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It’s been a great ride! Sometimes, you just need to sit back and look at all you’ve done!

 

Sherry Campbell 

805 Santa Margerita Lane

Punta Gorda FL 33950                 617 827 0714

 On-stage experience with Boston and NYC area companies including: Company Theatre, North River Theater, Duxbury Bay Players, Curtain Call Theatre, Nick’s Comedy Stop Manhattan Community Opera & Liederkranz Opera in NYC. Roles included:

 

Love Letters                                                 Melissa

The Cemetery Club                                     Ida

Man Who Came to Dinner                        Lorraine Sheldon

Music Man                                                  Marion

The Runner Stumbles                              Mrs. Shandig

Forty Carats                                                Ann Stanley

A Christmas Carol                                     Bess

Into the Woods                                          Cinderella’s Mother & Granny

Steel Magnolias                                         M’Lynn

Sound of Music                                          Baroness

Funny Thing Happened…                         Tintinabula

Evita                                                             Ensemble

Don’t Touch That Dial                             Member of 6 person ensemble, multiple characters

On screen actress for Industrial Videos, Training Films and TV commercials

Co-Founder & Manager of Stetson Underground Theatre, Hingham MA

Produced & Directed for Stetson, North River Players, Cohasset Dramatic Club, Duxbury Bay Players including:

  • What are We Going to Do About Dad? (premier of original work)
  • We Should Live So Long (premier of original work)
  • Where the Wild Things Are – Children’s Theatre
  • Gift of the Magi
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Women
  • Crossing Delancey
  • Picnic
  • Inherit the Wind
  • The Hasty Heart
  • A Thousand Clowns
  • Fiddler on the Roof (Music Director)
  • Sweet Charity (Music and Choreography)
  • Don’t Dress for Dinner
  • A Bench in the Sun
  • Rumors

Founder & Manager of Mixed Company, a jazz singing group

Creator, Producer and on camera host for In The Wings, a weekly cable interview show focusing on the Performing Arts in the Boston Area

Theatre and Music Reviewer for FOLIO Magazine and The PATRIOT LEDGER

Writer and Editor, TEMPO: The Magazine of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Training & Education:

Voice: Sam Sakarian, NYC; Michael Joseph, Weymouth MA

Acting: HB Studios, NYC, and Michael Shurtleff

Commercial Skills: Reed, Sweeney, Reed – Pat Sweeney, NYC

BS, State University of NY, Music and Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Best Friend

I was 18 and very pregnant when I moved into the tiny house on East Street in Suffield CT.  My next door neighbors were a young couple – about 10 years older than I was – with three young children.  Truth is, I remember very little about that time in my life, other than the circumstances that got me where I was!  And, I remember the pink sundress I wore almost constantly because I had very few maternity clothes.  The only other person in my life who remembers that dress is my oldest and best friend in all the world, Josie, who was the young mother living next door.

When I finally delivered my baby, it was obvious I knew close to nothing – no, absolutely nothing – about babies.  This became clear to Josie when I confided that I was worried my baby cried a lot and had lost a little weight.  She asked me what I was feeding him and I said “Similac”, which is what the pediatrician recommended since I had stopped nursing.  My new friend said, without hesitation, “He’s hungry.  He needs some real food.”  She went to the store and bought baby cereal, which he devoured.  To this day, my son swears that he has food issues because I was starving him as an infant.

This was not the first time Josie saved me from myself.  Later, when I was working as a waitress (which I almost always was in those days) and we had spent the afternoon drinking Bolla Valpolicella and I wasn’t in any condition to go anywhere, she got me into a shower, dressed me and delivered me to work.  She was my big sister, the mother I missed, my playmate.  When her fourth child arrived, I was the one who held her, wrapped in a towel with her head hanging over the sink so Jo could wash her hair.  She hated it when her hair was washed.

Neither of us had any money.  Dinner for us was often pancakes with syrup made from sugar water and maple flavoring.  More than one Christmas found us at the Goodwill to get toys for the kids.  What did they know or care that they were used?  We had a ball finding those treasures.  One year, when at the store buying Easter baskets, I wanted her to buy her baby a bonnet.  It was a dollar.  She refused to buy it. “She’s a baby.  She doesn’t need a bonnet.”  We still laugh about that and, over the years, I have bought her several hats – every time saying YOU NEED A BONNET.

I don’t remember feeling deprived.  At all.  There were parties.  Christmas brought cookie making with everyone there.  And, there were always kids at her house, cub scouts, neighbors, cousins’ children.  Josie and her husband Wes had bought this little house when they were first married.  It had 2 bedrooms, which the kids used.   Jo and Wes slept on a pull-out couch in the living room.  He worked hard to support his family, she budgeted every penny like Scrooge himself.  They didn’t have money.  They did have each other.

One Sunday morning, I was awakened by Josie shaking me. “You have to come over – something’s wrong with Wes!”  I remember calling for an ambulance. I don’t know what made me do that – reflex, I guess.  Then, running next door through a couple of feet of snow.  Wes was lying on the couch, barely breathing, Jo at his side, telling him she was ‘here’.  The ambulance came to my house first, I ran outside and flagged them down.  Then they were there, putting him on a stretcher, carrying him out to the ambulance.  Josie had her coat on and was going with them.  I remember saying, “Everything is going to be ok.  I’ll take care of the kids”.  And that was it.

No one should lose their husband at the age of 30.  Leaving her behind with 4 children under the age of 10.  Without a driver’s license, even.  What kind of hell is that, I ask.  What does one do?  Go on.  That’s what.  You have a family to take care of.  You do what you need to do.  And she did.

Again, this particular time is murky in my memory.  Images of being in Forbes and Wallace, handing her black dresses to try on for the funeral.  Her sobbing her heart out over his coffin.  Let her cry.

The months, years following. Both of us, struggling to make a life of our own – each of us with our personal challenges.  Hers always felt so much more weighty than mine.  Whatever she went through, I was there for her.  Even when I finally moved away.  Coming to see Josie was coming ‘home’.  She, a second mother for my boy.  Me, giving her anything I could.  Being her friend.

All this happened decades ago.  Both of us have been through each other’s marriages, divorces, dogs, cats, birds & ferrets, broken hearts, grandchildren, more bottles of red wine.  Eventually, trips to Mexico and California, a weekend in a haunted hotel in upstate New York. Our childrens’ and grandchildren’s crises.  More Christmas cookies.  Sickness. Loss.  Life.

Now.  it is my best friend’s 79th year.  She’s been dealing with health issues for a few years.  I always ask, “how are you doing?”.  “I’m fine.”  Always “I’m fine”.  A couple of weeks ago, she was taken to the hospital and I called.  “How are you doing?”  pause.  “I’ve been really sick.  Not too good.”  What happened to “I’m fine”?

I don’t want her to be sick.  I don’t want her to be anything but fine.  I want her to be with me forever.  I want to buy her another hat and drink wine.

 

The Peace River Wildlife Center

One of the most visited places in Punta Gorda – and certainly one of the most special – is Ponce de Leon Park and the Peace River Wildlife Center.  This year, the fine folks who run this wonderful organization have become partners with the Charlotte Symphony.  Here is an article I wrote for the January 2016 issue of symphony magazine, TEMPO, telling our patrons all about it!

The Peace River Wildlife Center ~

The Symphony’s new community partner!

 TEMPO visits the PRWC

Long before human beings lifted their voices in song, or played instruments, or composed the glorious music we enjoy at our Symphony concerts, there was the music of the natural world! Birds of all kinds filled the air with their tones. Whales sang their haunting calls from the depths of the ocean. Our human music is inspired by nature, inextricably connected with its rhythms and we, here in Southwest Florida, are blessed to be surrounded by both!

This season, our Charlotte Symphony Orchestra welcomes a new partner in the Peace River Wildlife Center.  The Center is familiar to everyone who lives here in Punta Gorda and one of the most popular attractions for our visitors.

“The most important work we do here is the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife”, says Callie Stahl the Center’s Operations Manager. Most animals that come to us are either injured or displaced because of human action. Our work is an attempt to restore to nature what humans have harmed.”

Callie is a native of Florida and was a music major at Florida State University, until she changed her career goals to working with animals and worked as a veterinary technician for several years. In 2009, she came to the Center as a re-hab specialist and then became Operations Manager in 2012.  “When I came here, I realized this is where I belong. There is something new happening every day and always something to learn,” she shared during my visit in October.

Our meeting was attended by a gorgeous Great Horned Owl named Bella.  Perched on the back of Callie’s chair, this huge bird occasionally seemed to doze off, only to become wide eyed when a passerby snapped her photo. “She seems to have a bit of attitude” I offered and then learned that she just had her nails clipped and was ‘put out’. Bella had been rescued by another facility as a nestling and released when grown. However, she was soon reported to be going around a neighborhood, house-to-house, ‘asking’ for food! Callie said, “She had imprinted with humans early in life and, even though she still has a hunter’s instinct, she has no idea it’s about survival.” So, to the Center she came and that is home.

The most famous of PRWC’s residents is Luna, the tiny white owl that is now the organization’s mascot and best spokesperson “on the road”.  He is adorable and has his own very attractive cage home in the office.  “Lu” as he is called by the staff, is often seen at meetings, luncheons, and parties around the county when everyone can snap a photo and coo over his cuteness.

While I was visiting, a local couple brought in a heron with a broken wing and another brought a soft-shelled turtle that had been hit by a car. Both couples were so happy to have rescued these creatures – it was obvious it meant a great deal to them. I could see how working in this lively place would become addictive!

Though the rescue and re-hab work is the Center’s primary intent, Callie quickly adds that the concurrent goal is education. The partnership with the Symphony will bring Callie and the Center’s resident veterinarian Dr. Robin Jenkins with some of the Center’s animals to school visits with Maestro this season. This will enrich the Symphony’s art/music school program based on the Carnival of the Animals, and will certainly add excitement and anticipation for the season’s Youth Concert, at which the work by Saint-Saens will be featured!

Callie commented that working with children is particularly important because they learn at an early age to respect animals and all of nature. They grow to be more aware and concerned adults regarding the environment and the connection of all life on our planet.

“Sometimes we can also affect adults who are not too set in their ways. Awareness is the key. So often, people just don’t know. I will get a fearful call saying there’s a bobcat in someone’s yard: “what should we do?”  I tell them to watch and enjoy – be thankful there are still bobcats in our midst. Generally they disappear as quickly as they appear.”  Callie went on to say that when visitors see animals at the Center, they get to know them –personally. Their stories, their personalities. They are no longer just some ‘critter’, they are up close and personal – and that often changes how people feel about them.

At the end of our visit, Callie remarked about the Center’s working environment, “Everyone involved with PRW is here because of their commitment to the work we do, because of their love for wildlife. There are no egos, no agendas, none of the squabbling you see in so many groups. We have the most wonderful staff, volunteers and Board – all kindred spirits with the Center’s best interests at heart. Our goal is to expand the Center to include an education facility – where families can come and learn about the wildlife of the region and become better stewards of our ecosystem.”

The PRWC is a critical component to the culture and texture of life in Punta Gorda. Its mission is simpatico with the environmentally conscious nature of our residents and, thankfully, support for its continued growth is powerfully strong.

Visit Peace River Wildlife Center on Facebook and learn about their rescued animals and events and visit their website at peaceriverwildlifecenter.org.  The Center collects certain recycled items and in need of specific supplies on an ongoing basis.  A great way to make financial contributions is shopping on Amazon.  Go to Smile.Amazon.com and select Peace River Wildlife Center as your charity.

Maestro visits PRWCIMG_4166

Vittorioso – Combined Presenters’ Intros, Movie Names & Notes

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Vittorioso

March 29, 2015

Combined Presenters’ Introductions, Movie Names & Program Notes

1. (no introduction)

 OPENING:  William Tell Overture, Rossini

Movie:  THE LONE RANGER

Notes:

Rossini was the most popular opera composer in history until his retirement.  He was nicknamed “The Italian Mozart” for his song-like melodies and his music was often compared to ‘champagne’. William Tell premiered in 1829 and was the last of Rossini’s 39 operas, although he lived another 40 years and continued to compose other forms of music. Today the opera is remembered mostly for its Overture which is in four parts, each following without pause: Dawn, Storm, Call to the Cows (the calm after the storm), and the Finale – March of the Swiss Soldiers, the very familiar high energy gallop replete with horns and trumpets.

2.

Deep in the world of CIA covert operations in Soviet Russia, this was the movie version of Tom Clancy’s first novel, with some big hitters leading the cast:  Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and James Earl Jones. A huge financial success, it also won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing and others from the British Academy Film Awards.

The film: The Hunt for Red October

The music: Finlandia, Sibelius

Notes:

Finnish composer Jean Sibelius composed Finlandia for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire. It was the last of seven pieces performed as accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history.  The work is mostly turbulent and rousing, evoking the political struggle of the time, but at the end, quiets into a hymn of reverence and national pride. Finlandia was performed, at that time in history, under different titles in order to avoid censorship. But for nationalists, its message remained clear.

3.

A fun romp with a fantastic soundtrack of popular music, this movie starred a pair of giant comedic TV actors who got to make music with James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway and John Lee Hooker while they got the band back together, trying to do a good deed and stay out of jail.  OK, not exactly Academy Award material, but it has been named as one of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films of all Time.

The film: The Blues Brothers

The music: Sabre Dance, Khachaturian

Notes:

Sabre Dance is a movement in the final act of Khachaturian’s ballet Gayane, when the dancers display their skills with sabres!  The composer’s best-known and recognizable work, it became an American jukebox hit in 1948.  Since then it has been the accompaniment for circuses, magicians, in TV shows, animated films, commercials, and even video games.  Its wild frenzy is the perfect ‘chase scene’ soundtrack!

4.

Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winner of 7, including Best Picture, Director, and Original Score. The film is deemed “culturally significant” by the Library of Congress and was described as the director’s “gift to his mother, to his people, and in a sense to himself.”  The score was written by one of the great film composers of our time.

The film: Schindler’s List

The music:  Theme from Schindler’s List, John Williams

Notes:

One of America’s most prolific composers of film soundtracks, Williams is known for Star Wars, ET, Jaws, Indiana Jones and the list of instantly recognizable scores goes on and on!  A little known fact:  he also composed the theme song for the TV show Gilligan’s Island.  Tonight’s offering has a very different atmosphere and has won the composer many awards.  The violin solo is haunting, sad, hopeful and unforgettable.

5.

In 1957, the Academy awarded 7 Oscars for this highly praised film, including Best Picture.  The fictional story takes place in World War II, at a prison camp in Thailand.  British prisoners, regardless of their rank, are commanded into forced labor to build a bridge.  The music used for this theme is forever inextricably linked to the story.

The film: Bridge over the River Kwai

The music: Colonel Bogey March, Kenneth Alford

Notes:

The “Colonel Bogey March” was written in 1914 by Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts, a British Army bandmaster, who composed under the pseudonym Kenneth Alford, since professional lives outside the military were frowned upon at that time. Supposedly, the tune was inspired by a military man and golfer – Colonel Bogey – who whistled a characteristic two-note phrase instead of shouting “Fore!”  His name was adopted for the standard scoring system in golf – ‘Bogey’ is now a golfing term meaning “one over par”.  Composer Malcolm Arnold wrote a counter march for his film score and the two have been entwined ever since.

6.

This 1971 Italian-French drama, based on a novella written by German author Thomas Mann, tells a tale of forbidden love amidst a cholera epidemic. Mahler’s Adagietto opens and closes the film, beautifully framing the drama and romance of the movie that won the Cannes Film Festival in 1971 and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1972.

The film: Death in Venice

The music: Symphony No. 5, Adagietto, Gustav Mahler

Notes:

The fourth movement of Mahler’s 5th may be his most famous composition and is the most frequently performed of his works. It is said to represent Mahler’s love song to his wife, Alma, according to whom the composer had also written an accompanying small poem:

How much I love you, you my sun,

I cannot tell you that with words.

I can only lament to you my longing and love

7.

This 1979 masterpiece, dealing with the Vietnam War, was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, Francis Ford Coppola and starred Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen and Robert Duvall.  The film is now deemed “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” and is preserved by the National Film Registry and Library of Congress.

 The film: Apocalypse Now

The music: Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walkure, Wagner

Notes:

Written between 1851 and 1854, this dramatic piece opens the third act of Die Walkure, an opera based on Norse mythology in which the Valkyrie sisters decide which soldiers in battle will die and which will live. They have gathered on a mountain peak in preparation to transport fallen soldiers to Valhalla.  Even without the glorious operatic voices of the women as they sing their battle song, one easily imagines terrible, flying mythical creatures on an epic mission.

8.

In 1985, this stunning film was nominated for 53 awards and won 40 of them, including 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, as well as Costume Design, Adapted Screenplay by Peter Shaffer, Art Direction, Makeup and Sound.  The soundtrack is a smorgasbord of Mozart’s music.

The film: Amadeus

The music: Symphony #25,

Movement #1, Mozart

Notes:

Mozart lived only 35 years, was competent on both keyboard and violin at 5.  At 17, he was a court musician in Vienna, when he composed his 25th symphony, supposedly only 2 days after he finished No. 24!  In his brief lifetime, he composed over 600 works, profoundly influencing music of the western world and remaining one of the most popular classical composers.  Haydn wrote, “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years”.

9.

The luscious Intermezzo from Mascagni’s one act opera Cavalleria Rusticana was featured in a 1980 film which received 8 Oscar nominations, with Robert de Niro winning Best Actor.  This film was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director Martin Scorsese, but lost both categories to a family drama directed by Robert Redford.

The film: Raging Bull

The music: The Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, Mascagni

Notes:

Written in 1890, this classic melodramatic one act opera has been double-billed with the one-act Pagliacci so often, it is casually referred to as “Cav and Pag”.  Both are based on tales of deception, adultery, and murder.  In Cavalleria, a lot of this action takes place in front of a beautiful church in the village square.  The famous Intermezzo is a rare moment of tranquility while the villagers are worshipping.

10.

Mozart’s Music has been used in many, many films.  The Overture to The Marriage of Figaro alone has appeared on seven soundtracks.  Though none of these films were honored by the Oscars, in 1994, this movie starring Arnold Shwarzenegger received Best Picture, as well as several other nominations from The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

The film: The Last Action Hero

The music: The Overture from The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart

Notes:

Among the most frequently performed of Mozart’s operas is The Marriage of Figaro, which is a sequel to an earlier work The Barber of Seville.  It’s a story of a debauched Count, a rejected Countess, and two young lovers entangled in a web of manipulation and schemes – nothing to be taken seriously except the music, which is glorious!

11.

In 2010, this historical film received 12 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Actor and Original Screenplay. Despite the brilliant score by Alexandre Desplay, the director chose to use Beethoven second movement of Symphony #7 for the film’s climactic scene. The emotional effect of the music was so powerful, it almost stole the scene from Colin Firth.

The film: The Kings Speech

The music: Symphony No. 7, Movement #2, Beethoven

Notes:

Beethoven composed his 7th symphony between 1811 and 1812, and it has been noted that he believed it to be one of his best works. The second movement, Allegretto, was immediately the most popular and is frequently performed as a stand-alone piece.  For decades, the theme has haunted musicians and composers of all genres.  I cannot hear it without thinking of the 1994 romantic biographical film Immortal Beloved, which Roger Ebert remarked had clearly been made by “people who feel Beethoven directly in their hearts”.

12.

Although the Oscars eluded this film, it did receive recognition by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, BMI Film and TV Awards, Golden Screen and MTV Movie Awards.  This fast paced adventure featured Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons and Samuel L. Jackson in a New York City thriller.

The film: Die Hard with a Vengeance

The music: American Salute, Morton Gould

Notes:

A quintessential American composer, Gould played piano at movie theatres during the Depression, at Radio City Music Hall, conducted and arranged orchestral programs for radio, composed Broadway scores, music for television, the ballet, and received commissions for symphony orchestras throughout the U.S. including three for the U.S. Bicentennial celebration.  The list of his honors and awards is jaw dropping.  Gould composed American Salute, based on a folk melody, in 1942 (literally overnight) for a patriotic World War II radio broadcast.

Program Notes are the property of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra are posted here by permission from the Orchestra and the author.