Gina Milanese
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Gina Milanese


Band Christian Gospel


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"Gina Milanese: She Shall Rejoice"

Gina Milanese may be a new name to the local music scene but she’s been singing since the age of seven at her church in Dryden. By the time she entered her teens, she made her goal to study the craft seriously. When her family moved to Alberta, Milanese got her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Calgary with a focus on opera. Her musical education continued when she came to Hamilton.

In 2001, Milanese and her husband Neill moved here so he could get his MBA at McMaster and so the singer started seeking out new people to help build her career including New York emigrant vocal coach Tom Schilling, manager Cathy Yanko, music website impresario Kim Le and Grant Avenue Studio producer Bob Doidge.
“I had no idea of the arts community here but quickly fell in love with all the opportunity,” says Milanese. “My plan was to continue with opera and joined an opera chorus in Toronto.
Becoming a mother of two young children ended up hampering the opera career but Milanese’s musical muse would take a different shape.....

“I started to write,” explains Milanese. “Then, I started recording in a studio in Burlington, and then was introduced to Bob Doidge. He was so great to work with. I had no idea what I was doing so he patiently taught me step by step. He helped bring in great musicians. I am still in awe of the talent that lives in this city, and how encouraging and helpful the community is.”....

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Winning a Hamilton Music Award for Best Religious Recording, on She Shall Rejoice, Milanese offers music that might inspire with her voice and lyrics at the forefront.
“I make music for myself first, then offer it to whoever will listen,” offers Milanese. “It is a bit of a self–portrait. My spirituality is very important part of my life. My life hasn’t been easy, but then I don’t meet many people who say that their life is.
“I love singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot – simple and reflective with a bit of an edge,” she adds. “But I love Puccini as well. Having an operatic background has given a good understanding of my voice, it is my instrument and I like to hone my skill as a vocalist. I still study opera – I sing it almost every day.”
With a collection of all new originals set for another disc, we might also see a classical operatic CD from Milanese in the future. But while it’s taken a while to get the ball rolling, Milanese is confident as she readies to celebrate She Shall Rejoice with a live show – featuring Franz Nangel on drums and Chris Cowsill on guitar. Her music is about perseverance and determination and offers advice for any musician looking to succeed.
“My learning curve has been slow, but I found it’s better to take my time and find the right people to work,” reasons Milanese. “I am building something here – not quite sure what it will look like in the end but I know that a good foundation is important.
“I have learned so much making this album,” adds Milanese. “This past year I have had many people come into my life to help me. Hamilton is full of wise musicians who have had success. The advice I get from my mentors is ‘Get out of your house and meet people, get off your butt and do something’.”

Gina Milanese plays this Friday April 17 at Slainte Irish Pub with Rob Green opening. The show gets underway at 7:00 pm and $10 gets you in....

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By Ric Taylor....

Vol. 15 No. 16 April.16-22, 2009 The View Magazine Hamilton....

- The View Magazine April 2009

"Winner of HMA"

Gina Milanese won best Religious Album of the Year in the 2007 Hamilton Music Awards on November 18th 2007. - Hamilton Music Awards

"Gina Milanese She Shall Rejoice"

Gina Milanese, a Hamilton singer-songwriter, has produced a record of delicate beauty, candid and moving - in the Christian worship tradition. Very praised filled yet she sings honestly about the struggle. Most impressive is the song writing, confident and well-gathered, building and laying back at the right times. Her voice really carries the material, She's helped by top Hamilton musicians. Quibble: A gospel thumper would have fit nicely.

Jeff Mahoney - Hamilton Spectator


She Shall Rejoice

Shine is being played



Gina Milanese is a singer, songwriter and musician born in Dryden, Ontario, Canada. Gina writes and performs with a rare vulnerability and honesty that reflect on moments of difficulty and finding resilience and hope through faith. Using her vocal, lyrical and musical talents, Gina captures these personal experiences in songs that are soulful, penetrating and uplifting.