Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Never Too Old To Learn

Cabaret coaching is a concept not new to us as TCCAN members. But it is an Outreach than can be rare for us to stumble onto and put into practice. Here are three upcoming opportunities at varying levels of investment for you.

Image result for melissa hart broadwayFor starters, we have a great 2 Hour Masterclass coming up sponsored by TCCAN and open to all in the Twin Cities residents; singers or not. We are bringing in local chanteuse Melissa Hart to work with 5 students from our ranks. It takes place Sunday May 3rd at McPhail from 3-5 in Downtown Minneapolis. Melissa has a great resume and a wealth of experience in the genre. She will coach on song presentation and also sample a bit of set up for each number giving reliable insight. The afternoon event is part of our ongoing Education mission, open free for all levels of TCCAN membership and also open to anyone at large for a $10 donation to observe. See how the process works before we step onto the stage.

Image result for wesley balk instituteAlso coming up locally is the summer Wesley Balk Institute hosted by Nautilus. This year marks a landmark 38th year of summer training from June 28th - July 18th. The three-week symposium works with not just performers, but also directors and coaches as it explores the total performer. Uniting the elements of not just voice, but emotional investment and physical awareness. Ben Krywosz and his prestigious panel are great advocates of new forms of musical theater which includes the genre of cabaret among others. Several of our members have participated in the experience and speak very highly of it. Tuition for the workshop is $1800 and registration is at the link below.
Wesley Balk Institute 

Image result for st louis cabaret conferenceLastly, for those that want to steep themselves in the true Cabaret art form, St Louis has been very ambitious these last few years and taken over where the Yale Conference left off. The St Louis Cabaret Conference is being held at Webster University. Tim Schall has been instrumental in spearheading this effort and has made a special effort to reach out to our ranks in the Twin Cities. This years event takes place July 18-25th and is branching into more specific tracks; Traditional, Next Step and Professional divisions. There is an impressive roster of Teachers and Panelists from Jason Robert Brown, to Christine Ebersole to Faith Prince just to name drop a bit. What is there not to admire?; it hits everything from song selection and arrangements to marketing and Faculty Recitals. Fees range from $1400 to $3200 with a lengthy admission process in writing and video. But this is strictly for the serious cabaret-ophile and will definitely give you both tools and confidence to carry you forward. Give it some serious thought and check out full details below.
St Louis Cabaret Conference

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Loss of a Legend

In our small little cabaret circle, the concept of stars is a vague idea compared to the film industry and pop music. So the notion of cabaret icons or legends becomes even more foreign to the masses. But if one had to define a singular name that rose to the definition, it would likely be Miss Julie Wilson. Sadly, the diva has sung her last song and died at a ripe age of 90.

With a start on stage in musical theater, some 40 years later she had transformed into a cabaret figure who redefined the world of lounge acts into something with pedigree. Not always the perfect voice, but always the consummate storyteller - she was a presence on stage with her larger-than-life lashes and huge magnolia in her hair. Not content with the usual American Songbook, she dug deep into the great Broadway lyricists of Sondheim, Weill, Dorothy Fields, Coward and others that expected a true master to weave the songs they wrote into small one-act plays each. Just recently, she was honored at the MAC Awards with a celebration of her 90th birthday.

Julie had a special connection to many of our TCCAN artists as an advocate of our genre with frequent master class appearances at the Yale Cabaret Conference. It was important to pass on her tools to other young artists so that the cabaret legacy continues into new audiences outside of New York.