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Spotlight On The Arts Opera in Maumelle

This past Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Maumelle, the Maumelle Music Teachers League held their final Weekend Series concert until the fall. If you like music or you want to see the quality of artists performing in Maumelle, you need to make this series a priority on your fall calendar.

As usual, the MMTL put on another quality concert. Performers were selected from the students of Linda Kennedy, Pam Werner and Mary Winters. Students are selected who have polished pieces and they did not disappoint. We have some talented youth in and around Maumelle. The guest artist commented on how impressed she was that all the performers went up to play with full confidence. This was not a recital. It was a concert.

In addition to piano solos, there was also a violin (fiddle) number and a dulcimer performance by Harry Lance, 9, accompanied by his father. The guest artist commented that this was the first time she had heard a live dulcimer performance as she recently relocated from Indiana.

As with each concert by the MMTL, the highlight is the guest performer. For their final concert, this performer brought something new to the series — opera. Sarah Dailey has always loved music. She began piano at age 8 and started voice study at thirteen. She was involved with choir, band, orchestra, jazz-rock, ensemble, musicals and music festivals. She had her sights set on being in Broadway musicals until a touring group performed Puccini’s “La Boheme” while she was in high school.

She decided that opera was the music for her. She majored in vocal performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and then went on to get a Masters of Music (Voice) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She is currently completing a doctoral program in voice from Indiana University.

She has a passion for teaching and looks forward to teaching in Arkansas now that she has recently relocated here.

She sang three numbers and her soprano voice easily filled the sanctuary of First Baptist Church. Although she has chosen opera, she still has a little Broadway performer in her as evidenced by her performance on stage as she sang. Her first number was in Italian, so she explained to us the story. Briefly, a love song about a girl who really didn’t have time for her courter because of all the other suitors that interested her. Get in line! Her next number was a Gershwin and Weill number called “My Ship”, reminiscent of the Cole Porter era of singers. In keeping with the variety of music that she suggested to the students that they listen to, her last number was a fun story called “The Tale of the Oyster”. Not only did she sing it, but she performed some actions with it. Her soprano voice was clear, her diction was excellent and it would have been great if the church would have been filled. An excellent vocal performance we don’t see often in Maumelle.

Mark your Calendars

Maumelle artist, Mary Ann Stafford is one of 146 artists at the 5th Annual Delta Visual Arts Show in Newport, Arkansas on Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

She takes inspiration from her home state of Arkansas and works primarily in pastels, ink, color pencils and other media that enhances her fundamental method — drawing.

Maumelle Photography Club meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the Maumelle Library.

Remember to let us know about your event or organization so we can give it a place in a Spotlight on the Arts feature story or calendar. Contact me at maumellearts@gmail.com.

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