St. Louis Cabaret Conference

2017 CONFERENCE - JULY 15-23, 2017

Marilyn Maye ● Peisha McPhee ● Faith Prince ● Tedd Firth ● Christopher Denny ● Michael Orland ● Alex Rybeck ● Jeff Harnar ● Tim Schall 

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Tim Schall — Artistic Director/Producer/Faculty

Tim has been called “a consummate cabaret performer” by Cabaret Scenes Magazine. He is a singer with over a dozen solo shows to his credit. KDHX St. Louis refers to his performances as “madly entertaining”. He has headlined his shows at the prestigious St. Louis venues The Sheldon Concert Hall, The Bistro at Grand Center, Gaslight Cabaret Festival, among many other clubs and performing arts centers. Regionally/nationally he has performed at Davenports (Chicago), Geist Cabaret (Santa Fe), in addition to venues in Boston and Washington DC. St. Louis’ Riverfront Times says of his cabaret work, “expect great things”.

Tim is Artistic Director/Producer/Faculty Member of The St. Louis Cabaret Conference and is solely responsible for choosing faculty, curriculum and students. Under Schall’s guidance The St. Louis Cabaret Conference has developed into one of the top song performance training programs in the country with a renowned, award winning guest faculty that attracts more than 30 singers each year from all over the nation. Additionally, he has taught numerous Advanced Performance classes and directed nearly 30 full length cabaret shows and showcases for various singers, including Tony nominee Lara Teeter’s acclaimed New York debut at 54 Below in 2014.

Tim served as adjunct faculty at Webster University teaching their Cabaret Styles Performance class to seniors in the  University's Musical Theater Conservatory. Schall is also the Executive Director of The Cabaret Project of St. Louis (TCP), a non-profit with a mission to support, develop and sustain the art of cabaret. Under the banner of TCP, Schall serves as producer of The St. Louis Cabaret Festival, which has presented such talents as Ann Hampton Callaway, Faith Prince, Marilyn Maye, Billy Stritch, Jason Graae, Liz Callaway, Andrea Marcovicci, Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock. Cabaret Scenes Magazine highlighted his work as a cabaret force in a 2009 feature article. Tim owns and operates a private vocal performance studio in St. Louis.

A veteran actor, he was recently nominated for a St. Louis Theater Circle Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor for his performance in The Normal Heart. He has appeared with multiple theaters in St. Louis and Chicago, including The Muny, Stages St. Louis, New Jewish Theater, Pegasus Players, Chicago Opera Theater, both the Chicago and St. Louis Symphony Choruses and was a soloist with Webster University’s Opera Scenes evening in 2015. He is a Missouri Arts Council Touring Artist and has performed and taught song performance workshops throughout the state.  www.timschall.com

“Tim Schall sings with a voice like honey, a heart filled with emotion and a mind that knows how to tell a story. That’s the cabaret triple crown.” — Cabaret legend Amanda McBroom

Christopher Denny

Christopher Denny has served as musical director, arranger and pianist for such theater, cabaret and opera luminaries as Karen Mason, Julie Wilson, Brent Barrett, Gregg Edelman, David Campbell, Tammy Grimes, Andrea Marcovicci, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Loudon, Judy Kaye, Kaye Ballard, Jeff Harnar, Steven Brinberg and Tommy Femia.  He has earned two Back Stage Bistro Awards and four Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Awards for Outstanding Musical Direction.

His thirty-year career has taken him to virtually all of the major venues in New York and throughout the U.S., notably including Carnegie Hall, the New York Pops as well as to Barcelona’s great opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, to Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Paris and London’s West End. He produced the recording sessions of Placido Domingo for Baz Luhrmann’s Oscar- winning musical film, Moulin Rouge.

Denny was musical director for following theatrical works: Norman Mathews’ musical, You Might As Well Live, starring Karen Mason, in the New York Music Theater Festival;  the New York premiere of Bob Merrill’s, The Prince of Grand Street; Barry Kleinbort’s hit revue, Big City Rhythm; The Songs of Kurt Weill, starring Kitty Carlisle Hart and many others.

As a private vocal coach, he has worked well-established stars, including Boyd Gaines, Ethan Hawke, John Cameron Mitchell, Melissa Errico, Anthony Rapp, T.R. Knight, Jack Noseworthy, Austin Pendleton, among many others.

His teaching credits includes serving on the faculty for professional French musical theater performers in Paris, under the auspices of the French organization, giving master classes and individual coaching to the B.F.A. students at the University of Indiana (Bloomington),  seven years on the faculty of Perry-Mansfield in Steamboat Springs, CO; The Cabaret Conference at Yale University; The Cabaret Symposium at Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, CT. His work can be heard on about 30 CD’s of performers including David Campbell, Brett Barrett and Karen Mason, among many others.

TEDD FIRTH

Tedd is a New York City based musical director, jazz pianist and arranger.  As musical director and accompanist he has worked with Barbara Cook, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Maureen McGovern, Tom Wopat, Marilyn Maye, Michael Feinstein, Joshua Bell,  Elaine Paige, Tony DeSare, Linda Lavin, Christine Ebersole, Lucie Arnaz, Lee Ann Womack, Faith Prince, John Schneider, Melissa Errico, Karen Akers, Mary Cleere Haran, Margaret Whiting, Carol Sloane and many others. Among the jazz musicians he has performed or recorded with are John Pizzarelli, Houston Person, Frank Wess, Mark Whitfield, Red Holloway, Benny Golson and Joe Morello.

New York appearances include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Birdland, the Iridium, the Algonquin, the Cafe Carlyle and Feinstein's at the Regency.  Numerous national appearances include a performance at the White House.  As an arranger/orchestrator, Tedd's work has been performed by most major American symphony orchestras as well as Bernadette Peters and Liza Minnelli.  Television appearances include "The Today Show," "Live From Lincoln Center", "All My Children" and PBS’ "Michael Feinstein at the Rainbow Room."

“Prodigiously gifted and versatile pianist” — Stephen Holden, New York Times

Jeff Harnar

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Jeff Harnar is an Award-winning New York cabaret and recording artist who is

known for his critically acclaimed engagements at The Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room; Feinstein's at The Regency; The Metropolitan Room and most recently at Birdland and Iridium. His Carnegie Hall appearances include both the Cole Porter and Noel Coward Centennial Galas. He appeared at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in a sold-out solo concert and most recently he was Michael Feinstein's special guest in his Jule Styne tribute at Carnegie's Zankel Hall.  Jeff is the recipient of 3 Manhattan Association of Cabaret (MAC) Awards and 3 Back Stage Bistro Awards, including the recent MAC award winning Sondheim show, ANOTHER HUNDRED PEOPLE, with K.T. Sullivan,

His television appearances include CBS THIS MORNING; "THE 1959 BROADWAY SONGBOOK" (PBS) and as the singing narrator of "GERSHWIN ON ICE" starring Dorothy Hamill (A&E),  He is perhaps best recognized for his signature "theme" shows. In collaboration with Director Sara Louise Lazarus and Musical Director Alex Rybeck, including he created "THE 1959 BROADWAY SONGBOOK," "BECAUSE OF YOU: 50'S GOLD," "A COLLECTIVE CY: Jeff Harnar sings CY COLEMAN," "CARRIED AWAY: Jeff Harnar sings COMDEN & GREEN,"  and GERSHWIN'S HOLLYWOOD," Jeff has brought these shows to major rooms for his New York appearances and Performing Arts Centers across the nation, as well as to London, Paris and Oslo. 

He has appeared in The Mabel Mercer Foundation's Annual Cabaret Convention 21 times at both The Town Hall and Lincoln Center's Rose Hall. At the 2012 Convention Jeff and Andrea Marcovicci were Artistic Directors and co-hosts of the Cole Porter night. Jeff has also appeared 14 times in the prestigious "Lyrics & Lyricists" concerts at The 92nd Street Y.  Together with KT Sullivan,  From 2006-2008, Jeff was the Artistic Director and Host for three seasons of "Jeff Harnar presents THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK IN LONDON" at The Jermyn Street Theatre and at Pizza on The Park. In 2008 he was also Artistic Director for "The Lyrics & Lyricists" series at The 92nd Street Y expanding his one-man version of "THE 1959 BROADWAY SONGBOOK" to a five-person revue, featuring Sally Mayes, David Burnham, Sarah Uriarte Berry and Special Guest Donna McKechnie. The show was subsequently produced Off Broadway at 59e59 Theatres as a four-person revue featuring Klea Blackhurst and Anna Bergman.
ww.jeffharnar.com

“The most important male cabaret singer since Michael Feinstein”  - Stephen Holden, New York Times

MARILYN MAYE

Marilyn Maye is a cultural and musical treasure. Her entire life has been committed to the art of song performance. After working as a professional singing performer since she was 15 years old, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen who heard her during her eleven-year engagement at the Colony in Kansas City. He presented her various times on his national television show. From those appearances came an RCA recording contract. Perhaps the simplest Marilyn Maye accolade came in a single line as she finished one of her record setting 76 appearances on The Tonight Show. Turning to his nightly audience of millions, Johnny Carson said, “And that, young singers, is the way it’s done.”

Marilyn’s great career includes multiple recordings, countless club/concert appearances and leading theatrical roles. Ella Fitzgerald called her one of the greatest singers she knew. The Houston Chronicle says Marilyn is “A national treasure” and her recording of Too Late Now is enshrined alongside recordings by Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland in the Smithsonian Museum’s collection of the Best Performers of the Best Compositions of the 20th Century. After appearing in the 2006 New York Cabaret Convention, Marilyn’s career exploded all over again and she is currently enjoying bookings and rave reviews throughout the country. She is currently the toast of the New York nightclub, concert and cabaret world with appearances at venues including The Metropolitan Room, Birdland, Feinstein’s and Iridium Jazz Club. She has received standing ovations at Carnegie Hall and during her recent sold-out, 2 week run at Manhattan’s hottest new nightclub 54 Below. Her performances are filled with adoring fans and seasoned performers who are there to see “how it’s done”. Marilyn’s master classes in New York have waiting lists and she regularly guides singers through the creation of their solo shows. www.marilynmaye.com

“She’s the real deal, the surviving artist of the American popular singer” — Rex Reed, The New York Observer

Peisha McPhee

World-class cabaret artist Peisha McPhee has been charming audiences from coast to coast for three decades with critically acclaimed performances at the legendary Cinegrill at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Gardenia Supper Club in Los Angeles, along with New York’s the Metropolitan Room, Helen’s Hideaway and Club Universel in Paris. She has performed her critically acclaimed one-woman show throughout the US and Europe. With a style that has been called “a return to cabaret elegance and sophistication,” and “sometimes sultry and provocative, other times disarmingly comic,” Peisha’s work received LA Weekly’s Pick of the Week.

McPhee is in an internationally renowned performance and vocal coach who has guided thousands of singers over the past three decades. Peisha serves as the vocal and performance coach for the FOX-TV series American Idol training the show’s contestants and eventual winners for four seasons and helping guiding them in delivering their optimum performance onstage and in front of an international TV audience. Additionally coaches from her own studio in Los Angeles, for Broadway Theater Project, and Master Classes around the world. She is also proud that her own daughters Katharine McPhee and Adriana McPhee have acquired their own success. Katharine is an actress, recording artist and star of television’s Smash and Scorpion. Adriana is an internationally acclaimed vocalist and performance coach. Throughout her career, Peisha has worked with some of music’s top producers and songwriters in the music business including Jimmy Iovine (Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Gwen Stefani, U2) Harvey Mason, Jr. (Aretha Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson), Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyonce), Tricky Stewart (Rihanna, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Justin Beiber, Ciara, Mary J. Blige), and Don Was (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Elton John, John Mayer) among others. As an actress Peisha has appeared in national tours throughout the country including Showboat, Man of La Mancha, and Fiddler On the Roof, co-starring with theatre luminaries such Donald O’Connor and Davis Gaines. www.peishamcphee.com

“She can make you feel like she’s singing just for you” — Los Angeles Times

Michael Orland

Michael Orland has become one of the most acclaimed musical directors on the concert, theater, and nightclub scene. He is currently Pianist, Arranger and Associate Musical Director for the hit FOX-TV series AMERICAN IDOL. This opportunity has led Michael to appearances on OPRAH, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD and a record number of appearances on THE ELLEN SHOW. Michael also accompanies the top 3 IDOLS for appearances on REGIS & KELLY, CBS EARLY SHOW, and THE TODAY SHOW. He has collaborated with music industry giants Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, Diane Warren, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Martina McBride, Jennifer Lopez, and Tony Bennett - all as a result of American Idol. Michael served as a pianist/coach for seasons 1 & 2 of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT and has Associate Produced two hit singles (God Bless The USA, What The World Needs Now) for AMERICAN IDOL.

Michael has played for and conducted such luminaries including Chita Rivera, Cybill Shepherd, Barry Manilow, Lucie Arnaz, Kaye Ballard, Lynda Carter, Jennifer Holliday, Lainie Kazan, Gladys Knight, Maureen McGovern and Oscar nominated actress Sally Kellerman who states, "I’ve personally worked with Michael Orland for years and I think he's amazing. He knows what's important, he makes things fun and easy. He's worked with all these American Idols for years... ask every one of them what they think and you'll be sold too." Each year Michael musical directs the touring company of the RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR starring the world-famous Rockettes. www.michaelorland.com

“No one, but no one, has my trust the way Michael Orland does. His coaching has directly led to me being offered jobs, and me sustaining those jobs. What more proof do you need?” — Erich Bergen star of Jersey Boys (film/nat’l tour), Television’s Madame Secretary

Faith Prince

Faith Prince has been dazzling Broadway audiences since winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as “Ms. Adelaide” in Guys and Dolls. In 2008, she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for A Catered Affair.  Other Broadway credits include The Little Mermaid, Bells Are Ringing (Tony, DD, OCC noms), Nick & Nora (OCC Award), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Tony, DD noms), Little Me, The Dead, and Noises Off. She also starred in the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion. Most recently, Faith starred in the national tour of the Broadway hit Billy Elliott.

Faith currently recurs on Lifetime’s hit series Drop Dead Diva as Brooke Elliott’s mother, “Elaine.” She was a series regular on Showtime's Huff starring as “Kelly Knippers," the love interest of Oliver Platt, and recurred for five seasons on Spin City. Other television credits include A Gifted Man, Happy Endings, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Faith, House, Medium, Sweet Potato Queens, Monk, Now and Again, Welcome To New York and Law and Order.  Film credits include Our Very Own, Picture Perfect, Dave, and My Father the Hero.

Faith works often with the Boston Pops, Utah Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and Philly Pops, and recently starred in the Orlando Philharmonic’s concert version of Sweeney Todd. Faith toured her show Moving On in Australia to rave reviews, and also toured in Over the Rainbow, a concert celebrating the centennial of Harold Arlen.  Faith’s new album, Total Faith, was recorded at the Royal Room in the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach and will be released soon. Her award winning album, A Leap Of Faith, was recorded at Joe's Pub and is available on DRG records.
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“[Prince] reminds us how musicals can kidnap an audience’s empathy to the point that nothing exists but the song being sung.” — Ben Brantley, New York Times

Alex Rybeck

Pianist, composer, arranger well known for his work in theater, cabaret and recordings. Alex has served as the music director, accompanist and arranger for Broadway stars Liz Callaway, Ann Hampton Callaway, Marni Nixon, Faith Prince, Jason Graae, Tommy Tune, Lee Roy Reams and many others. He is a multiple MAC award winner and one of the top cabaret and concert music directors, accompanists, & arrangers in New York.  His accompanying/arranging credits can be heard on numerous CD’s: “Sibling Revelry” (Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway); three solo albums by Liz Callaway; five solo albums by Jeff Harnar; “Leap of Faith” (Faith Prince); “Try to Remember” (Rita Gardner), among others. Alex’s Broadway credits include: Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, Tommy Tune’s Grand Hotel and the hit revival of Damn Yankees. Alex conducted the New York workshop and San Diego premiere of Burt Bacharach’s What The World Needs Now.  He is a graduate of Oberlin College and New York University. Alex has taught for 6 years on the faculty of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University. Alex taught for 6 years at the Cabaret Conference at Yale and this is his 7th summer with the St. Louis Cabaret Conference.

“Alex Rybeck is one of the top music directors working in cabaret today.” — Michael Miyazaki, Cabaret Update, DCCabaret.org

Carol Schmidt - Music Director, HIGH SCHOOL SESSIONS

Carol is a member of the faculty of the Music Department of Webster University and holds a Masters Degree in Jazz Piano from the same institution.  An accomplished musician, singer, songwriter and performer, Carol has toured locally, regionally and nationally as part of the duo Jasmine, served as music director/arranger for many top St. Louis cabaret performers, and has performed at nearly every venue in St. Louis (Sheldon Concert Hall, Jazz at The Bistro, etc.).  Carol has co-taught  multiple Cabaret Performance classes with Tim Schall.  Carol served as guest faculty at The St. Louis Cabaret Conference for the past 3 years. This is her fourth year as Music Director for the High School Sessions of The St. Louis Cabaret Conference.