Broadway veteran Lynnie Godfrey creates children’s chorus

Click the image to watch the video!

(This article was originally published by 69 News)

Broadway, film and television veteran Lynnie Godfrey visited 69 News Saturday morning.

She currently lives in the Lehigh Valley, but directs and performs in New York and around the country.

When she learned how little music education was available to students in Allentown, she decided to launch a children’s chorus – which is free of charge to the members and is funded, in part, through a grant from the Allentown School District.

Auditions were held in February and students have been rehearsing since then.

Children range in age from 6-12 years old and there will be 15 performing at the concert.

Click here to watch the video

LYNNIE GODFREY TO APPEAR IN ALLENTOWN IN TWO VERY DIFFERENT EVENTS

After not appearing in the Lehigh Valley for a couple of years, Lynnie Godfrey will perform in TWO very different appearances right around Holiday time. Try to make both….At Symphony Hall on Friday, November 30, 2018 and at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Friday, Dec.7, 2018. (see EVENTS for times and ticket prices)

The first appearance is a fund raiser for one of her favorite venues:ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY HALL. The space is quite limited only 50 to 60 seats…The Symphony has built a million dollar plus LYRIC ROOM and have asked Ms. Godfrey to open it. What a privilege ! With this appearance Ms.Godfrey becomes the ONLY performer thus far to appear in the All performance spaces in the HALL…the Rodale Room for the Jazz Series, the Main Hall for the POP series and now to open the LYRIC ROOM. Her scheduled set will include her favorite standards and surprises for the audience by a special guest or even guests.
ONE NIGHT ONLY AT THIS VENUE !
The second appearance:COME SPEND THE HOLIDAYS WITH LYNNIE GODFREY AND THE ACCC. This performance is shared with her beloved ALLENTOWN’S CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS CHORUS and will feature a Christmas program ONLY.
ONE NIGHT ONLY AT THIS VENUE !
!!Purchase tickets ($5.00 -$20.00) at the door.

54 Sings Eubie July 10, 2018

To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Feinstein’s/54 Below is bringing back, for one night only, the acclaimed Tony- nominated Broadway musical, Eubie!

Buy Tickets Online.

A a toe-tapping, musical celebration of one of Broadway’s most prolific pioneers, Eubie Blake, Eubie! is a celebration of the melodies, mayhem, and mischievousness of the early 20th century jazz world.

The soul and sound of the celebrated composer is evoked in a dizzying collection of songs that span the century, including the classics “Low Down Blues,” “My Handyman Ain’t Handy No More,” and “I’m Just Wild about Harry.”

Featuring:
Ethel Beatty (Eubie OBC, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar)
Leslie Dockery (Eubie OBC, Sophisticated Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid)
Lynnie Godfrey (Eubie OBC,No Place To Be Somebody, TV’s Amen, Brewster Place)
Mel Johnson Jr. (Eubie OBC, The Lion King, Jelly’s Last Jam)
Arbender Robinson (Shuffle Along, Beautiful)
Jeffrey V Thompson (Eubie OBC, Uptown…It’s Hot, Amen Corner)

Produced and Directed by Robert W. Schneider


Lynnie Godfrey sings
The First “Daddy” on Broadway

Photo by Bert Andrews

Lynnie Godfrey
A Later “Daddy” on the Showtime Network

Photo by Showtime Staff

And Today???
Lynnie Godfrey sings “DADDY “
Will I or Won’t I??? More importantly CAN l???
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!


Photo by Lori Smith


Photo by Stephanie Gardner

Well… Come and See…Come See the Talented Cast … Some of The Original Cast Members Plus Wonderful Talent of Today and Share the Songs and the Memories!

First Rehearsal of the Allentown Children’s Christmas Chorus

Allentown Children’s Christmas Chorus

This is the First Rehearsal of the Allentown Children’s Christmas Chorus!!

Auditions are over and the the Allentown Children’s Christmas Chorus has officially launched. The first rehearsal has been held as the group prepares for  a performance with Ms. Godfrey at her holiday concert at St. John’s in December, 2018.

In addition to rehearsing holiday songs, Godfrey plans to invite guest performers to the rehearsals to teach students about acting, vocal technique and the audition process. She says she was inspired to create the chorus after discovering how little time and funding is allocated to the arts in Allentown schools.

“It came as a shock and I needed to do something about it,” Godfrey explains. “Growing up in Harlem, I attended The Modern School, where arts were infused into everything we did. I always say my ability to memorize a script goes back to learning and reciting poetry for our school festival. No matter what career path, the arts are vital to a child’s education.”

Godfrey, who was recently named President of Friends of Music in Bethlehem, says after seeing the success of that organization’s music education grant program in the Bethlehem schools, she wanted to do something to benefit children in Allentown.

Corporate sponsors are needed underwrite uniforms, sheet music and some other costs of the program and Godfrey says she is grateful to St. John’s Church and the Allentown School District, for partnering on this first-time project.

Article: Broadway Veteran Launching Children’s Chorus in Allentown

More media coverage of Lynnie Godfrey’s new project. From 69 News

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A Broadway veteran is launching a children’s chorus in Allentown. Lynnie Godfrey held auditions Saturday at Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Godfrey’s resume includes roles on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, in television series and on film. She says she was inspired to create the chorus after learning of the limited resources dedicated to the arts in Allentown schools.

See the video here

Broadway Veteran to Launch Allentown Children’s Chorus

Lynnie Godfrey to Audition Youth to Sing in Upcoming Concert

ALLENTOWN, PA — Lynnie Godfrey’s resume includes roles on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, in television series and on film. Now, is ready to share what she’s learned with a group of Allentown children, who will perform with her in concert. The Lehigh Valley resident is holding auditions for a new “Children’s Chorus” on Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 S 5th Street in Allentown (www.stjohnsallentown.org).

Download Allentown Children’s Chorus Audition Flyer (PDF)

Children in grades kindergarten thru fifth grades are eligible to audition. They may sing any song they choose, either a cappella, or if they bring sheet music, an accompanist will be provided.
Auditions and participation is free. Approximately 12-15 students will be selected and commit to two rehearsals a month, leading to a performance with Ms. Godfrey at her holiday concert at St. John’s in December, 2018.

“This is not about finding the next contestant for “The Voice,” Godfrey explains. “Enthusiasm is more important than talent. We want to create an opportunity for children who love to sing and will benefit from the experience of performing.”

In addition to rehearsing holiday songs, Godfrey plans to invite guest performers to the rehearsals to teach students about acting, vocal technique and the audition process. She says she was inspired to create the chorus after discovering how little time and funding is allocated to the arts in Allentown schools.

“It came as a shock and I needed to do something about it,” Godfrey explains. “Growing up in Harlem, I attended The Modern School, where arts were infused into everything we did. I always say my ability to memorize a script goes back to learning and reciting poetry for our school festival. No matter what career path, the arts are vital to a child’s education.”

Godfrey, who was recently named President of Friends of Music in Bethlehem, says after seeing the success of that organization’s music education grant program in the Bethlehem schools, she wanted to do something to benefit children in Allentown.

Corporate sponsors are needed underwrite uniforms, sheet music and some other costs of the program and Godfrey says she is grateful to St. John’s Church and the Allentown School District, for partnering on this first-time project.

Last year, Godfrey, who has performed with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, directed two new plays at ArtsQuest in Bethlehem. Her production company, Godlee Entertainment, includes “Essence of Acting,” an African-American acting troupe based in New York City that recently performed “Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed,” about the 1921 race riot in Oklahoma.

For questions about the chorus auditions, email: goleeentertain@aol.com

 

Article: Lynnie Godfrey: Activist for Children in Music

Here’s  a great article about Lynnie’s new role that harkens back to that childhood dream: she has become an activist for music education in local elementary schools. 

Lynnie Godfrey: Activist for Children in Music

By: Daryl Nerl – Special to The Morning Call

When Lynnie Godfrey was a girl in Harlem, she dreamed of growing up to be a schoolteacher.

In her room, she’d stand at a blackboard with a new pack of crayons in her hands, and pretend her dolls were her class.

But Godfrey’s natural talent, ambition and the love of theater she discovered in college took her in a different direction.

She is a singer and actress who has appeared on Broadway and other stages all over the world. She has acted on television shows and in movies.

Now living in the Lehigh Valley, Godfrey directs a theater group and performs as a cabaret/nightclub singer, specializing in the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.

She also has taken on a new role that harkens back to that childhood dream: she has become an activist for music education in local elementary schools.

Through Bethlehem’s Friends of Music, of which she recently became president, Godfrey has spearheaded a new grant program that last year provided $1,000 each to three Bethlehem Area elementary schools to enhance music education programs. Read the full article here

 

Classical: Lynnie Godfrey sings with Allentown Symphony Orchestra

red-dress-gold-robeIt’s been nearly six years since Broadway, television and film actress and singer Lynnie Godfrey traded the high-energy hustle of New York City for the relative tranquility of Lowhill Township. Yet the Harlem native had other goals in mind than a quiet retirement when she arrived here. One of them was to bring the sassy sizzle of a big city-style cabaret to her new home.

Godfrey’s first area gig, at the Fowler Blast Furnace Room at SteelStacks in November 2011, was a rousing, sold-out success. She’s since followed that performance with numerous other cabaret-style concerts, play readings, two CDs and a book, “Lynnie Godfrey: Sharing Lessons Learned While Seeking the Spotlight.” Her rich, creamy voice has been accompanied by such talented local musicians as Dave Roper, Craig Kastelnik, Kevin O’Connell, Neil Wetzel, Gary Rissmiller and Greg Eichler…

Read full article here: Classical: Lynnie Godfrey sings with Allentown Symphony Orchestra

 

Awesome Snow Storm Thwarts All Efforts for The Snow Queen: Lynnie Godfrey to Perform with Symphony Orchestra in Allentown, PA

Lynnie Godfrey as “The Snow Queen” with actor Ashton Holmes Photo by Timothy H. Raab

Lynnie Godfrey as “The Snow Queen” with actor Ashton Holmes
Photo by Timothy H. Raab

There is NO GOD like GOD and if you want to hear GOD laugh say that YOU have a plan.

I guess you say what a funny way to start a piece of writing…but it applies. I should start by saying that around 1998 I was introduced to the role of the magical Hans Christian Anderson fairy queen: SNOW QUEEN and performed that role for several years and may reprise it in the future.

As I referred to my calendar book of 2015 I see the date Thursday, January 22 at 1 PM as the first gathering of the team that would compose the performance event of LYYNIE GODFREY CARESSES THE STANDARDS. (Yes, that was the original title). The team: Ron Demkee, Ken Moyer, Donna Fritchney, Diane Wintry and myself…(Sheila Evans, the Executive Director couldn’t make it that day) gathered that day.

There we sat around an nondiscript round table hashing out the beginning of what would be a year long journey to the January 23, 2016… Full Orchestra concert for Lynnie Godfrey. Our conversation was rapid and enthusiastic and many things were not touched on but we all knew it would be an event.

Many changes occurred: the Executive Principles decided that the wording CARESSES was too provocative so after a bit of consultation I presented them with the alternative of EMBRACES. Quite frankly, the title will always be LYNNIE GODFREY CARESSES THE STANDARDS wherever else we go (and we’ve tested it and everyone else loved it!) because that is what we are doing on that stage!!

2016 was a banner year for me.. I started on the plans of the concert, I would come to direct 2 readings, travel to engage theatrical interest in the plays, rehearse for the concert and write a book.. It was like 1933 for Ethel Waters when she started singing “STORMY WEATHER” written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler under the musical direction of Duke Ellington at the famed Cotton Club and then was on star on Broadway in the Irving Berlin hit: “AS THOUSANDS CHEER” and to sing the two classics “ HEAT WAVE” and ‘SUPPERTIME” both written exclusively for her.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not comparing myself to the great WATERS…. just the run of work of the two of us. What a YEAR!!! But not all that year was great…

During the summer I would become increasing concerned with the health of my last blood relative in my family nucleus…Jo-Ann. I would make efforts to transfer her from her sweet Randolph, NJ cottage-like apartment to the Lehigh Valley to monitor her health more carefully. You see Jo-Ann suffered from muscular dystrophy and had had it for 54 years and in the last 18 months it was progressing very quickly leaving her bed bound. October 4, I was invited to a cabaret performance of one of my lovely actors and colleagues:  Alexander Foucard in New York. Jo-Ann had been sleeping a lot and reaching her on the phone was becoming increasingly difficult. I talked to her earlier in the day and then it became difficult to reach her (I liked to call her about 4 to 5 times a day). Just as I began to worry about her she answered the phone and told me to “You go on to New York, don’t send Carl over, I’m just sleeping today”. So I went riding with my friend Melba Tolliver to New York. We had a little supper with her friend Hans and then attended the performance. There must have been some difficulty with the mechanics because they started quite late. That meant I would get home late.

As was my practice I always called Jo-Ann on my return…I thought it was too late and I would call in the morning not to wake her up. Strangely my phone rang at 12:50 from her but because it was in the back seat in my purse I missed the call. I immediately reached back and retrieved the phone and tried several times to call Jo-Ann back but her battery had died on BOTH phones…landline and mobile. I decided I would go first thing in the morning…take that 100 mile trip and fuss at my dear for letting the battery die and then stock her with food and make sure she was secure.

None of that was to be, for as I arrived at her place the next morning I got no answer to my regular cry:” Jo…It’s me”. Too extreme and terrifying silence I walked into her bedroom to find my sweet girl GONE…with the television on…the phone in one hand and the check writing bills in the other. Attempts by me and the paramedics to revive her failed…I was and still am (as I relive those moments) devastated…My Josie was gone…

My life was changed forever!!!!

Months, days and minutes that followed were a blur of grief and work…work…work  to escape the pain of loss…

Fast forward to the month of December… rehearsals are going forward, the final of the book was due…all good to keep me…my mind busy… busy after losing my Jo…

Now January is upon us…television, radio, newspaper and live appearances the concert and book signings are being done. The weather looks grand and then about a week before a disturbing forecast: Snow…

Well …It is Thursday, January 21..we have a great rehearsal but now on my phone I am receiving notices that businesses are cancelling their performances for the weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Our year-long effort was in jeopardy… Now at 4:30 on Thursday, the Governor declared a state of emergency status for Pennsylvania. I was not aware of that…I was being told by Symphony we would be put in a hotel on Friday as planned and then walk across the street and perform. Then more weather reports: not just a storm but a winter north eastern blizzard to say the least… Well, then came the phone call about not a cancellation but a POSTPONEMENT until Saturday, August 27 @ 7:30. A good date for a performance…after Musikfest at Arts Quest which I love to attend and before the last breath of summer Labor Day…Not bad…not a bad date at all.

Relief that everyone would be safe in their homes and the stress to try to make unsafe trips is off their minds and my mind. My audience and me …we are all safe…so it’s grand!!!

Then, came floods of calls: Will you perform before that? Will you accept a New York date offered before?.… What about the scouts/representatives that were coming to book you elsewhere…won’t you miss that chance?

Well…first, I believe one does not miss anything…if it is for you GOD will make a way. The representatives from other places will see me and the opportunities will come…faith…stepping out on a staircase that you don’t see… A date In New York…cannot do… contractually obligated to Symphony until after August 27 so NO!!!No New York gig right now.

Now it the time to do more book signing to promote the book, travel to book the plays, cast and rehearse for the play reading of…. LOIS”S WEDDING by Bathsheba Monk, the reading due Monday, March 21, 2016 and then rehearse for the summer event of my YEAR… SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2016 @ 7:30…SEE YOU THIS SUMMER!!!!

Great Article in The Morning Call by Dave Howell

Concerts, plays and a new book keep Lynnie Godfrey on a happy whirlwind

Lynnie Godfrey has hit the Lehigh Valley like a whirlwind since she moved here five years ago, with sold-out jazz cabaret shows at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown, concerts and play readings at Bethlehem’s SteelStacks, two CDs, and, on Jan. 23, a pops series concert with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

Godfrey is the same onstage or off, full of warmth and vitality. In a conversation at the Hotel Bethlehem, she calls the pops concert one of the highlights of a long career that has included Broadway, film, and television.

“Working with an orchestra on this level is wonderful,” she says. The songs span the years 1926 to 1973, and include “Lush Life,” “Send In the Clowns,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”

Read full article here: http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/music/mc-lynnie-godfrey-allentown-symphony-20160114-story.html