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Press contact: Stephanie Israel
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East End Arts Announces
Music Masters Fellowship R&B and Soul Vocal Ensemble
Led by Professional Vocalist Anastasia René
Free Concert: December 1 at Suffolk Theater, Riverhead
(RIVERHEAD, NY, November 12, 2015) – East End Arts is thrilled to announce the Music Masters Fellowship R&B and Soul Vocal Ensemble Concert, led by professional soul and R&B vocalist Anastasia René, with piano accompanist Mark Mancini. The concert will take place on Tuesday, December 1 at 7:00 PM at the Suffolk Theater, located at 118 E. Main Street in Riverhead, NY. This free concert is open to the public and promises to be a special evening of soulful tunes by some of Long Island's very talented local young people. East End Arts thanks generous sponsors Içim and Mark Miller for their support of this program, as well as the Suffolk Theater for graciously providing the performance space. For more information, visit
Ensemble leader and program mentor Anastasia René comments about the Music Masters choir: “They are a great bunch of talented young men and women that have been working really hard towards this performance.” Professional vocalist Anastasia René is an active soul and R&B performer and has performed across the globe with many top musicians. At a young age she began training with vocal coach Jerry Bragin (coach to Steve & Edie and Dionne Warwick), and her past and current credits as lead and backing vocalist include: Vince Welnick (the Tubes, Grateful Dead), Charles Neville (Neville Brothers), New Orleans piano phenomenon Henry Butler, and Scott Sharrard (Gregg Allman Band), to name a few.
The vocal ensemble is comprised of 14 talented students from high schools across Suffolk County, who are participating in East End Arts 2015 Music Masters Fellowship Program, which is an intensive full-scholarship, tuition-free, nine-week vocal ensemble workshop. These selected students have had the incredible opportunity to work under the guidance of this professional, and have been given training in professional rehearsal and performance skills through this program. For more information, visit http://www.eastendarts.org/programs/music-masters.html.
Students applied to participate in the summer and a select few were chosen to participate in this program. Applications came in from across Suffolk County and the choir includes:
• Lauren Anasky, 15, soprano, Riverhead High School
• Stephanie Bak, 14, soprano, Riverhead High School
• Ella Baldwin, 16, soprano, Riverhead High School
• Emily Blumenthal, 15, soprano, Westhampton Beach High School
• Megan Brunner, 17, soprano, Riverhead High School
• Sophia Dupuis, 15, soprano, home schooled
• Dorian Joseph, 15, percussion, Southampton High School
• Colleen Kelly, 16, alto, Mattituck High School
• Lily Kutner, 13, alto, Riverhead High School
• Alaina Manzo, 15, soprano, Miller Place High School
• Jackson Parli, 15, bass, Westhampton Beach High School
• Kierra Prentiss, 16, alto, Riverhead High School
• Madeline Seitles, 14, soprano, Westhampton Beach High School
• Keshaun Ward, 14, tenor, Riverhead High School
The ensemble has been rehearsing Monday evenings since the end of September in East End Arts Carriage House rehearsal space, preparing for this final concert.
A sampling of the songs they will perform includes:
• One Hundred Days, One Hundred Nights by Sharon Jones;
• Keep Me Hangin’ On by Diana Ross and The Supremes;
• I’ll Be There by The Jackson Five; and
• And Love’s in Need of Love Today by Stevie Wonder.
More Information about Anastasia René, 2015 Music Masters Fellowship Mentor
Anastasia René began singing at age 12 when she began training with vocal coach, Jerry Bragin (coach to Steve & Edie and Dionne Warwick). After graduating from NYC’s prestigious Talent Unlimited High School program, she continued on in various choruses through college while earning a Bachelor's degree in African and African American Music Performance.
After college she quickly secured her own weekly gig at the Village Gate, and was brought on to sing backing vocals for Buzzy Linhart while keeping busy working in myriad genres, recording and performing with local and regional rock, folk, R&B, reggae, jam and funk bands.
Her past and current credits as lead and backing vocalist include Vince Welnick (the Tubes, Grateful Dead), Charles Neville (Neville Brothers), New Orleans piano phenomenon Henry Butler, and Scott Sharrard (Gregg Allman Band). All the while, she has kept her jazz chops honed with her own quartet which has toured Israel, Moscow and Siberia, and Scandinavia and which continues to perform internationally. In 2012 she joined Italian Blues sensation Roberto Morbioli and Roomful of Blues onstage at the Luxembourg Blues Festival.
Her most recent recorded work includes Gwen Wahman's Certitude (Bahai’i texts set to music) on Mike Longo's CAP record label, reggae artist Bigga Haitian's Sak Pase, rock band El Camino’s Autobiotics, and Smooth Jazz artist Matt Marshak’s This Time Around, amongst others.
She cites such musical influences as Nina Simone, Chaka Khan, and Cassandra Wilson. For more information about the mentor, please visit http://www.eastendarts.org/school/music-masters.html#rene-bio.
More about the Music Masters Fellowship Program
The Music Masters Fellowship Program was created with the goal of providing local students with one-on-one learning opportunities with masters in the music field, and to encourage student pursuit of post-graduate education. By creating this exciting and enriching program for the students, East End Arts is the catalyst for an expanded sense of opportunity and possibility throughout the academic year. The fellowship program is mentored by a master performer and composer in rock music, jazz, world music, or classical music, who works with a small group of talented high school students. Participating students are selected based on auditions. The pilot program, which took place during the spring of 2011, was mentored by Corky Laing, drummer and songwriter from “Mountain,” and “West, Bruce & Laing”; the second program, held during Spring 2012 was mentored by singer/songwriter Lauren Kinhan of New York Voices and JaLaLa; the 2013 program was a string ensemble led by professional cellist and conductor Nico Olarte-Hayes; and the most recent program, held during Fall 2014, was a jazz ensemble led by professional guitarist Steve Salerno.
For more information about the Music Masters Fellowship Program, contact Diane Giardi, East End Arts Education Director, at 631-369-2171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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East End Arts, established in 1972, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts organization, and operates a School of the Arts, an Art Gallery, and presents a variety of events and programs to promote the arts year-round. Proceeds from all events, sales, classes, donations, and memberships benefit the mission and commitment to building and enriching our community through the arts by way of education, support, advocacy, and inspiration.