Thursday, February 24, 2011

May Auditions

We will be holding auditions in May at a date to be announced for our Summer 2011 Singing School. Tentatively, we will hold a concert in late July. The Summer Session is 8 weeks long and rehearsals will be held either on Saturday or Sunday afternoons at a private residence on West Lake Rd in Skaneateles, NY.  If you are interested in auditioning, or know someone who would be interested, please visit the contact page at

A Georgian Christmas with Jane Austen

Our December 19th Christmas program drew over 120 people to the First Presbyterian Fellowship Hall in Skaneateles.  JASNA Coordinator Marie Sprayberry read excerpts from The Janeites & Jane Austen's birth announcement to celebrate "our Jane's" birthday. She was joined by JASNA member narrator Banna Rubinow who  read a captivating excerpt from Christmas at Bracebridge Hall by Washington Irving. All of our Young Ladies executed beautiful, festive readings as well.  The Singing School performed songs from parish churches in Georgian England during the time Jane Austen and her parents were alive. They were joined by the young gentlemen for favorites O Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, & The Twelve Days of Christmas. They acquitted themselves with poise and presence!

After hours of rehearsal, the final result was magical!

At center, our assistant Dancemaster Mr. Thomas Grande

Caroline Manring, violin; Emily Dean, cello

The Duke of Kent Waltz

A Soloist for "While Shepherds Watched"

A fearsome, dashing young soldier

Our Singing School Expands..

In partnership with the Syracuse chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America, which has supported our Singing School since its inception, we decided to expand our program to include English country dancing. We recruited the help of JASNA Co-Coordinator & Dancemistress Lisa Brown to teach our new (male!) participants two dances. Here is a photo of dance rehearsal:

The bulk of our program was drawn from festive readings and church music from the Christmas season in Georgian England. The men joined us in well-known carols like Joy to the World, The Twelve Days of Christmas & O Come All Ye Faithful. The ladies worked hard to prepare beautiful arrangements of lesser known carols like Let an Anthem of Praise, Rejoice Ye Tenants of the Earth & Christians Awake!

We were fortunate to add the talents of string players Caroline Manring & Emily Dean as well as flutists Eleanor Wilcox & Katherine Klein. Our pianist, Claire Howard, who has partnered with us since our first concert, unified the sound and rehearsed with both singers and musicians tirelessly. Our musicians, who generously donated their time, created a lovely soundscape that supported the voices most elegantly. 

Summer 2010

In July 2010, we performed at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Skaneateles, NY. Here is a photo that appeared in the Skaneateles Journal following the concert.

2010 Concert at the Morgan Opera House

In Spring of 2010, we were invited by the historical Morgan Opera House to perform our November '09 concert in Aurora, NY. We piled into cars with our hair curled and our dresses ironed and made our way to Aurora, a successful concert, and appreciative audience. 


Our Beginnings

The Jane Austen Singing School for Young Ladies was started in Fall 2009 as a group performing experience for young women ages 12-18. Our objective was and is to learn healthy vocal technique in a supportive environment through the music that Jane Austen and her family loved and sang themselves. We learn vocal technique, Regency music & history, and gave our first performance of group & solo singing as well as readings from Austen literature to a full house in the Skaneateles Public Library on Nov 21st, 2009.