Knightly News Performances throughout the Chicagoland
Posted on October 10th, 2011
I had a wonderful time performing for the Highland Park, Deerfield, and Glencoe Lyric Chapters on Sunday, September 25th. The Lyric Opera of Chicago has different chapters throughout Chicagoland that get together monthly for special concerts and events. Steven Heliotes & I performed a 45 minute concert of opera arias, operetta’s, and musical selections. It was great fun getting to meet so many lovely people that are avid music lovers!
When we entered the Libertyville mansion, my boyfriend, John was promptly escorted to the movie theater to view the football game with the rest of the men. What a day!
Posted on October 9th, 2011
On Friday, September 23rd, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of George Stelluto performed “A Walk Down Broadway”. It was great being back at the Civic Center, I used to sing at the Civic Center from 4th-8th grade when I was in the Peoria Area Youth Chorus. Five singers: Myself, Ryan Lanning, Barbara Couri, Michael Reams, and Tom Mindock were selected from the Peoria and Chicago area to share their broadway hits. I thought it a was a great show and the audience seemed to love it even more as they gave us numerous standing ovations throughout the evening.
After the intermission, I came on stage to sing “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady and “Memory” from Cats. Following “Memory” the entire audience stood in applause which was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had! That is the greatest reward for any performer.
At the end of the show, Ryan and I sang the famous West Side Story duet, “One Hand, One Heart” which begins with wedding vows. The audience loved this sang as well and gave us another standing ovation and then all five of us closed by singing “Somwhere”.
The biggest challenge for me was working with the microphones and remembering to turn them on and off for all my selections. I’m simply use to the opera world of using your own natural voice projection.
I’m so grateful to all my friends and family that came to the concert! We celebrated at Jonah’s Restaurant in East Peoria, which was also where all the soloists met up. Over all, an exhausting and wonderful day!
Posted on October 6th, 2011
I’m thrilled to be PSO’s Outreach Artist of the Year. Even though I do live in Chicago, my family lives in Metamora, just north of Peoria so every other month I make it down to Peoria and hope to impart my musical knowledge and love for music for people of all ages in the Peoria area.
My first outreach day, officially began on Thursday, September 22nd where I met with Andrea Molina, a lovely and very talented pianist. We rehearsed for an hour and set up for a mini concert at the newly constructed section of OSF, Saint Francis Hospital.
The selection in the above video is from a lyric version that a friend of mine found in a newspaper. I love all the references that old age brings. The hospital staff, guests, patients as well members from Independence Village Retirement Center seemed to enjoy the song. The hospital was grateful for the music in the corridors.
Next we went to St. Vincent DePaul Elementary School. Our goal at this school was to provide the students with excellent music, but also to educate them in a fun manner. After our introduction we went straight into singing “Over the Rainbow”. You couldn’t hear a peep in the gym, the students (and teachers) were a perfect audience. Then I introduced myself and Andrea and shared with them a bit about my professional life as a performer, conductor, manager, director, and teacher. I let them all know to think up some questions throughout the next thirty minutes because we’d have a Q & A afterwards. We invited everyone to stand and try some vocal warm-ups together. The kids were eager and happy to share their voices, but their teachers needed some encouraging and singling out! All the kids clapped and cheered for their respective teachers after they accomplished a vocal siren. I was tipped off that the principal is an avid opera lover so I had to throw in Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” next. I believe this was the first time that many of the students had heard an opera singer before and they gave me a lovely round of applause.
The Sound of Music has always been one of my favorite musicals, we shared “My Favorite Things” and “Doe a Deer”. However, the audience first participated in learning their solfeggio scale: Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do with hand symbols. Then we tried the song and encouraged everyone to sing and try the hand symbols on the final repeat.
Following the school performance, Andrea Molina and I went to Independence Village, which is an absolutely stunning residence. The people living at the village were full of gratitude and expressed their desire to also attend the concert at the Civic Center the following day.
I know Andrea and I made a difference in lifting up many people’s spirits that day and I’m grateful to the PSO for starting this Outreach Artist of the Year program that will hopefully continue to educate and inspire the heart’s and minds of the Peoria area community.
Posted on October 5th, 2011
As a frequent singer with Music By The Lake, of William’s Bay, Wisconsin, I was asked to sing in the National Wooden Boat Show. Five other singers joined me on stage for this show-choir style mini review. We performed “Mr. Touchdown”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Da”.
Of course, these lyrics were changed to reflect the boat theme of the National Wooden Boat Show in Lake Geneva. The show was great fun and reminded me of my teenage years in the Marshall Putnum County Show Choir! It’s wonderful performing with talented artists!