Sound Studios; Susan Bush and the staff at Albany Records; my fellow musicians Saffron, David, Michael, Mark, James, Lisa and Susan. I thank you all for your friendship, hard work, and beautiful artistry exhibited here.

In memory of my beloved aunt, Grace Nordenfors, and my dear grandfather, Edward Holt, for their love of my singing and the special part they played in this recording.

check out Dawn's website at: