Yesterday I had the privilege to record “Different” from Honk! The recording was part of a project with Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange. For the musical theatre project, they had set the challenge to find “your song”. “Different” is certainly that for me, and I’m thrilled that they picked it as the one to record! What an amazing experience!
In preparation, I had a coaching with Leslie Stifelman (music director for Chicago, among many other things!) and Jeff Saver (music director for End of the Rainbow.) It was eye opening to realize how the song had morphed over time, and the fact that the rhythm and melody on the page wasn’t exactly what I was singing… (I’ve been singing a lot of jazz, etc., and that flexibility was creeping into this medium, too!) They helped me get back to the music as written by the incredible songwriting duo of Anthony Drewe and George Stiles. Once that was accomplished, then the storytelling could begin.
Jeff arranged the chart and played piano for the recording. The other musicians were Ed Salkin on clarinet and flute, and Jay Berliner on guitar. I was in heaven listening to them rehearse and lay down the track. Unbelievable! Leslie was producing, along with amazing Scott Lehrer and watching them work was awesome! Roger Rees also joined us in the studio and had such great advice.
Finally, it was my turn to sing. Everyone was so encouraging and supportive. We did 3 or 4 takes, and before I knew it, they had all they needed. Leslie, Jeff, and Roger all had such positive things to say and a lot of sage advice. What incredible people and wonderful artists!
Then it was time for Scott and Leslie to do their magic. It was a whole other lesson to hear my singing stripped down and every minute detail analyzed. Wow! I can’t wait to hear the final result. I guess it’s going to be on a CD with songs from around the world and from different genres. What an honor to be included! I loved every second, and wished that I could do it every day!
Thank you Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange for an amazing experience!
Labor Day Weekend! Summer got away from me, without many blog posts, but what an incredible summer it was! Here is a brief overview:
Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Competition- Amazing experience (see previous blogs;) reuniting with various contestants/mentors, including 3 times singing at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland, and one upcoming time this Monday with Nick Ziobro, the winner and Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador; and to top it all off, I've been invited to sing with Sylvia McNair on her Christmas concerts at the Palladium in December!
Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange Musical Theatre Project- Great online community experience, including feedback from Leslie Stifleman and Roger Rees, as well as being selected for a masterclass with Leslie, Roger and Tara Rubin. Upcoming project includes a recording session next week here in NYC. I will be recording “Different” from Honk! with Leslie Stifleman, Jeff Saver, Jay Berliner and Ed Salkin. Roger Rees will also join us, and there will be a video made for the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange website.
iTheatrics- I was asked to participate in a workshop, creating a 1 hour version of “Bye Bye Birdie” for Tams Whitmark. I was cast as Albert Peterson, and got to perform the role for Charles Strouse (composer of “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “Annie”) It was a fabulous experience getting to work with the amazing iTheatrics team again!
Broadway Artists Alliance (BAA)- I was a work-study student/participant in all of the summer programs this year. Each session is worthy of its own lengthy blog post, and there is really no way to describe how incredible it was to work with all of the amazing people involved in this program. At this point, I’m just going to make a list of the professionals with whom I worked, and try to be more on top of specifics in the future.
BAA 2012 for me included: Chris Bailey, Michael Balderrama, Bridget Berger, Christian Borle, Norbert Leo Butz, Tiffany Little Canfield, Lou Castro, Adam Chanler-Berat, Karyn Casl, Bob Cline, Kristi Coombs, Kyle Dean Massey, Vince di Mura, Eden Espinosa, Lisa Gajda, Alex Gemignani, Diane Hamilton, Christopher J. Hanke, Megan Hilty, Andi Hopkins, Christopher Jackson, Jennifer Johns, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Adam Kantor, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Tom Kitt, Joe Langworth, Beth Leavel, Michael Orland, Alice Ripley, Alexander Rovang, Seth Rudetsky, Holly-Anne Ruggiero, Jeff Shade, Celeste Simone, Lisa Stevens, Kevin Wallace, and Leslie Zaslower
Needless to say, I had an incredible summer, and learned so much! Now I’m looking forward to my first fall living in New York City and all it has to offer. Stay tuned…