Dawn Music Ministries
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Dawn Music Ministries

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"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like..."

Written by Mike Parker
Wednesday, 23 August 2006

A Star In The East

August is almost over. Halloween costumes beat back-to-school supplies onto store shelves back in July, and Thanksgiving stuff is due to start making an appearance sometime in the next couple of weeks. It can only mean one thing – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

That’s right, it is the time of year when Christmas albums start making their way across the desks of reviewers across the country. I don’t mind, really. I’m a sucker for Christmas music, as long as it’s done right. That’s why I am happy to recommend, A Star In The East by international music group, Dawn. This seventeen song collection of traditional carols is presented alternately in English and Russian and is punctuated by some gorgeous instrumental pieces.

When the vocalists are singing in their native Russian, the effect is absolutely mesmerizing. There is such a pristine clarity to such classic songs as “What Child Is This,” “Silent Night,” and “Joy To The World” that the heart of the message comes through even though you may not be able to understand the words. The project is less effective on the English songs, as the distinct Russian accents tend to distract a bit (I’m not criticizing here; after all, I don’t see a lot of Americans recording Christmas songs in Russian).

“A Star In The East” is lushly orchestrated, and the production quality is excellent. This is a great project for people who like their Christmas music to actually sound like the traditional Christmas music they grew up with.


- BuddyHollywood.com

"Review and More"

A Star in the East, the new release from the Dawn Music Ministry, is a simple choral affair, sung by the Russian choir, Dawn, primarily in English, but with a few verses sung in Russian.

I enjoyed the choral performance by Dawn. In particular, the sweet innocence of Lacey Mikhalchuk on What Child Is This is a highlight. The choral performances on O Come All Ye Faithful and Go Tell It On The Mountain also deserve honorable mention.

Unfortunately, the simple vocals are overshadowed at times by too heavy a reliance on (post-production?) electronic accompaniment, and by the track editing process, which did not provide clean track separation. Instead, the CD plays as a single track, with noticeable electronic discontinuities at the beginning of each track. In general, the production tended to get in the way of hearing a beautiful Russion choral group. I think this choir is better than this recording makes them out to be.

Fortunately, there is that competent and enjoyable choral performance--well worth hearing!--beneath all of the production.

--Richard Banks

Label: Dawn Music Ministries
Length: 37 minutes
Genre: Choral
Release: 2006
Summary: Russian choral harmonies - Christmasreviews.com


A Star in the East: Christmas has No Borders
(A stirring medley of Christmas favorites--English, Russian and Instrumental)

Symphony of Hymns
(Orchestral arrangements of classic hymns, with solo piano by Valera Kudryavtsev)

Timeless Hymns for a NEW Generation
(Our first collection of traditional hymns, available with Russian vocals, or as a soundtrack for choral and congregational singing)

Songs of Worship
(Our second collection of traditional hymns, available with Russian vocals, or as a soundtrack for choral and congregational singing)

Christian Children's Songs
(A collection of children's songs in Russian--great for families adopting children from Russia!)

Light to the World
(Instrumental versions of traditional Christian songs, performed on guitar and violin)

If, in the Heart...
(Our first--and some say our best--album, featuring the original Dawn girls' choir. Vocals in Russian.)



Dawn makes music for the church in Russia! We are a Christian vocal group and record label based in St. Petersburg. Most of our instrumental arrangements are done by Valera Kudryavtsev, the renowned Russian pianist and music producer, who was raised in a St. Petersburg orphanage. (For more information about Valera, please check out his personal testimony on our website: www.DawnMusicMinistries.org.)

In addition to performing benefit concerts at churches, orphanages, prisons, hospitals and retirement homes, we also distribute sheet music and audiovisual materials for use in worship services, as well as humanitarian aid.

In 2006, we had the privilege of sharing our music with the United States, during our acclaimed "Dawn's Early Light" Tour. We performed over 60 concerts in 33 different states! Some of the highlights from the tour were: singing live at Disney World, our RV falling into a septic tank in Georgia, horseback riding in Kansas, whitewater rafting in Colorado, an impromptu performance at the Yellowstone Park lodge, camping out on the Pacific coast, getting stuck on the freeway in NYC, and recording the vocals to our Christmas album, "A Star in the East", at Mark Hodges' Mountain Fever studios--right in the middle of a Virginia cornfield!

Next summer, we pray that God will give us the means to perform a similar tour in Siberia, taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from one end of Russia to the other.

Our vision for the future is to be able to provide a loving home to the entire new generation of Christian recording artists in Russia.