I am thankful to announce that my concert, "CLUELESS: The Music and Lyrics of Addison O'Donnell," was a success at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York on Aug. 24. Jill Whalen wrote a fantastic article covering the concert, and she deserves a round of applause for a great write-up.
There are a few people that I need to mention who cannot be overlooked. Each of these teachers has taught me something very important, and they each have unlocked different parts of me that helped me grow as a person.
First, Mary Jane Kotansky taught me the science and structure of the music. It was she who lit the fire for my passion. She taught me that through hard work and dedication, music is rewarding.
While I attended Bishop Hafey Jr./Sr. High School, I discovered my love for choral music with Miriam Jamelli. Meanwhile, I was a member of the MPB Players; there, Judiann McGrogan started my love for the theater.
I continued lessons from Mandy Ferry, a lovely woman who lived down the street. Mandy taught me that the science of music could be transformed into an artistic mold. We would talk about the history of the composers and the stories behind the songs.
When I entered into Hazleton Area High School, I became an at- need pianist for the Chorus Department; I became acquainted with Kimberly Sharanoff, who continued to foster my love for choral works until I graduated.
At the same time, I started to direct and act in musicals at the Pennsylvania Theatre of Performing Arts. Under the direction of my friend, Michael Marone, I learned about show business. The PTPA helped foster the beginning of my compositions, where I wrote an original piece, and worked on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with close confidant Lee Alucci.
During this time, I started to learn the piano again with Daniel DeMelfi. Danny was the polish to my scientific and artistic music backgrounds. Danny then taught me how to rock out - how to think like a rock star with chords, blues and jazz.
These Hazleton names and faces should be an ever-reminder: the youth could grow in Hazleton. Learn about culture and art; in turn, you will learn something about yourself. Take piano lessons. Get involved with the PTPA or the MPB Players. Sing a song with a chorus.
Who knows? You might go from Broad Street to Broadway.
New York City
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