MTC's Spring Gala Fundraiser

THE MTC VOICE

Saturday, May 6, 2017  

Festivities begin at 6:30pm
at THE NORWALK INN & CONFERENCE CENTER 
99 East Avenue in Norwalk, CT
(Click here for directions)

Event Tickets: $125/each

Corporate Tables of 8 available for $1,500
(includes event signage and sponsorship credit)
 

All proceeds benefit the scholarship fund and programming of Music Theatre of Connecticut. 

We can't wait to see you at this spring's hippest event! The MTC Voice is a fabulous, fun-filled evening of great food, an open bar, and performances by several of the area's most-recognizable amateur celebrities. Become a fan of your favorite contestant by becoming a sponsor and/or attending the event as part of their fan club! Cast your votes at the event and help your contestant become the popular vote winner of The MTC Voice! 


Kevin Connors and J. Philip Bender

Contestant: J. Philip Bender  

J. Philip Bender is the Managing Partner for Northwestern Mutual located in Stamford. Phil graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1987. He serves on numerous company committees, and is a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, which recognizes the top four percent of insurance and financial services sales force in the world. Phil enjoys a philanthropic presence in the community. In addition to his involvement as a member, he serves on the Board of Directors for Pivot Ministries which aids in alcohol & drug rehab, the National Foundation of Alpha Tau Omega and donates his time & talents to the Wilton Rocks for Food annual drive. On a personal note, Phil and his wife, Lisa, a real estate agent, have three sons:  Jack, 23, Griffin, 20, and Ian, 17.

Coach: Kevin Connors

Opening act for Bob Hope, Johnny Mathis and Henny Youngman; Award-Winning Director and MTC Founder and Artistic Director


Kate Simone and Gregory Cole

Contestant: Gregory Cole

At six, Gregory was encouraged to study music, a clear effort to dissuade him from the juvenile delinquency to which he was drawn in the rural Pennsylvania farming community where he grew up.  As lead in the church youth choir, he spent his Sunday evenings being herded to surrounding evangelical events. He also mastered the clarinet and sang in the Bethlehem Bach Choir before relocating to…God's country. Gregorylives in Stamford and is a realtor with William Pitt Sotheby's in Darien. 

Coach: Kate Simone

Workshop of SUNSET BOULEVARD (Roundabout Theatre Company), Regional: SOUTH PACIFIC (MUNY), CAMELOT (Sacramento Music Circus), LEGALLY BLONDE (STONC), and most recently GYPSY (MTC)


Contestants:
Cassandra Echevarria and Mica DeSantis

Cassandra Echevarria and Mica DeSantis are sisters. Cassie is a Literacy Specialist at Greenwich High School where she uses her creativity to inspire kids to love reading. She is also and private tutor and has a college admissions consulting service. Cassie lives in Westport with her husband, son and daughter. Mica has spent many years in sales and marketing. Mica has created a new consulting service she calls “Life Sketching." Mica lives in Weston with her husband and two sons. Being huge fans of theater, they are beyond thrilled to team up to support MTC.

Coach: Jodi Stevens

Broadway's Jekyll and Hyde and Urban Cowboy, MTC MainStage's I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, Gypsy and more.


Patricia Fried and Elissa Battista

Contestant: Patricia Fried

Patricia Fried, known as Tish, sings alto in the Fairfield County Chorale. She is co-creator of writing workshop, Write Yourself Free and is the Director of The Lawrence Fried Photography Archive. Lawrence Fried was an award-winning photographer who covered the political, social, and artistic events of his time. “It's a large historic archive that includes many presidents, a road trip with Louis Armstrong, and a photo of Bob Dylan posing with Zsa Zsa Gabor at Mick Jagger's birthday party!” www.lawrencefried.com

Coach: Elissa Battista

Regional: THE MARVELOUS WONDRETTES & SHOUT! (PCLO), SEUSSICAL (STONC); NEXT TO NORMAL,  LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (CT Critics Circle award Nom), IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY (all at MTC)


Leah Reeves and Alyson Cahill

Contestant: Leah Reeves

Leah Reeves is a Senior Private Banker, SVP for People’s United Wealth Management.  While this is Leah’s first appearance back on the stage in almost five years, growing up her dream was to be a singer/song writer.  She pursued her passion in Elementary, Middle, and High School participating in school and church choirs as well as participating in the Westchester All County Choir and her High School Select Choir.  She was also a soloist in several School Musicals, such as Oklahoma and Brigadoon.  Leah’s high school choirs participated in several competitions where she was chosen as a soloist with her choir for performances at Busch Gardens and Epcot Center.  Leah continued to pursue her passion during her first year in collage as a Music Performance major at Western Connecticut State University.  During that time she was also a soloist for several churches in Westchester County.  Leah gives her time to many organizations, some include her son’s school PTO, The Greenwich Rotary Club, The Norwalk Little League, and the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce where she volunteered and performed in their fundraiser, Greenwich Has Got Talent.  When Leah is not working as a Banker she enjoys baking, creating edible creations for birthdays, holidays and weddings.  

Coach: Alyson Cahill

Credits include the original workshop of Michael Rupert and Matthew Riopelle’s musical Streets of America, performed at The Kennedy Center.  Alyson is currently on the MTC School faculty . 


Lucia Rilling and Jim Schilling

Contestants: Lucia Rilling

As a young child growing up I dreamt about being on stage singing love songs to the masses. So throughout my elementary and junior high school years I grew up in the school choir as a soprano.  Since I lived in Germany most of that time as an army brat, I would go caroling throughout the villages during Christmas time. It was truely a beautiful experience. 

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum🎶

When I finally returned to the states I joined the Board of Education Summer Theatre which I thourougly enjoyed. The singing, dancing and rehearsals for the well known play, "Damn Yankees" provided a wonderful sense of comradery where I made life long friends and learned to love the work it took to deliver a stellar performance. The cast parties were an excellent way to celebrate and conclude our project, but it was also bittersweet. 

Yes....You've got to have heart!

The last time I sang in public was on a cruise ship to Bermuda many years ago. I guess some dreams fade very slowly if ever at all!

Coach: Jim Schilling

Stage credits include HAMLET with Tony Roberts, UPPER BROADWAY with Nanette Fabrey; Numerous MTC MainStage productions including THE FANTASTICKS, GOD OF CARNAGE, ALMOST MAINE, and VANYA AND SONYA AND MASHA AND SPIKE,  Film credits SOAPDISH, CADILLAC MAN, and Sean Penn’s body double in DEAD MAN WALKING.


Stacey Tucker and Kevin Connors

Contestant: Stacey Tucker

Stacey Tucker is the author of the forthcoming fantasy novel Ocean’s Fire (pub date 10/10/17.) It is the first installment of the Equal Night Trilogy. Stacey pens the popular blog Saying it Out Loud on staceylu.com. Every so often she emerges out of her writing hole to step out of her comfort zone and into the sun. This year MTC’s The VOICE called her name. She lives in Weston with her husband and son.

Coach: Kevin Connors

Opening act for Bob Hope, Johnny Mathis and Henny Youngman; Award-Winning Director and MTC Founder and Artistic Director


Brian Welsh, Jim Schilling and Carleigh Welsh

Contestants: Brian & Carleigh Welsh

By day, Brian Welsh is president of Brian Custom Fencing; after midnight, he is a cartoonist.  Before building fences, Brian built record-breaking sales divisions on both the West and East Coasts for Macmillan Publishing.  He continues to serve as the unofficial “Chair Man” of the Levitt Pavilion, having put up tens of thousands of chairs for gala fundraisers for over three decades.  He has run two NYC Marathons and is a Charter Member of the PD FIT Boxing Club.  His last appearance on-stage was as Queen Elizabeth I at Loyola High School.  He has written two songs: “I Want You Back” and “Rose on My Pillow”, and the long-form poem “Memoirs of an Invalid”. 

Carleigh Welsh is the Marketing & Development Director for the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts.  As a performer, she has worked at venues including Long Wharf, PS122, The Performing Garage, E.S.T., HERE, The Brick, Dixon Place, and originated the role of Carolyn in the World Premiere of Thomas Bradshaw’s “Cleansed” directed by Jose Zayas.  Films include “I Don’t Want to Kill Myself”, “Rosa X-Rays Joe” (Best Experimental Short, SinCine), “Tomorrow Is Today”. She co-produced the NYC Premiere of Tennessee Williams’ “Green Eyes” (Top 10 Plays - John Lahr, The New Yorker, 2011), was the QVC Spokesperson for Fresh Cosmetics, and serves on the boards of EndAbuse4Good, Palissimo, and Irish Modern Dance Theater.

Coach: Jim Schilling

Stage credits include HAMLET with Tony Roberts, UPPER BROADWAY with Nanette Fabrey; Numerous MTC MainStage productions including THE FANTASTICKS, GOD OF CARNAGE, ALMOST MAINE, and VANYA AND SONYA AND MASHA AND SPIKE,  Film credits SOAPDISH, CADILLAC MAN, and Sean Penn’s body double in DEAD MAN WALKING.