Love Finds Judy Garland Featuring Joan Ellison | Kent State University

Love Finds Judy Garland Featuring Joan Ellison

Love Finds Judy Garland will be performed by Joan Ellison on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at Kent State University at Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center. This is a cabaret performance where the audience sits on the stage with the performers. Dinner is included in the $45 ticket price. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office, online at www.kent.edu/tusc/pac or by calling 330-308-6400. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free parking is available for all shows.

Michael Feinstein has praised Joan Ellison for her "vocal prowess...[and] organic grasp of the classic songs" by, and Donald Rosenberg, of  The Plain Dealer, described her as bringing "a keen blend of vocal splendor and verbal crispness to every musical moment" and "possess[ing] a crystalline voice that never stops"

Ellison’s long-time immersion in the popular vocal styles of the 1920s to the 1960s includes transcribing more than 200 piano and vocal arrangements note-for-note from classic recordings. This intimate understanding of vintage musical and vocal styles brings distinct freshness, immediacy and authenticity to her interpretations of class American standards.

Ellison’s long-time immersion in the popular vocal styles of the 1920s to the 1960s includes transcribing more than 200 piano and vocal arrangements note-for-note from classic recordings. This intimate understanding of vintage musical and vocal styles brings distinct freshness, immediacy and authenticity to her interpretations of class American standards.

This season, Ellison sang her Judy Garland in Hollywood concert with the Lakeside Symphony under the baton of Robert Cronquist, and also performed with the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz film release. For the past several years, she has been performing the theatrical productions Love Finds Judy Garland and Gershwin On the Air, for which she arranged the music. Both shows received short runs at True North Cultural Arts Center this season.   

In July, Ellison released a new album,“Retrophonic Gershwin,” featuring a dozen songs from her show, Gershwin On the Air. Along with an ensemble of two singers and duo-pianists, the album is mixed by Grammy award-winning engineer Robert Friedrich.  

Upcoming performances include Judy Garland in Hollywood with the Wheaton Symphony, the premiere of the re-written Love Finds Judy Garland (including eight new arrangements) in Cleveland before its Florida debut in February, 2016, three summer concerts with the Cleveland Pops, and a return to the Lakeside Symphony as the soloist in a concert commemorating the end of World War II. Winter 2016 will find her playing the role of "Judy Garland" in The Boy from Oz, directed by Mark Danni, at TheatreZone in Naples, Florida.  

One of her past appearances was “Judy Garland Valentine” with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic under Eric Benjamin. He commented, “To say ‘Joan lit up the stage’ is to use a cliché, but that’s why the phrase was coined to begin with. She did just that as she sang the Garland tunes with heartfelt spirit and a warm, vibrant sound - she is a gem! The audience fell in love at first sight and song.”

Other past symphonic appearances have included the Cleveland Pops Orchestra (with maestro Carl Topilow) headlining their “Songwriting Giants of Broadway” concert; “The Music of Richard Rodgers” with the Erie Philharmonic; and a return engagement with the Erie Philharmonic (with maestro Daniel Meyer) for their series of Holiday Pops concerts.  In 2005, she made her Severance Hall debut with the Cleveland Pops opposite Broadway Baritone William Michals, and has since sung a dozen times with the ensemble in repertoire ranging from The King and I to Wicked.  

In addition to touring the country with Love Finds Judy Garland and Gershwin On the Air, Ellison has trod the boards as Julie in Carousel, Nellie in South Pacific, Lizzie in 110 in the Shade, Eliza in My Fair Lady (in concert), and Claudia in Nine.  In 2010, Ellison released her debut album, A Date With Judy! Joan Ellison Sings Judy Garland.

In addition to performing, Ellison serves as the first Teacher of Popular Voice at The Cleveland Institute of Music and a Visiting Guest Artist (singing teacher) with the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House M.F.A. Acting Program.  

Ellison earned a Master of Music Therapy and a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she was elected Pi Kappa Lambda.

 

 

POSTED: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 10:49am
UPDATED: Monday, September 21, 2015 - 3:23pm