Centerville lawyer’s Christmas CDs strike right note
Below is an article in the Cape Cod Times about Attorney Charles C. Case, Jr. by Cynthia McCormick. See more at capecodtimes.com
CENTERVILLE – Clients and business associates have come to expect a little something extra inside estate planning attorney Charles C. Case Jr.’s annual Christmas card.
For 10 years Case has combined his love of Christmas and piano playing by creating a CD featuring carols, seasonal pop songs and upbeat tunes that he mails to clients and distributes to nursing homes, assisted-living centers and other locations.
This year the Centerville lawyer included 1,000 copies of “Charlie’s Christmas CD, Vol. 10” in his office Christmas card mailings. He gave away another 4,000 copies to businesses, senior care centers and fellow congregants at Cape Cod Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Osterville.
“Music has been my passion,” said Case, 60, who has been playing piano since age 5.
Combine that with his enthusiasm for the Yuletide season – Case wears one of his 30 Christmas ties every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas – and the creation of an annual Christmas CD seems like a natural outcome.
“I am totally into Christmas,” Case said.
The Christmas CD project actually begins in July, when Case starts selecting music for the new production.
Much of the recording is done during his summer vacation with his wife, Lori, in Nova Scotia.
Case uses a musical creation studio called Garage Band that features a sound library and software instruments including piano, guitar and woodwinds.
The system allows Case to record as many tracks as he likes via a keyboard connected to his personal computer through a USB cable.
Case said a light bulb went off in his head when a friend introduced him to Garage Band 12 years ago.
“All of a sudden I realized I could be a one-man band,” Case said.
“Hear that? That’s the little bell. Little chimes,” Case said as he played some tunes from his latest CD. “Here’s the percussion. Here’s the drums. It builds. All I do is layer. It just depends on what my heart is telling me.”
In September, Case sends his music to Disc Makers in New Jersey, which puts the music on CDs and labels them.
The musical result is a collection of rich but soothing sounds.
The 10 songs he recorded this year include “Christmas Is All In the Heart,” “Joy to the World,” “A Hanukkah Remembrance” and “Beautiful Boy,” in honor of the birth of his fourth grandchild.
John Piroski, pastor at Cape Cod Seventh-Day Adventist Church, where Case worships and plays the piano Saturday mornings, said people look forward to getting Case’s Christmas CD.
“It’s a gloomy time,” especially for people who are alone, elderly and frail, Piroski said. “A lot of people are down.”
Case’s music strikes just the right note of joyful calm, Piroski said. “He does make a difference.”
In addition to the CDs mailed out to clients and business associates, Case distributes copies to nursing homes, assisted-living centers, banks, senior centers and even people at the town dump.
Demand for the CDs has grown through the years, said Case, who distributed 500 copies for Vol. 1 in 2006.
But Case said he is topping out at 5,000. “I’m going to keep doing this,” he said. ” (But) I’ve reached my max for production.”
“I’ve never charged, never will,” said Case, who said if people want to they may make a donation to his church’s charitable fund.
“I like sharing music. I think music is a universal language,” Case said.
His affinity for music started young.
“My mother said I was dancing in utero,” Case said. “By 5 I was begging to take lessons.”
His parents were missionaries, and Case said he took his first lessons on his mother’s upright piano in their house in the Amazonian town of Inquitos, Peru.
His enthusiasm for the instrument grew when the family moved back to the states, and Case found piano players were popular at school parties.
His family lived in California and then Kansas, where Case played piano for Alf Landon after the former presidential contender invited his caroling group inside to sing.
Case moved to Centerville 36 years ago after meeting and marrying his wife, a Cape resident, while the two attended college in Worcester County, Case said.
The couple have two children, a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Rad, who joined his dad at Case Estate & Elder Law.
Case, who plays a Galileo digital piano at church and home, said if he had a Christmas wish it would be to perform with the Cape Symphony.
“Just one song,” Case said. “I would love to play one song with them.”