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'Get Happy' with songs of Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand

The concert, featuring Niagara singers Melissa-Marie Shriner and Louisa O'Keane, will take place on June 14

Celebrating two of their greatest vocal inspirations, Niagara singers Melissa-Marie Shriner and Louisa O’Keane will join forces for the first time to present a thrilling concert called, Get Happy! Songs of Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand and more, featuring some of the greatest hits of the vocal legends.

The concert takes place this Friday, June 14 in the acoustically rich St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Thorold, accompanied by Cheryl Dickson-Neal on piano.

With voices and vocal spirits reminiscent of the expressive tone and entertaining style of singers of yesteryear, Shriner and O’Keane will take the audience on a nostalgic and inspired journey through timeless classics such as Over the Rainbow, Don’t Rain On My Parade, and Memory, interspersed with duets like Tell Him, and some surprise modern musical twists on some classic songs, also paying homage to artists like Celine Dion, who have also been greatly influenced by these two iconic singers.

As a soprano, Shriner is known as a versatile performer appearing throughout southern Ontario and Europe. As a multi-genre concert artist, her feet are planted in the jazz, musical theatre and classical worlds. She is a concert producer and performer for her numerous one-woman shows, soloist and chorister with the Avanti Chamber Singers, a guest soloist with Choralis Camerata, leader of the Melissa-Marie Shriner Jazz Trio, and a performer with the TD Niagara Jazz Festival and the Twilight Jazz Series, among many other musical incarnations.

Shriner was nominated for the Established Artist Award for the St. Catharines Arts Awards 2018, and for the Female Vocalist of the Year award for the Niagara Music Awards 2018. She’s also the creative force behind the successful ‘Melissa-Marie Shriner Sings’ concert series, in its ninth season, in which she serves as artistic director, producer, and performer.

Highlighting her classical singing, Shriner undertook a concert tour of solo recitals throughout Hungary in 2016 that included singing world premieres of Canadian-Hungarian compositions, which were recorded and broadcast on the National Hungarian Catholic Radio station.

At her Melissa Shriner Music Studio in Jordan Station, she teaches voice, piano and songwriting techniques, and also serves as vocal/choral workshop clinician at various Niagara high schools, and as music consultant to music teachers, singers and musicians. She is the music director at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Thorold.

Louisa O’Keane is a singer/actor/choreographer and a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She is a long-time cast member of The Oh Canada Eh! Dinner Theatre and a Little Rebels instructor, bringing music to families throughout Niagara, Hamilton and Burlington. She performs as a cabaret and concert soloist throughout Niagara and Burlington and is a member of The Colonial Boys, a traditional Celtic band.

O’Keane also loves taking on new challenges such as voice-over work, film and television and writing/producing her own passion projects.

Favourite credits include Broadway showstoppers, The Rocky Horror Show: Canadiana Productions, Seussical The Musical: Western Canada Theatre, My Fair Lady: Gateway Theatre, Grease: TUTs, Calendar Girls: Moonpath Productions, Putting it Together: Cornerstone Theatre, March of The Falsettos and Cabaret Sauvignon: Next Company Theatre, Die Fledermaus: Burnaby Lyric Opera, Trial by Jury: Choralis Camerata, and her one-woman show, The Nongenue, which she debuted earlier year.

All are welcome to the accomplished performers' family-friendly concert this Friday at St. John’s Anglican Church at 12 Carleton St. S. starting at 7:30 p.m. The venue is wheelchair accessible. Advance tickets cost $17 and are available at Shriner's Creek Kettle Popcorn, Hwy. 20, in Fonthill, or online, or $20 at the door.

Cathy Pelletier

About the Author: Cathy Pelletier

Cathy Pelletier is an award-winning newspaper journalist/editor who writes for
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