We started seeing glimpses on social media Monday of what was to come: a Christmas duet from Paul Milliken and Alyse Eady.
[Can't wait to watch? Scroll down to the full video below!]
In true teaser trailer form, Paul posted a video on Instagram showing a computer running Pro Tools, and we heard a clip on the playback of him and Alyse singing a jazzy Christmas number.
Then, Paul dropped this photo on Twitter of Alyse hamming it up in the studio.
Alyse quickly followed suit, posting a photo on Facebook of Paul laying down his vocals.
And now, finally, the wait is over. Check it out!
The track was recorded on Monday, December 18 at the Rick Baker School of Music at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. The duet is a medley of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and “Jingle Bells”.
"Alyse and I sat down and went through a list of songs and narrowed it down to a few that we thought would be fun," said Paul. "We knew we wanted to do a medley of some sort, so I took the list of songs home and played around on my keyboard until I figured out how to tie two of them together."
Paul said he liked their song choice because both songs are uplifting and he knew he and Alyse could "put a little personality into both of them." That they certainly did! He added,"I realized pretty quickly that I could arrange them in the same key and tempo so that they worked together
"He’s so incredibly talented," gushed Alyse. "He arranged our songs, played the music on his keyboard and even helped figure out harmonies for our parts."
A former student of classical and jazz piano from the time he was about seven years old until he was 18, Paul used to perform on a regular basis. "Now it's really just a hobby and something I do in my spare time," he explained. "I still love to play around on my keyboard and use the Garage Band program on my MacBook to record music. My brother is a musician, so he and I work on songs together on the computer."
While Paul doesn't perform as often these days, he remains active in local community theater, participating in plays with different theater companies across the Metro, mainly with Lionheart Theatre Company in Norcross. "Last Spring I was in 'Grease' at Serenbe Playhouse— the first time I'd done a musical in 20 years!"
No stranger to performance herself, and with a love for Christmas music, Alyse said she was "thrilled to be asked to record a song with Paul!"
As a child, Alyse enjoyed anything musical— especially singing, dancing and playing the piano.
"Once I starting doing ventriloquism at the age of nine, I found myself singing less by myself and more with 'my friends' on stage. Because of that, I got out of the habit of singing solo!" she laughed. "Recording these songs with Paul was such a wonderful experience, and in a way, allowed me to find 'my' voice again."
Once Alyse and Paul decided to sing the arrangement Paul wrote, he knew Callanwolde Fine Arts Center would be the perfect place to record.
"The Rick Baker School of Music includes an amazing recording studio run by Phil Tan, a Grammy-winning mixer who has worked on songs for artists including Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Fifth Harmony," Paul raved. "I’ve done stories with Callanwolde in the past, so I contacted executive director Peggy Still Johnson and she was happy to let us record there. Bill Zimmerman is the engineer in the recording studio, so he’s the one that worked the board and mixed our song!"
Alyse added, "Walking into the recording studio at Callanwolde is quite an experience! There’s Grammy awards, trophies on the wall and state-of-the-art equipment inside…so you know you’re in a place that has hosted some incredible singers."
According to Paul, it didn't take long to record the song. He and Alyse each sang through their parts just twice, and then Bill mixed the performances into one seamless piece.
"There were definitely some funny moments. Alyse and I had a little trouble finding our key at times, and we also had to Google some lyrics, but we had a blast!"
"Singing isn’t something I do much of anymore," Alyse admitted, "so it definitely took a while to get back into the swing of things! Luckily, Paul was patient and made the experience so much fun."
Paul gave a glowing review of his Good Day Atlanta costar's performance: "Alyse was amazing. She stood right up at the microphone and sang beautifully from the very first take!"
He also had to give a shout out and "major props" to Bill the engineer, who "really kept us focused and on task, which I know was not easy when Alyse and I would get into laughing fits!"
Oh to be a fly on the studio wall! Instead we'll happily settle for the beautifully finished rendition of Paul and Alyse's Christmas medley, and of course, some hilarious outtakes which can be seen on Good Day Atlanta on Christmas morning.
Alyse had one last thing to say about the experience: "We are both so excited to share this holiday medley with viewers and hope it brings them a little joy!"
It certainly has, and more than a little. Thanks to Alyse and Paul for this holiday gem. Let's hope this becomes an annual tradition!