Starting the first week of July, Boomer director Faye Nepon invites 20 singers ages 40 and up (yes, you read that right! We’re called the “Boomers,” after all) to join her in a four-week exploration of Cole Porter culminating in an intimate class performance.
Faye spoke with us about her intentions for the summer class…
Who are the Broadway Boomers?
Faye Nepon: The Boomers are a varied group of people from different walks of life ranging from the age of 40 on up. Some have done musical theater in college, some have a degree (like our co-director and producer, Lisa Volk) and experience with music performance. Others have never sung a note in their life!
What we all have in common is a passionate love for musical theater.
Take Katy, one of our Boomer veterans. Katy used to put on entire musicals for her family when she was five or six years old. When she became a businesswoman, she didn’t dare get up on stage… until she started singing with the Boomers, and she loves it!
How is the summer Boomer session different than the normal semester session?
FN: You could say that the summer session is a little taste of what the normal semester is. It’s only four classes of two and a half hours each (the normal semester is more than double the number of classes). Everybody brings in a song and gets coached on the song, just as they do during the regular semester.
This summer, our theme is Cole Porter. Each student comes into the class with a song prepared that we work on together, and then we put on our final class performance (which is very casual).
So really, the summer session is just a bit shorter.
Who is this Cole Porter, and why is he so special?
FN: Cole Porter wrote some incredible pieces for musical theater. He’s unusual in that he lived a long life; he was born in 1891 and passed away in 1964, so he lived through all these various eras. Most of the musicals he wrote are forgotten, though occasionally revived. But his songs are in what we call the Great American Songbook: they have become standards. His work has been sung and recorded by all the greats, like Ella Fitzgerald, and is still widely performed by singers such as Michael Buble and even me!
This will be a fun class in that we will perform the songs as we think they were done originally. And then we’ll play around with them and see how they can be changed in a jazz idiom.
Will participants sing a solo?
FN: Absolutely. We ask each student to come to the first class prepared to sing a Porter piece, and then we’ll work together to polish it up: find the right key for them, the right tempo, trying different ways to approach the music, etc.
Over the four weeks we will also stage an ensemble piece for the group to sing together.
How can someone register for the class?
FN: Veteran Boomers can call the CMA office at 303-665-0599 and speak with Nancy. Any new Boomers are welcome to email me directly at www.fayenepon.com. There is no audition required, but I would love to have a conversation with them beforehand to give them more information and find out where they are on their musical journey.