An Interview by Alysia Stern for Spot On Long Island

June 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment


Hello my dear blogger world!  Here’s what seems to be my 2nd quarter blog post.  Eeek!  Sorry to be so long silent.  To get back to blogging, let me share with you an article in which Alysia Stern interviewed me, which is featured this month in an online magazine, Spot On Long Island.  I really enjoyed talking with Alysia and thinking through some of the early foundations and supporters of my music career. I hope you enjoy, and I am looking forward to talking with you more.  Blessings and Light to all of you!
Here’s the Interview:

Classical Crossover Singer Julia Wade

re-posted from

julia wade

June 5, 2012

Classical Crossover Singer Julia Wade

by Alysia Stern

Julia Wade is an innovational Classical Crossover singer who sings alluring music of inspiration within an eclectic range of genres. She has harmoniously performed across the United States and has also has an incredible international career. Her talented endeavors incorporate performances involving theater, opera and cabarets, including live stage appearances at The Rome Opera, Carnegie Hall, & Teatro Massimo di Palermo.

Julia has released several CDs including one in fluent Spanish. She acquired her radiant reputation with a large fan base in an international congregation. On top of being the Soloist at the international headquarters of the Christian Science Church on Boston, she has also created an entire character motif using her harmonious voice to illuminate the adorable story of Custard the Dragon, a CD and book set for children. Her newest CD, entitled Silk Road, is due to be released shortly.

When did you find your voice?

It took me years to realize that I’ve been singing all my life.  Even from the age of 3!  I remember climbing into the lowest branch of the willow tree in our back yard as a tiny little girl.  I would sit in my perch and sing!  I would make up songs about nature.

I really found my voice, though, after years of playing the flute in band and finally joining the Sophomore Girls’ Choir in high school. I didn’t even have to audition for it, but the minute I walked in, it was like the world changed and I felt like I had come home.  That was it.  After that, it really was all about singing.

I received conservatory-style training in college and earned a Bachelor of Music degree at San Jose State University with an emphasis in vocal performance.
In my freshman year, I made a rather intellectual decision — based on my passion for classical music and  my love of theater — to study to become an Opera singer.  I sang professionally in opera in the United States and in Italy for 15 years, but along the way, I also performed in musicals, cabaret shows and concerts.  I sang in many styles of music and began to evolve away from an opera career into what I am doing now.

Is there a specific genre of music that you enjoy the most?

I would say that I love most singing a fusion of several styles.  It’s what I do most naturally.  I think because I moved so much during my childhood through the early days of my career, I was always naturally curious about the next place, or the next experience.  And that definitely spilled over into my music.

Meeting my producer, and main composer, Peter Link, was also a natural part of the progression of this fused style of singing.  Peter comes from the pop world and I come from the classical world — and we’ve been meeting in the middle ever since.  He’s been an enormous influence in my development into a “fusion singer”  It’s hard to put me into a category or bin but I’m comfortable in saying that I’m a classical crossover singer which leaves my the field wide open to all kinds of new musical experiences and adventures.

How many CDs have you recorded?

I’ve released 6 solo CDs as well as recorded on quite a few compilation CDs.  I’ve just released my 6th solo CD, “Julia Wade: Solos”.  It is my gift to the world wide church community for whom I performed weekly.  I’ve just completed 7 years as Soloist at International Headquarters of the Christian Science Church in Boston.

I commuted from New York to Boston and performed in 2 services while broadcasting live over the internet weekly. So this CD, “Solos” was created as a way to say “Thank you” for the joy and privilege of performing to thousands during these years.

“Solos” is a deeply spiritual CD based on the writings of the woman who founded the church 150 yrs ago, Mary Baker Eddy. These texts that have set to music by Peter Link.  The songs on the CD are quite revolutionary because the texts that became the lyrics of the song have never been treated musically this way. They are a gift from the heart and embrace any spiritual seeker looking for profound and inspiring music.

Folks might be interested in some of my other inspirational CDs as well.  They include “Every Day”, “Story For the Ages”, “Upon the Mountain” and my Spanish release, “Alabado sea Dios”. You can find all of my CDs on line at Watchfire Music:

Do you speak Spanish?

I speak some, I comprehend a lot, but I sing best in Spanish!  I had 3 years of high school Spanish and 15 years of working Italian – so I get along very well!

My Spanish CD, “Alabado sea Dios” is one of my most favorite projects. It really was a project of my heart.  It came about because I sang for 4 years as Soloist for the Spanish services and was broadcast over the internet at the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, during my 7-year tenure there.  The CD comes with a booklet of translations in both English and Spanish.  The music is a rich blend of songs from all over South America with a couple of original songs by Peter Link.  The CD is full of gorgeous material.

On the other end of the scale, I have also recorded some really sweet children’s CDs.  One is called “Custard the Dragon”, by the wonderful author, Ogden Nash.  Brad Ross, a terrific Broadway composer, created the funny, sweet score for this piece.

Does Custard the Dragon also have a book to go along with the CD?

Yes, Ogden Nash’s original story is offered in book form along with the CD as a gift pack.  The gift pack, too, is also available on specifically at

Do you live in Manhattan?

Yes I do!  It is an extraordinary place to live.  On any given day, you can walk in the streets or ride the subway with people from every part of the world.  I think that it’s pretty magical most of the time!

Who inspired you?  What are your musical influences?

I’ve had many musical influences and people who have inspired me. In terms of early influences, Jack Lindsay, my high school choral conductor, and Jeanne Garson, my college voice teacher, were both very important early influences.  My first church organist, Jeanne Sparks, who accompanied me in my first church job at age 18 became a special kind of teacher to me as well.

Other influences include Opera singer Maria Callas. I remember being 16 years old and watching a special of her Hamburg concerts — in black and white — on PBS.  I was hooked!

More recent influences are Andrea Boccelli, because he really has best defined the classical crossover world, to me, – and of course, so has Josh Groban.  Renee Fleming is someone I love and follow.  She is at the top of her form as an opera singer and she gracefully crosses over to other genres of music with integrity.  Bonnie Raitt has been a huge influence since my early 20’s, particularly in her emotional raw storytelling.

Bobby McFerrin and Yo Yo Ma, are both artists who have influenced me because of their inspiring, creative and eclectic journeys of musical exploration.  They’ve both opened up so many doors of collaboration with all kinds of artists and instrumentalists from many different genres and nationalities.  That’s what inspires me…to see and hear the collaboration of world music coming together.  That fusing, or coming together of many elements is what I practice now and work to carry forward in my collaboration with Peter Link and our music.

Tell me about your company Watchfire Music.

Watchfire Music is both a record label and an online inspirational music company.  We carry both recorded music (CDs and digital downloads) as well as digital sheet music.

We have been in business for over 6 years and I co-own and run the company with Peter Link.  We are dedicated to providing positive-value music of all kinds from all genres of music.  We have several hundred recording artists and composers on the site with thousands of song titles.

We define “inspirational music” as an umbrella term that includes all genres of music — country, classical, folk, world, jazz, etc. — that add positive value to the world.  So on a wide spectrum, we include sacred church music on one end,  but on the other, we also include songs that have simple lyrics like, “I woke up this morning and I feel good”.  Both kinds of music are inspirational in nature.  And so is instrumental music, which we also present on

Watchfire Music is a trans-denominational company.  It doesn’t have an agenda to preach.  We just put the music out there. I am the president of Watchfire Music, and I enjoy getting my hands in all aspects of the business.  As an artist, it has been a way of nurturing and developing my inner business woman!

Are you taking submissions for singers?

Yes.  Any artist who has a CD that is inspirational in nature, or composers who have inspirational sheet music can go to the contact page on to find out about submitting their materials.

I loved listening to the title song from your CD, Upon the Mountain.  The song is so beautiful.  Do you ever cry when you sing your songs?

In my rehearsals, yes I do.  Absolutely.   The messages are so powerful and then when you marry those messages to powerful music it’s deeply affecting.  In rehearsal it’s my job to respond emotionally to the material I am preparing and to investigate it deeply.  I live it as hard as I can.  That’s when a lot of stuff comes to the surface.  And I get to laugh, cry, shout, rage, whatever.

But in performance, no, usually I am not crying.  I find that my job as a performer is to allow the audience to respond with their emotions.  So if I have done my rehearsal prep work fully – all of that emotional stuff is there in my performance, but at that point, it’s about moving the audience – allowing them to respond to the material – rather than watch me crying on stage.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Well, it’s true that I have sung in major opera houses and concert venues nationally and internationally.  But, I would say that my biggest accomplishment to date is having had the opportunity to affect thousands of people around the world through performing spiritually inspiring music these last 7 years at the international church headquarters.  This experience has become the springboard to my continuing creative journey – singing to thousands more and bringing new inspiring music forward.

Julia’s websites:


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Entry filed under: Inspiration, Inspirational Music, Inspirational Sheet Music, Inspiratus, Inspiratus Interviews, Performance. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Old Quarter, New Quarter, Next Quarter – Another “Bleet!” “Solos” CD Reviewed by Inside World Music

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