Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sing, dance and celebrate an icon

Last Saturday I had the honor and enjoyed myself immensely MC'ing and singing throughout the evening to celebrate the 60th birthday of my nationally renowned singing teacher and coach Nedra Gaskill!

The joint was jumping, the place was packed with well-wishers, most of whom were singers, who shared their talents throughout the evening.

More, Nedra's sis Lois flew in from California to get down with all of us show bizzers.

She had a terrific time watching all of us perform. That's her on the right with Nedra and her granddaughter.

The fantastic dinner was catered by Nedra's son-in-law, a chef, so we scarfed magnificent large mushrooms stuffed with crab, caesar salad, pasta, salmon and stuffed chicken breast and many more delicacies.

I sang three songs: the touching "Don't Worry," a country hit written by Marty Robbins, "Little Girls," from the Broadway smash "Annie," which I hammed up completely in costume with a whiskey flask. Co-starring with me were Nedra's fantastic granddaughters!

I ended with "You Raise Me Up," which I sang to Nedra on everyone's behalf because she raises us all to be more than we can be!

Groups and individuals performed all four hours I was there, and were still going strong as I left!

Folk, opera, pop, alternative, gospel, country, Broadway and other genres were represented throughout the evening. As well as tons of laughter and a spirit I think most of us wish our nation had at this time. Music is not only the equalizer among humans, it's a a genuine uniter.

There's nothing like hearing a room full of singers sweetly harmonizing to such touching selections as "The Circle Game," or blowing the roof off the room with the rousing gospel crowd pleaser, "I'll Fly Away." The acoustics were brilliant.

Non-singing guests had as good a time as those of us who sang our hearts out. Meanwhile, if you've ever wanted to sing, write music, play an instrument or express yourself tunefully in some way, Nedra reminded us of k.d. lang's quote: "Don't die with music inside you."

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