Eight-year-old Emma Miller creates moving Christmas carol Christmas All Together
By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
“I’ve been singing my whole life,” eight-year-old Emma Miller told the Pioneer as she beamed from ear to ear.
Nothing touches the heart and soul more than a moving voice and lyrics, especially during the holidays. Emma is passionate about her music and has been singing for as long as she can remember. This musical prodigy writes her own lyrics and wrote the endearing Christmas carol, ‘Christmas All Together’ this past October.
Bryant Olender, who has been a professional pianist and vocal coach for 35 years, has been helping Emma develop her singing chops as her coach for the last 18 months. Olender got his start in musical theatre and had had the pleasure of working with Canadian icon Michael Buble as his pianist and music director for five years.
“When Emma walked into my music studio that one day, I asked her if she had practiced what we had been working on. She said, ‘Honestly, not too much,’ but presented me with some lyrics she had handwritten down,” said Bryant. “I was bursting inside with joy as it’s rare that a young person takes the initiative to start writing on their own. It was a landmark, not only in her music but also her life.”
Over the course of six weeks Emma and Bryant worked together once a week to finish writing and producing her song.
“My favourite moments when working on this song was watching Emma’s reactions of amazement and wonder as she watched how a song can go from just a baby seed to a finished song of her own,” said Bryant.
Emma’s inspiration for this tender Christmas carol came from a reality many of us know too well – that sometimes distance and other circumstances prevent us from spending the holidays with everyone on our wish list. What if we could have Christmas all together? This was Emma’s Christmas wish and it is written and sung with such heart.
Even the Grinch’s heart would surely grow three sizes after hearing Emma’s lyrics and voice in this original Christmas song. It can be now heard on YouTube, Apple Music, and Spotify. This little pop-princess-on-the-rise has many artists she loves and looks up to, but when asked her who a few of her faves were Emma said, “I really like Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift.”
Emma was the youngest cast member in the play, ‘Santa’s New Sleigh’, that was performed by the newly-formed Hodgepodge Players on December 18 at the Legion in downtown Invermere. Emma performed her original song last Sunday and shared how much she loved being a part of the production and doing what she loves most.
“I get to do my favourite thing and sing,” Emma shared with pride. “I was their soloist.”
Emma said while Christmas All Together is not her first song she has written at her young age, it is her first to be available on Apple Music.
“When I was younger, I always dreamed of this, and now my dream is coming true,” said Emma. “I love how my music is out there now.”
Emma is in great hands with Bryant as her musical mentor: he got to witness first hand during his time working with Buble, the singer’s journey from playing the local bar circuit to becoming an international superstar.
“All that all we can do is the very best we can. After that, it’s up to the listeners to take it to the stars,” said Bryant. “You just never ever know what will happen in this life, especially in the music business. Anything is possible and that’s what I love the most.”
When the Pioneer asked Emma what she hopes the masses will feel when they hear her song this holiday season, she replied,
“Just happiness and joy.”