“If you want to get a jump start on your Valentine’s Day celebrations, come enjoy our ‘Sweetheart Soiree Variety Show’ this Sunday,” explained Karen Bro, communications director at St. James Anglican Church. “The Soiree is for anybody who wants a really lively, fun and humorous looking at love. It’s a great place to bring a date, it’s also a great place to come if you’re single and want to join others for a wonderful time. It’s going to be fantastic!”
“Glenda Nativo, our phenomenal director of music and arts, is a real dynamo and plays the piano and the organ so incredibly beautifully,” Karen continued. “She’s hired fabulous professional actors and singers and we’ll have skits, singing and musical performances. Glenda is crafting the soiree after the old-fashioned variety shows, where people enjoy one great act after another. The performers have been practicing for weeks. We’ll also have an amazing dessert buffet. It’s going to be a great event!”
The Sweetheart Soiree is the first official fundraiser for the bayside church’s newest ministry, Conservatory by the Bay.
“The Conservatory is for all ages and all levels, we cater to everybody and anybody interested in music,” explained Glenda, who heads the Conservatory. “We have a beautiful learning center and students can come learn a variety of music genres, including jazz, classical, contemporary Christian, or simply how to read music. Really, whatever they are interested in, we can teach. We’ve lined up exceptional Master’s and Doctorate-degreed instructors with performance backgrounds in their major area of expertise. Our approach to learning will be of the highest standard, and certainly live up to its namesake: ‘conservatory,’ but the instructors will value each student as a precious gift from God. ”
“It’s been a dream of mine to return the tradition of music back to the church. We want the church to be the center of activity, not just for its families, but for our community,” Glenda continued. “My Master’s Degree is in music history and literature, and I have a passion for music. God gave me a desire to foster and nurture music in many ways. I’ve been a music director at churches for a long time, and the people and the facility at St. James have really lent themselves to making the Conservatory happen. It’s wonderful.”
Glenda began studying piano at age 8. Three years later she continued her studies with a university piano professor who specialized in performance. For the next seven years, Glenda performed on the competition circuit, winning numerous solo piano competitions. At 16, Glenda won several university scholarships, and began post-secondary studies as a piano performance major. She has been a church musician since childhood, and has held several positions as music director, principal organist and pianist. This is Glenda’s third year as St. James’ music director, and she is thrilled about the launch of the Conservatory.
The Conservatory also promotes the arts by providing vocal lessons and instrument instruction, as well as holding recitals, performances, exhibitions, competitive opportunities, workshops, master classes, conferences, and networking events. They also offer music theory, ear training, improvisation and rhythm studies.
Glenda explained that Conservatory fundraisers will all have different themes and flavors.
“This one just happens to be slapstick, light hearted and fun, with banter among the actors,” Glenda said. “It will be silliness on stage, where we poke fun at ourselves when we fall in love. We’ll have songs everybody knows, from the forties, fifties and sixties, as well as some arias for those of us who like that. Expect to see Elvis, Cher, a World War II solider, the Phantom of the Opera, Betty Boop, the Beach Boys, and many other surprise visitors. There will also be an array of delicious desserts on each table, which the wait staff will refill.”
”We have a tradition of focusing on music and the arts at St. James,” added Karen. “We’ve had so many fabulous performances and shows. This past summer we had two ‘Jazz in the Courtyard’ concerts as well as a 9-11 memorial concert. Local restaurant set up booths and everyone had a terrific time. We also have a history of holding special events for Valentine’s Day. We want to let the community know that they can look to us to provide enjoyable activities that are fun for the whole family. We hope they come to the Sweetheart Soiree and have a good time!”
The Sweetheart Soiree is Sunday, Jan. 29, 5 .pm. Tickets are $10/college students, $15/adults, and $25/ couple. For further information, call (949) 999-3900. Cindy can be reached at [email protected].