Broadway veteran Lynnie Godfrey creates children’s chorus

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(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.

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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.

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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


Lynnie Godfrey: Spending the Holidays with Lynnie Godfrey

by George W. Harris

888295154659.600x600-75If you want a little swing in your Christmas stocking, here’s a nice one for you. Vocalist Lynnie Godfrey teams up with Roger Latzgo/p-g, Neil Wetzel/sax-fl, Anthony Marino/b and Gary Rissmiller/dr as the main team on this collection of traditional Natal tunes. Her mezzo soprano voice has a warm vibrato, and she knows how to step up to the plate with some bopping on ”Let it Snow” but can also keep it soft and gentle with Wtzel’s sax on the fragrant “Winter Wonderland.” She gets coy with Marino on “Santa Baby,” but saves the best for a wonderfully intimate duet with Latzgo on “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.” Enjoyable in season and out!

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Great Review from Jazz Weekly

George W. Harris offered a glowing review of  Lynnie Godfrey: Doing It Her Way. Read below or visit  Jazz Weekly at this link:

Lynnie Godfrey: Doing It Her Way

Vocalist Lynnie Godfrey delivers a song like a stage production. You can tell she’s comfortable acting, as each of these songs with the mix and match team of Roger Latzgo/p-g, Tom Hamilton/ts, Anthony Marino/b and  Gary Rismiller/dr is delivered like a story being told. Her dramatic vibrato inflections on a dramatic intro lead into a swinging and enthusiastic “It Don’t Mean a Thing” while other tunes with the whole band such as “The Best is Yet to Come” and “L-O-V-E” feature her in respective moods of saucy and coy. When she Spartans down the support with simple support by Latzgo and Hamilton, she glows with an evocative “Moon River” or reaches down deep and gets the red clay beneath her fingers on “But Beautiful” as her inflections give descriptions to each adjective. A sole duet with Latzgo on guitar during “Send in the Clowns” makes you want an encore performance, which is what all actresses desire-leave the crowd wanting more. Impressive tales!

Little lady Lynnie Godfrey shows big personality/voice in cabaret at Symphony Hall

6a00d8341c4fe353ef019b002570b2970cSinger Lynnie Godfrey charmed a sold-out crowd last night during her first appearance in Symphony Hall’s Rodale Room as part of its Jazz Cabaret Series.She brought it all – fabulous dresses, theatrical savvy, witty banter, a crackerjack backing band, a powerhouse voice and a selection of popular classic songs presented in uique style.

Sheila Evans, Symphony Hall Executive Director, addressed the audience happily.

“I can’t tell you how much fun it is to post a sold-out sign on the front door,” she said.

Jazz Series head Ethel Drayton-Craig introduced Godfrey with a long list of her credits, which include a Drama Desk nomation for her Broadway debut in the musical “Eubie” and a starring role in “704 Hauser,” the Norman Lear sequel to “All in the Family.” Godfrey moved from New York to the Lehigh Valley a few years ago and has been creating a stir ever since.

The expectation was high and Godfrey met them from the moment she made her dramatic entrance from the back of the room in a hot pink sleeveless gown, shouting “Hello,” “Hello,” “Hello” as she worked her way through the tables to the front of the room.

The more than two-hour concert, with one intermission, featured nearly two dozen songs with focuses on Johnny Mercer and Ethel Waters. Godfrey introduced most songs with some background.
She opened with a songs by hitmaker Mercer, starting with “Accentuate the Positive,” and including “Jeepers Creepers “ and “Moon River.”

A series of what she called “boo hoo ballads” included “Lush Life,” “Guess Who I Saw Today” and “Cry Me a River.”

Then things turned more upbeat — “It’s time for us to fall in love again,” she said — with “L.O.V.E.,” “When I Fall in Love” and “The Best is Yet to Come.”

An interesting turn came with her performance of George Harrison’s “Something in the Way She Moves,” a contemporary song not part of Godfrey’s traditional songbook.

She ended her first set with a growly version of “Fever” that showcased her large vocal range, and the zippy “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”

Godfrey’s second entrance was as dramatic as the first, coming through the room in a snug black and brown striped halter dress with a black and pink feather headdress.

Numbers included “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” “Bye, Bye Blackbird,” “Good Morning Heartache” and “God Bless the Child.”

She got “down and dirty” with songs by her main inspiration, Ethel Waters. Godfrey does a one-woman show of her songs.

She started with a dramatic “Stormy Weather,” then got teary and choked up during “Suppertime,” an Irving Berlin song about a woman about to make supper for her children when she learns her husband won’t be coming home because he’s been lynched.

She ended her main set with what she said was her favorite, the gospel song “His Eyes on the Sparrow,” and returned for two quick encores.

Godfrey made it a fun evening with jokes and stories. At one point, she got the crowd laughing as she did a “little something” for Bill Steele, owner of Mr. Bill’s Poultry, which provided the light meal for the evening. A couple times she held some long notes, encouraging the audience to encourage her to keep going. Over and over again she expressed appreciation to the audience, which included family and many old friends.

Godfrey is a little lady with such a big personality, it was easy to forget there was music behind her, but there was a talented band – Gary Rissmiller on drums, Roger Latzgo on piano, Gene Perla on bass and Tom Hamilton on saxophone.

The band is working with her on her first CD, which she expects to have out in early 2014. The concert was sampler of what to expect.

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