As part of PRIDE Week at Keuka College, Colleen O’Neill, New York City actress, will present a workshop on portraying gender as an actress Wednesday, April 15.
The performance begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Brezinsky Room of Geiser Dining Hall in Dahlstom Student Center. O’Neill will also be part of a performance showcase Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. in the Chapel.
Both performances are free and open to the public.
During the April 15 event, O’Neill will reveal some of her funny and fabulous ‘characters’ on stage. Those in attendance will learn more about how gender is portrayed and perceived. A question and answer session with O’Neill will follow the performance.
The following day, O’Neill will join Kelley Hamilton, assistant professor of music and director of music programs, several Keuka College students, and professional tenor Lance Anderson in a celebration of diversity and honoring our “true selves.” The performance, dubbed “True Colors: Be Who You Are,” celebrates the power of embracing your true self. There will be songs, poems, monologues, art, and more.
“For my presentation at Keuka College, I will focus on my work as an artist, an actor, and an androgynous performer,” said O’Neill. “I will refer to a short list of classic films, and images of some of my work will be included in my presentation.”
O’Neill has worked extensively in downtown New York City’s theater for more than 30 years. She has performed in several TWEED Fractured Classicks, live adaptations of classic films turned into a full night of theater. Cross gender casting is usually employed, and O’Neill has portrayed male roles opposite male performers in the female roles.
But it is not just male characters O’Neill portrays—for nearly 20 years, Dr. Julia Wonder has been the “embodiment of my outside the box, and satirical opinions, both social and political,” said O’Neill. “Dr. Wonder is my baby and a nightmare. I have video footage of her promotional film for her presidential run in 2000 that I will share [when I come to Keuka College].
O’Neill has performed in locations across New York City, including Westbeth, Dixon Place, New York Theatre Workshop, the Pyramid Club, S.N.A.F.U., 8BC, Townhall, Kamikaze, Darinka, Avery Fisher Hall, Comix, Barracuda, the Ohio Theatre, Cowgirl Hall of Fame, HERE, Crowbar, and Crazy Nannies, among others.
As a commercial actress, O’Neill had a six-month run playing Sister off-Broadway in Late Nite Catechism, and for 15 years she has toured nationally performing Sister in the series. As Sister, she has performed five different one-person interactive comedies as a nun in a full habit.
In the spring of 2016, O’Neill will return to Rochester’s Geva Theatre in Sister’s Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go to Heaven?
PRIDE Week is a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.
While both performances are free, donations to support Keuka College’s PRIDE Club initiatives will be accepted.
The Keuka College Chorale, Band and the newly formed a capella group, QKAppella, will perform its annual spring concert Tuesday, April 29.
Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel.
The Chorale will sing a traditional Alleluia Canon and Old American Songs by Aaron Copland. The Band and Chorale will perform a set of Beatles songs, while QKAppella will present several popular solos and duets, according to Kelley Hamilton, music instructor and director of the chorale.
“Chung ‘Johnny’ Nguyen will sing a fabulous rendition of the Bruno Mars hit Just the Way You Are, said Hamilton. “The concert will also feature Jakiem Brown, who beat-boxes on several songs.”
According to Hamilton, the concert will flow between larger groups and soloists.
“We will combine some instrumental and vocals and the finale, Viva la Vida by Coldplay, will feature everyone,” said Hamilton. “Our new instrumental music instructor, Dr. Dave Chisholm, has arranged two Beatles’ pieces and the jazz classic, Caravan for the band. Dr. Chisholm is an amazingly talented jazz musician, professional composer, and arranger. It’s exciting for the students to be able to play new arrangements written by him.”
Formed at the beginning of the spring semester, QKAppella, which features 10 students, performed during Accepted Students Day earlier this month, and was “well received,” said Hamilton. “The students love this opportunity, and our new sound equipment is awesome.”
QKAppella will perform four more times during the semester, including Saturday, April 26 from 1-3 p.m. in the Phillips Lounge of Dahlstrom Student Center; Saturday, May 3 at 3 p.m. outside of Hegeman Hall; Saturday, May 10, at 12:15 p.m. in the Geiser Refectory; and Sunday, May 25, select students from Chorale and QKAppella will perform during Baccalaureate. The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. in Norton Chapel.
An additional performance will be Tuesday, May 6, as Chisholm, Hamilton, a jazz trio, and select Keuka College students will perform for the President’s Circle Dinner. The trio will play several jazz standards, and Hamilton will sing. In addition to Chisholm, who plays trumpet, the trio includes Fumi Tomita on bass and Alex Patrick on guitar.
A New York City native, Tomita has played at Carnegie Hall, was the bassist for the national tour of the Nat King Cole tribute Unforgettable, and is earning his doctorate at the Eastman School of Music.
Patrick, who is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music, has performed with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra, and has studied with guitarist Bob Sneider. A composer as well as a performer, Patrick received Penfield High School’s Charlie Cote Music Scholarship for composition and has had his works featured in Penfield High School concerts.
The Keuka College Chorale and the Chinese Choral Society of Rochester (CCSR) will be featured in a concert Sunday, March 16, at 3 p.m. in Norton Chapel.
The concert, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and will be followed by a reception in the Alumni Lounge in Ball Hall. Authentic Chinese food will be served.
“The Chorale is two-thirds Chinese and Vietnamese students, and I was thinking about how hard they have to work to learn, understand, and sing in English,” said Hamilton. “I wondered how our American students would fare learning a piece of music in Chinese.”
Enter CCSR, which promotes the appreciation of Chinese culture through chorus practices and concert performances. The group has been invited to perform in Ottawa, Toronto, and New York City, and has received grants from the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester.
“I contacted the choral society and wanted to know if they would come for a combined concert,” said Hamilton. “David Chin, the conductor and music director, thought it was a great idea.”
According to Hamilton, the Chorale will sing three selections, and she will perform a solo. Then, CCSR will take the stage. Their performance will feature Chinese soprano soloist, Ai-Ze Wang. The concert will end with both groups combining on two Chinese pieces—“Moon” and “Rasa Sayang,” conducted by Chin, and the final musical selection “Blessing,” sung in English and conducted by Hamilton.
A native of Beijing, China, Wang received her bachelor’s degree from Coe College, a master’s degree in voice from Kansas State University, and a master’s degree in opera from Temple University. She taught voice at Coe College, performed with the Coe Baroque Ensemble, and has studied and performed in Italy. A recording artist, Wang has sung with the Central Opera House of China in Beijing and performed leading roles with the Opera Theatre of Rochester.
Chin serves as adjunct professor of music at Roberts Wesleyan College, where he is the director of choral activities and conducts the Roberts Wesleyan Chorale.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in choral and piano performance from Liberty University and was awarded both Outstanding Music Student and Keyboard Student of the Year in 2010. He earned his master of music degree in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and completed his Piano Associate Diploma (ATCL) at Trinity College in London. Chin was awarded the Charles W. Kennett Scholarship and the Herman Genhart Choral Conducting Scholar Award by the Eastman School of Music.
Chin has served as the guest conductor of the International Christian Choral Conductor Society, and conducted the opening concerts of the new Eastman School Bach Cantata Series and the Hong Kong Bach Cantata Lecture Concert. He taught at the World Sacred Music Conferences in Auckland, New Zealand and Medan, Indonesia, and was selected to attend the Sarteano Chamber Music Workshop in Italy and Helmuth Rilling’s Masterclass in Hong Kong.
Recent highlights include conducting performances of Bach’s St. John Passion; Handel’s Messiah; Vivaldi’s Gloria; and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in G, among others. He has also conducted selections by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Duruflé, Sibelius, and Samuel Barber; and recently performed piano works by Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy.
Currently a member of the renowned Christ Church Schola Cantorum in Rochester, Chin also sings with the Voices ensemble, Eastman Chorale, and Eastman-Rochester Chorus. He has conducted the Eastman Repertory Singers and Eastman Chorale, and served as the accompanist of the Eastman Women’s Chorus.
While the concert is free, donations will be accepted for purchase of new music, instruments, and other items needed for the advancement of the music program.
The Keuka College music program is on the move.
Kelley Hamilton, music instructor and director of the Chorale, is starting a select choir that will perform at on-campus events and alumni gatherings, and travel for student recruitment.
“It will be a polished, professional group that will showcase the College and give students a high-quality music experience,” said Hamilton,
Hamilton, who has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and other well-known groups, says the spring semester will also bring the formation of a jazz band, private instrumental lessons, and a concert with the Chinese Choral Society of Rochester.
In this interview with Doug Lippincott, executive director of communications and host of Keuka College Today on WFLR (Dundee), Hamilton discusses these initiatives and others, the increased interest in music among students, in particular athletes, and the future of the program.
With Keuka College’s fall Chorale and Band concert in the books, Kelley Hamilton, music instructor and director of the Chorale, has her sights set on the future of the music program.
And the future starts during the spring 2014 semester, when Hamilton will hold auditions for students who want to join a select choir.
Hamilton envisions the select choir performing at on-campus events, alumni gatherings, and traveling for student recruitment.
“It will be a polished, professional group that will showcase the College and give Keuka students a high-quality music experience,” said Hamilton, who plans to have the choir accompanied by live instrumentalists.
Hamilton, who has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and other well-known groups, “likes to sing a lot of different genres, and I want to incorporate those genres into the choir.”
With that variety in mind, Hamilton anticipates the choir will sing “mostly pop, R&B, jazz, and Broadway, as well as present some a cappella pieces.”
Chorale member Jakiem Brown ’15, an educational studies major from Rochester, would seem to be a logical candidate for the select choir.
“Many of my best singers and musicians are athletes, and Jakiem is a member of both the men’s volleyball and tennis teams,” said Hamilton. “He plays the saxophone and ukulele, sings, and beat-boxes. He performed a solo during the concert, and is just a great kid who is hungry for more.”
Another athlete who would seem to a logical select choir candidate is Stephanie Havens ’14. The adolescent English major from Unadilla is a forward/midfielder for the women’s soccer team, and has been “singing and playing the trumpet for a long time.
“I liked that I could join Chorale or Band and have private voice lessons,” said Havens. “There is a Mozart piece I am working on that I am excited about, but is nothing I’d have ever considered if not for the voice lessons. I am not afraid to get up and sing in front of people anymore.”
As the select choir works through its formative stages, the popularity of the Chorale is growing, as evidenced by Kelsea Flynn ’17, a psychology major from Penn Yan. She sang a duet at the concert and “is excited to participate in Chorale next semester.”
“There are a lot of new students registered for Chorale next semester, and I’m excited,” said Hamilton. “There will be some challenges, though. I have several Chinese students registered, and a lot of students can’t read music. But, I hope to incorporate more popular songs into the concerts, and to one day partner with the Arion Players Drama Club and perform a musical.”
Next semester will also bring the formation of a jazz band, private instrumental lessons, and a possible concert with the Chinese Choral Society of Rochester.
“There are many Chinese students in the Keuka College Chorale and I wanted to find an authentic experience for them,” said Hamilton.
Also on tap for next semester will be new music opportunities in the classroom. Hamilton will teach a class on American Music Traditions, which will explore the history of American popular and classical music, including colonial folk music, blues, jazz, Broadway, rap, and hip hop, among others.
Added Hamilton: “One of the things I hope to do is partner with [Assistant Professor of Art] Melissa Newcomb’s students in her digital photography class and have them design album covers for my students.”