Next week, amateur singers under the guidance of voice teacher Patti Dunham will once again have an opportunity to showcase their talents to family, friends and others in a professional, yet casual atmosphere. Performers will take to the stage on two occasions at the Sea Cliff Yacht Club for two sets, on Monday, June 19 and Wednesday, June 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“I started putting together an end of the school year cabaret show for my students to give parents a chance to see what their child has been working on,” said Dunham, whose students range from elementary school age to senior citizens. “I hire a group of professional musicians, so the students also get a chance to learn how to prepare music and communicate with a band.”
Dunham, who lives in Sea Cliff, is an accomplished singer with a bachelor’s degree in voice from Fredonia School of Music who toured with the Philip Glass Ensemble as a soloist prior to teaching. Though classically trained, she also enjoys singing jazz, which she has done since her college days. As a freelance musician, she has obtained jobs at an array of churches, temples, sang on the “Hooked On Swing” albums and currently performs with the New York Choral Singers at Lincoln Center.
“This year it is a true cabaret, in that there is no meal, just the bar will be open,” said Dunham. “There are two sets, in which each student sings one song. I find that if they do them together, they don’t have enough time to calm down if they are nervous. After the first song they already feel like pros.”
She said that at the end of the first set, the club fires the cannon at sunset and lowers the colors, when a minute of silence is then observed. During this time, the performers take a break for about 20 minutes to watch the Solstice sunset, from the beach or balcony.
“During the day, the yacht club donates their space for the performers to practice,” said Dunham. “Each one gets time with the professional band to rehearse their songs. That is where the real learning happens. They can stop and start, ask questions and experiment. This way, they feel more comfortable and really learn how to perform with a band.”
She said she encourages the students to sing any solo they like that fits their voice.
“They don’t often get an opportunity to do that. We work for weeks before the show to prepare their pieces,” she explained. “The choices range from classical and musical theater to rock and pop. It is always an interesting and diverse show that gives each performer a chance to shine in their favorite kind of music.”
The Sea Cliff Yacht Club is at 42 The Boulevard, Sea Cliff. Although the club is private, they are available for catering for nonmembers, so this show is a great chance to check out the venue.
Performers on Monday, June 19, include: Ellie Waska of Glen Cove, Ruby Lerhman of Sea Cliff, Abby Jiang of Locust Valley, Fiona and Mairead Colby of Glen Head, Brett Dallis of Locust Valley, Hannah Schoen of Glen Head, Loretta and Olivia Nestor of Glen Head, Emily Greggori of Plainview, Erin Schoenhofen of Glen Head, Cassandra Nockowitz of Glen Head.
Performers on Wednesday, June 21, are: Carmine Verde of Long Beach, Siobhan Esposito of Glen Head, Jasmine Krause of Great Neck, Michael Korins of Merrick, Charlotte Simone of Manhasset, Nicole Schneider of Sea Cliff, Kylie Jenkins of Glen Cove, Anjali Desai of Great Neck, Ruth Elias of Lattingtown, Hallie ArbitalJacoby of Albertson, Adi Sragovich of Great Neck, Tabitha Luna of Astoria, Rachael and Laura Doukas of Muttontown.