Blessed – The Album

An unconventional way to list Thank You’s!

What started as an inquiry to Sam Glaser regarding a desire to bring a new, incredibly stirring Chanukah song by Sandy Sherman into the world, blossomed into creating an album I’ve longed to record since childhood. “Ilysia, you need to record your own solo album already!” pronounced Sam as he grabbed a clipboard and pen, sat down, and insisted I give him a list of songs I would like to record. And in that one meeting, my first solo album transformed from a dream into a reality.

There are so many people to thank for their contribution to this album, I don’t even know where to start. So, in no particular order or order of importance, as every person involved is essential to its creation, I will begin with my two producers, Sam Glaser and Sharon Farber. 

Without the brilliance and talent of Sam and Sharon, whom I am honored to call my friends, my family, there would be no album. Not only are their original songs on the album, but their advice, friendship, encouragement, and creative input has been essential. Sam is a genius at the soundboard, has a meticulous ear that hears even the slightest musician flaw, can arrange and produce in just about any genre, and is the sergeant that keeps the troops moving forward toward the goal! Sharon’s absolutely brilliant and magnificent orchestrations and vocal arrangements can be heard in all ten songs! She also has an ear that can hear not only the slightest imperfection, but how an entire piece should sound as a whole. She has also encouraged me throughout the years of our friendship to bring my voice outside of the temple walls and share it with the world!

As I mentioned, Sandy Sherman’s Chanukah song, There’s Something About Those Candles, was the catalyst for making this album. I am so appreciative and grateful for her generosity, kindness, and continual guidance.

Jeremy Broekman, my promotor, has been the much needed crutch that I have leaned on tremendously in getting this album into the world, primarily in the realm of social media! Without his expertise, the album would remain a quiet legacy.

I’m grateful to all of the brilliant musicians (I implore you to read the list of credits) who blessed this album with their remarkable talents. I’m also grateful to creative team members who gave advice and helped bring this album to life: Lori and Brian Peterson for their creative input, Ian Fisher, my amazing photographer, Sarah Latchford & Christopher Miles (hair and make-up), and the brilliant Tova Morcos who, in addition to being my teacher and mentor, she helped bring to life the music in my head! 

I’m ever thankful to Noreen Green, Ilan Davidson, Marcia Glaser, Shay, Lady Beverly, Joel Saken, Michael Bell, Liat Yardeni-Funk, and Roz Rothstein, CEO and Founder of StandWithUs. There are many more… I deeply apologize if I have left you off!  

I’d like to give a very special thank you to Rabbi David Baron, Temple of the Arts, with whom I have had the honor of working with for over 22 years. You have been incredibly supportive and helpful in promoting my album. You are my comfort and my spiritual leader. Your sermons touch the depths of my soul. You’ve also given me the opportunity to use my G-d given talent for a higher purpose. I am grateful. 

As you can imagine, the costs involved in an album of this magnitude are overwhelming. The donations from family, friends, and congregants, were helpful to take some of the financial weight off of my husband, David (whose thank you comes later!) For generous donations of over $1,000, I am deeply grateful to: Sandy and Michael Sherman, The Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation and Sandi Pierce. For generous donations of over $500 I am deeply grateful to: Maureen Shapiro, The Banchik Family Foundation and Joyce S. Feinberg. For generous donations, I am deeply grateful to: Helene and Joel Wayne, Peggy & Raymond Neil Rosenthal, Dr. Bill and Margie Pierce, Joel S. Saken, Darolyn Austin Ross, Glenn Pierce and Family, Ari and Rebecca Ryan, Lessing Gold, Joe Blackstone and Family, The Barnes Family, Fred Blum, Law Offices of Michael Adler, Lori Peterson, Michael & Joyce Ohaven, Michael Bell, Jake Benun, Duncan O’Mara, Erik and Jolie Lutz, Stan King, Sahara Pynes and Family, Dr. Nancy Franklin, Katherine Blum, Danielle Blum, Ilaina Blum, Dale & Carolee Newman and Family. 

I am blessed with friends whose continual support and encouragement helped me to keep the faith during this approximately three year endeavor: Glenn & Lorraine Crawford, Brant & Silvia Benun, Kirk & Sam Lazaruk, Hiri & Jacqueline Etessami, Maureen Benun, Michele Rodri, Bruce & Judy Karasik.

I have the most supportive and loving family, Sherri, Ron, Glenn, Darci, Mark, Raynie, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, and extended “cousins!” I could never have achieved this goal had it not been for you lifting me up and giving me the strength and courage to soar. I am deeply grateful to my beautiful and supportive mother, Dorothy. I don’t know what I would do without our daily talks. You are my inspiration. I know my father, Barry, is beaming with pride from heaven. I am truly blessed to have the most supportive in-laws, Sandi and Bill and Margie, who love and support me like their own daughter. 

G-d truly blessed me when he gave me my husband David, my rock, my soul-mate. Your love encompasses me. You are next to me as a partner in life, you are behind me to catch me when I fall, you are in front of me to guide and protect me. I appreciate you so deeply and love you with every fiber of my being. G-d blessed us with two of the most beautiful children, Braxton and Madison, whose love, support, and encouragement touch me every day. My children are a gift from G-d and I am grateful.

For ALL of these reasons, I am truly Blessed!



Blessed: Songwriters: Hillary Lindsey, Brett James, Troy Verges

Lyrics ©Chrysalis One Music Publishing Group Ireland, Reservoir Media Management (Ireland) Limited, Songs of Universal, Inc.

Show Me The Way: Music and Lyrics by Dennis Deyoung ©Wixen Music Publishing

Od Yishama: Music and Lyrics by Sam Glaser, ©Glaser Musicworks, ASCAP

Believe In Me: Music and Lyrics by Sam Glaser, ©Glaser Musicworks, ASCAP

Elohai: Music and Lyrics by Sharon Farber & Maya Haddi-Zebley ©ScorebyScoreMusic, ASCAP

When Dreams Come True: Sight and Sound Theatres

God Is One: Music and Lyrics by Sharon Farber, ©ScorebyScoreMusic, ASCAP

There’s Something About Those Candles: Music and Lyrics by Sandy Sherman

©2011 In The Pink Music, ASCAP

Shehecheyanu: Music and Lyrics by Sam Glaser, ©Glaser Musicworks, ASCAP

Alone Yet Not Alone: Music by Bruce Broughton, Lyrics by Dennis Spiegel, ©Alfred Music Publications



Album: Blessed

Executive Producer: Ilysia Pierce
Produced by Sam Glaser and Sharon Farber
Band Arrangements by Sam Glaser
Choral and Orchestral Arrangements: Sharon Farber
Recorded and Mixed by Sam Glaser at Glaser Musicworks, LA, CA
Mastered by Michael Stern
Gospel Choir Recorded at Ardent Audio Productions by Michael Demott and Rich Wenzel
Album Cover Designer: Ian Fisher
Photos: Ian Fisher
Creative Director/Publicist: Jeremy Broekman

Sam Glaser: Keyboards, Piano, Drum Programming, Background Vocals
Sharon Farber: Piano, Orchestral Samples, Ethnic Vocals on Od Yishama
Geoff Nudell: Winds
Leo Chelapov: Clarinet, Duduk, Flute
Mike McGuffey: Trumpet
Connor Vance: Mandolin
Toshi Yanagi: Acoustic and Electric Guitar
Anthony Crawford: Electric Bass
Javo Barrera: Drums
MB Gordy: Percussion
Dimitry Olevsky, Leah Zeger: Violin
Garik Terzian: Cello

Waldemar Kintana: Rap on Shehecheyanu
Background Vocals on Songs 1, 3, 5, 7: Ashley Morgan, Danielle Withers, Rudy Cardenas
Spirit of David Gospel Choir, Directed by Patrick Bolton, on Songs 2, 4, 6, 7, 10: Patrick Bolton, Niki Grandison, Joyce McDaniel, Louraina Alexander, Brenda West, Gia Moore, Bobbette Mack, Darlisa Asher, Robert Graham, Deaurthor Wilson, Michael Powell

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