All Hands On Deck at 'Vann Vocal Institute'

September 30, 2014

When your body (and your wife) finally tell you to throttle back, you had better listen.  Therefore I write this entry from my bed, bored to tears, but still panicked over what must be done in the next few weeks.  The Vann Vocal Institute in Montgomery, Alabama is an intense week for me to be sure; but the planning begins months and months in advance with the final 4-6 weeks posing a particular drain on me.  Coordinating this event–beginning for ME on Saturday October 11 (with others soon to follow)–which features a ‘Celebrity Recital’ by our faculty/artists, and LOTS of teaching, lecturing, and masterclasses to our students, as well as social obligations as the Program Director can be tricky indeed while navigating a full performance calendar.

Fortunately, the ‘human capital’ (aka: the Montgomery Symphony administrative ground team) in Montgomery is first rate!  It would be impossible to do all of this without them.  The success of this program ultimately rests with this program’s backbone…one Kimberly Wolfe, the new Executive Director of the Montgomery Symphony organization, and her team.  She is busy organizing radio, television, and print media spots for me, plus a few early outreach events.  President Cameron West of Huntingdon College, our host for the week, is also checking-in regularly to make sure that we have everything we need.  Generous local donors (Jim Wilson & Associates) step in to provide first rate, private jet transportation and housing for all of us, while I am busy playing travel agent and party planner to everyone.

In the end, this is all in service to our students from five states and the local community.  We raise private funds in order to bring all programs to the students and community free of charge…so the fundraising also never ends.  I pause to give thanks to two major Chicago Arts Foundations for their continuing support to an area of the country that is not part of their direct purview; they do so because of my association with them…and this is the most humbling aspect of all. I can only hope to do justice to their funding, and remain inexplicably grateful to them.

Calling: “All Hands On Deck”!

My wonderful faculty and I are about to invade the friendliest city in America.  Historic Montgomery, Alabama!


David Cangelosi, Program Director
Lori Phillips, Soprano
Elizabeth Bishop, Mezzo-Soprano
Richard Troxell, Tenor
Raymond Aceto, Bass
Dr. Elizabeth Buccheri, Senior Vocal Coach
Kelly Kuo, Vocal Coach
Dale Williams, Masterclass Pianist