Hartt Scholarship to Study Opera!

I was born with a big opera voice. I've always been able to sing operatically, even as a young child at the age of six.  I was never formally trained in opera and my talent went unnoticed.

When I was in my mid-thirties, a woman wanted me to move to New York City for three months to study opera.  She wanted me to learn all the great pieces and to meet people.  I was a mom with children and a wife with a husband. There was no way I could leave them for three whole months.  So, I had to let the opportunity go by.  It wasn't for me because the conditions weren't right and the time wasn't right.

The opportunity has returned!  I am honored and humbled to have received a scholarship from Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford to study opera!

Now the time is right and the opportunity has returned and the conditions are far more reasonable.  I don't have to relocate and can do this from where I currently live.  I'm only about 20 minutes away from the university.

I am working with Dr. Susan Mardinly, whom I lovingly call "Fairy."  She is a wonderful, wonderful teacher who truly cares about her students.  She welcomes me with a smile and warm energy every week. Dr. Mardinly listens, gives feedback and makes suggestions and corrections as necessary.  She has a well thought out plan and has introduced me to a number of African American opera singers on youtube to help expand my horizons.  She is awesome and I am so grateful to be working with her.

I am also extremely grateful to have my talent recognized. I was born with a big opera voice but have never received formal training for it.  Now I am! It just goes to show you that if you have talent, know that it's never too late!

 

I Missed Valentine’s Day

This song was given to me just before Valentine’s Day and I never put two and two together.  So, yep, I missed having it posted by Valentine’s Day.  Oh well…  Please enjoy Kevin Weilock’s music – his rendition of “My Funky Valentine.”  Thanks Kev for the track!

 

Whatever Lola Wants

Damn Yankees!

I remember seeing the movie, Damn Yankees when I was very young.  Most of the movies that came on television - or at least of lot of them - were musicals. This song and this performance left no impression on me.  I didn't even remember it until I was checking out Ella Fitzgerald on youtube and came across her rendition of it.  I then, in my fashion, I searched for other versions of the song and came across the original.  If you see it, the woman is pretty freaky looking in terms of her movements and "dancing" and her voice.  It's a comedy, I suppose.   I understand Bob Fosse choreographed her scene.  It was weird. I posted the original video at the lower part of the page.

But, anyway, Ella fan that I am, I loved the song and needed to sing it.

Hope you enjoy it.

 

Whatever Lola Wants

Whatever Lola wants
Lola gets
And little man,
Little Lola wants you

Make up your mind
To have
No regrets
Recline yourself
Resign yourself
You're through

I always get what I aim for
And your heart and soul
Is what I came for

Whatever Lola wants
Lola gets
No use to fight
Don't you know you can't win

You're no exception to the rule
I'm Irresistible you fool
Give in
Give in
Give in

 

More about the Song

From Wikipedia
"Whatever Lola Wants" is a popular song, sometimes rendered as "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets". The music and words were written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross for the 1955 musical play Damn Yankees. The song is sung by Lola, the Devil's assistant, a part originated by Gwen Verdon, who reprised the role in the film. The saying was inspired by Lola Montez,[1] an Irish-born "Spanish dancer" and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who later became a San Francisco Gold Rush vamp.

Nature Boy

Why I Sang It

I heard this song many years ago and ignored it. It wasn’t until the summer of 2019 that I was reintroduced to it by Ed Fast from Ed Fast and Conga Bop.  He recorded an amazing remake of the song in which he featured the vocalist Linda Ransome.  The music he wrote was so full bodied and strong.

I listened to the lyrics and fell in love with what it said.  From there I listened to, of course, Ella, Sarah Vaughn and Shirley Bassey.  These are some of the voices that I truly love.  Shirley’s version was my favorite.

I found this piano version done by Rob Landeros which I found to be absolutely haunting.  I had to sing it. I had to.

I hope you enjoy it.

Nature Boy

(lyrics)

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy

They say he wandered very far
Very far over land and sea

A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise, was he

And then one day
One magic day he passed my way
While we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me

The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return

More about the Song

From Wikipedia:
Nature Boy” is a song first recorded by American jazz singer Nat King Cole. It was released on March 29, 1948, as a single by Capitol Records, and later appeared on the album, The Nat King Cole Story. The song was written in 1947 by eden ahbez and is partly autobiographical. It is a tribute to ahbez’s mentor Bill Pester, who had originally introduced him to Naturmensch and Lebensreform philosophies, which ahbez practiced. When Cole was performing in 1947 at the Lincoln Theater, ahbez wanted to present the song to him, but was ignored. He left the copy with Cole’s valet, and from him the singer came to know of “Nature Boy”. After receiving appreciation for his performance of the song, Cole wanted to record it but needed consent from the writer. Eventually, he tracked down ahbez.

New Song

Oxen Free

My son gave me a beat to work with.  MY SON ACTUALLY GAVE ME A BEAT TO WORK WITH!!!  I have to say it like that because he makes so many and I get, “Hey Mom, check this out” all the time.

“Oh, I like that one, can I have that one?”

“Nope.”

That’s our repetitious conversation that we have — allll the time.  He creates such nice pieces and he never shares.  He’s always like, “I’ve got something planned for this one…I’ve got something planned for that one…”

Sigh.

Though I surround myself with instruments, I don’t play any of them.  I play “at” them and wish I could just magically develop skill and talent.  Doesn’t happen that way though.  So, a head’s up — when you meet musicians who are really talented, can really play and move you –  tip them!  Understand that it takes years and years to develop the skills and the ability to do what they do.  Most bands are paid very little and it’s just not right….

Okay back to Ollie Ollie.  So my wonderful, talented, handsome son in all of his benevolence gave me a piece of music.  (Actually two pieces!  I need to write to the second one still.)

I like message tunes the best and when I write, my mind gets stuck in message tunes and love songs. Thus, those are my topics.  Take a listen and see if you understand the message behind in the song.

Thanks for listening.  As always, I’d love your feedback.  And if you want to take a look at the lyrics, they are here.

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