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{A&E} Listen to This: Jenny Oaks Baker Goes Disney

Kaela Worthen Gardner - August 18, 2011

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I wasn't sure about a CD with remakes of my favorite Disney songs, but I was in for a happy surprise with these violin arrangements.

I’m a traditional sort of person. When I hear a song and fall in love with it, I don’t like to hear people mess it up with variations. A classic is a classic, and that’s the way it is. What’s that saying about “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Yeah.

So I was a little apprehensive when I sat down to listen to Jenny Oaks Baker’s new CD, Wish Upon a Star. Because it’s a remake of classic Disney songs. Uh oh.

But as I started listening, I was surprised, then confused, then pleased, then very pleased. This is Disney like you’ve never heard it before. You may not even realize at first that what you are listening to is Disney because the music is so flowing and elegant that it sweeps you away completely. But then—suddenly—you think, “Wait! I recognize this tune!” And sure enough, emerging out of the intricate melodies of violin and accompaniments is a familiar Disney favorite.

Kurt Bestor has written beautiful arrangements that differ enough from the Disney songs to become their own unique masterpieces while still stirring up remembrances of the emotions captured in the Disney originals, and Jenny Oaks Baker performs flawlessly. With this as my first introduction to both the composer and the violinist, I am now an eager convert.

These are the tracks:

  • Colors of the Wind
  • When You Wish Upon a Star
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • A Whole New World
  • God Help the Outcasts
  • A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes
  • Mary Poppins Fantasia:
    A Spoonful of Sugar
    Chim Chim Cher-ee
    Step in Time, Feed the Birds
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
    Let's Go Fly a Kite
  • Part of Your World
  • Once Upon a Dream
  • Can You Feel the Love Tonight?
  • Baby Mine

  • Check out this video to see one of my favorites, “Colors of the Wind,” performed live.

    And click here to vote on your favorite Disney song!


    Kaela Worthen is the associate editor at LDS Living. A self-titled “ultimate grammar nerd,” she also battles serious addictions to news and food websites and a compulsion to dance to the radio while driving.

    © LDS Living, 2011.
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