The Hope College Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Christopher Fashun, assistant professor of music, is the only college ensemble featured on a new holiday compilation album titled “Dashing Vol. 2,” recently released by Parma Recordings.

Performing a jazz arrangement of “Christmastime is Here” by Vince Guaraldi, 17 members of the string section of the orchestra played on the track along with two adjunct professors of the Hope jazz faculty — Jeff Shoup, on drumset, and Lisa Sung, on piano — as well as with renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker, director of jazz studies at Michigan State University, and saxophonist Dr. Jordan VanHemert, a former Hope music faculty member who is now the director of jazz studies at Columbus State University.

“Last spring Jordan, who is a Parma artist, said, ‘Let’s get the Hope College Orchestra involved in this album,’” remembers Fashun. “But he also said he had to get permission from his label because they were going to want to vet the orchestra since it is a professional label. So, he sent them one of our recordings, and they said, ‘This sounds good, let’s do it.’”

“I'm just so excited and so proud because we're the only college orchestra on the album,” Fashun said.

Recording for “Christmastime is Here” occurred in the studio and performing spaces of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts on Hope’s campus. Drew Elliot, director of recording arts, oversaw the overall technical coordination of the piece, which received funding support from the Hope president’s and provost’s offices.

“In a studio recording, not everybody’s in the same room like in a concert setting where everybody is on one stage,” explained Fashun. “So for ‘Christmastime is Here,’ the orchestra was in the concert hall and then Jordan and Rodney and Lisa were in the rehearsal room. Jeff the drummer was in the jazz studio, which is a soundproof room. There were three different rooms that Drew Elliott was recording from, and he did a great job.”

A total of 16 holiday tracks comprise “Dashing Vol. 2.” It is available on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, and Deezer Navona Records, a subsidiary of Parma Recordings, also lists the album on its website 

Please visit the college’s YouTube channel for a video featuring excerpts from the recording session.