Alumni performers return for 50th Anniversary Gala Pops Concert
Some have starred on Broadway, others have toured the world with award-winning musical acts and some have found success on television. What they all have in common is they got their start at Fredonia – and they are all returning for Rockefeller Arts Center’s 50th anniversary celebration.
“The 50th Anniversary Gala Pops Concert” will feature 15 of Fredonia’s most accomplished alumni performing Broadway show tunes and some of the most popular big band and jazz standards of all time. The concert takes place on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall.
The featured alumni performers will be:
- Lance Bernard Bryant, ’02, acclaimed for his smooth, rich baritone. He is currently a lead vocalist in the internationally acclaimed rock and roll, vocal, and GRAMMY Hall of Fame group, The Platters. His previous credits include co-lead vocalist in Cirque Du Soleil's production of “ZAiA” in Macao, China.
- Jennifer Cody, ’91, who has been living and working in New York City since graduating from Fredonia. On Broadway, she originated roles in “Seussical,” “Urinetown,” “The Pajama Game” and “Shrek The Musical.” Other Broadway credits include “Cats” and “Beauty and the Beast.” She is second vice president of Actor’s Equity.
- Brian De Lorenzo,’84, a Boston-based cabaret artist named “Performer of the Year” for 2001 by Talent America. He has performed at jazz clubs and cabaret rooms including The Metropolitan Room, The Iridium, Don’t Tell Mama and Eighty-Eights (NYC) and Scullers Jazz Club (Boston).
- Sandra Dudley, ’83, who teaches in and heads up the Commercial Voice area at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Performance credits include the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The Jazz Orchestra of the Delta, Tennessee Jazz Orchestra and pops concerts with the Nashville and Memphis symphonies.
- Lou Giovannetti, ’88, who has performed on Broadway, in London’s West End, on national tours and in Italy. He toured with Jerry Lewis in “Damn Yankees” and has appeared in situation comedies and crime dramas on ABC, CBS and NBC. In Los Angeles, he fronts his own band, Lou G and his “Big” Big Band.
- Devon Goffman,’00, who has performed in the national tours of “On Your Feet!,” “Motown,” “Jersey Boys,” “Titanic,” “Grease” and “Buddy, the Buddy Holly Story.” He has extensive regional and TV/film credits, he has also performed in New York City in shows like “Life After High School” and “Pump Boys and Dinettes.”
- Marcus Goldhaber, ’00, who has performed all over New York City including Carnegie Hall, 54 Below, Blue Note, Smoke, Iridium, Birdland, The Friars Club and the Cutting Room. His repertoire includes The Great American Songbook and many of his own original songs. Jazztimes has called Marcus “wonderfully imaginative.”
- Evan Harrington, ’98, who was most recently seen on Broadway as Amos in “Chicago,” after completing the national tour of “Into the Woods” as The Baker. His other Broadway credits include “Avenue Q” (Brian) and over three years in “The Phantom of the Opera” playing the arrogant tenor Ubaldo Piangi.
- Paul Marinaro, ’82, who has been hailed as “one of the most beautiful vocal instruments in the business today” by The Chicago Tribune. He is a favorite at jazz clubs and festivals all over the world. Earlier this year, he was the sole vocalist in the all-star tribute to Oscar Peterson at Jazz at Lincoln Center
- Ann Martinez, ’01, who has been living and performing in Las Vegas for the last six years. Her credits there include starring in “Naz: A Musical Tour de Force,” as well as “Jubilee,” “Dancing Queen” and “The World’s Greatest Rock Show.” She played Patty in a European tour of “Grease.”
- Paul Mockovak, ’77, ’81, is a director, choreographer and professor of Theatre and Dance at Fredonia. Performance credits include Dance Miami, Ballet Oklahoma, Shakespeare on the Lake in Dunkirk (three seasons) and Neglia Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Giselle.”
- Julie Newell, ’82, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at Fredonia, has performed many of the major soprano operatic roles with the opera companies of Long Beach, Arizona, Kansas City, Orlando, Indianapolis, Memphis, Syracuse and Buffalo.
- Craig Schulman, ʼ78, who is widely recognized for the PBS broadcast of “The 10th Anniversary: Les Misérables in Concert.” He is the only actor in the world to have portrayed Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables” (2,500 performances), the Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” and the title roles in “Jekyll & Hyde.”
- Alissa Stahler, ’06, who came to Fredonia to study classical voice but caught the jazz buzz while in college. While earning her master’s degree in jazz voice at the Manhattan School of Music, she performed on the nationally televised “Showtime at the Apollo!” She has since performed in clubs all over New York City.
- Debbie Williams,’09, who is originally from Rochester, N.Y., but has been performing around the world since the age of 8. She is now based in Nashville, Tenn., where she has been cited as having the power of Celine Dion with the tone of Shania Twain. Her latest album was featured in the country section of iTunes.
“The 50th Anniversary Gala Pops” will feature music from “Wicked,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables,” “Hello Dolly,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “Guys and Dolls” and more. Big band and jazz standards will include “Come Fly with Me,” “Mack the Knife,” “Fever,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and “How High the Moon.”
The concert is a DFT Communications Pops Series events sponsored by radio stations WDOE and 96 KIX Country in Dunkirk as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.