Seagle Colony Chronicle
December 2020
and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you
In 2020 there were several miracle workers at Seagle Music Colony during the 105th season--Tony Kostecki, Darren Keith Woods, Richard Kagey, and Jim Koehnle. In addition to their running a virtual summer program, a magnificent and magical virtual gala took place. Plans were made to keep everyone safe from the Covid-19 pandemic with no musical programs. As you can imagine, this was a challenging decision for the staff to make. They did their best to keep everyone as happy, healthy, and contented as possible. 
Summer 2020
Virtual Summer Program
Although the summer season did not include live performances, the 32 singers selected from all over the country were still provided with nine weeks of virtual classes, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week. Favorite parts of their summer studies included: how to stay positive during the pandemic, audition etiquette, how to be a successful performing artist, pursuing career as well as personal goals, and enjoying the sense of community. The emerging artists are looking forward to the beautiful place and beautiful people, networking, Old Friends and New, Stewart’s ice cream and the 4th of July Parade next summer. Other highlights this summer included studying with the staff, guests in opera and musical theater, stage directors, alumni, the Executive Director of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and leading opera composers.

Happy News: The National Endowment for the Arts, as part of CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) granted Seagle $50,000 for salary support for 2020. When the award was announced, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik stated, “Seagle Music Colony is an important cultural center in the Adirondacks, and I am excited to see how this funding will benefit their efforts.”
The Seagle Alumni Association Weekend was held by Zoom in August with a happy hour, a gallery of memorable pictures, the Seagle Alumni Association Annual meeting, and finishing with a farewell toast. Liz Cass is the president of the vibrant Alumni Association. There was a Central Texas Alumni mini-reunion held earlier in the year.
The Fulton Fryar Scholarship Fund was initiated by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force of the Seagle Alumni Association. The money raised will fund the tuition of a talented Black artist to attend Seagle. The scholarship is in honor of Fulton Fryar, the first Black singer at Seagle in 1957. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the scholarship.
August 1 Virtual Gala
A HUGE thank you to all of you who contributed and joined the live-streamed event. The event was an unforgettable happening, and the alumni singers outdid themselves. This major fundraiser raised over $110,000. Special thanks go to the sponsors, donors, alumni and friends, old and new, as well as the performers and the staff who so ably accomplished this major undertaking. Special compliments included: “The evening affirmed the impact Seagle has had and will continue to have on so many, both the artists and the audience. I feel fortunate and proud to be associated with such an extraordinary organization.” "It was SPECTACULAR! Thank you for a glorious night of music and community.” “The eclectic and professional performances were a direct reflection of the powerful work done through Seagle to nurture the whole artist. Congrats Tony, Darren, Richard, Ian, and Co!” The amazingly talented gala honorees spanning 20 years (pictured above) were Vanessa Becerra, David Blalock, Ryan Bowie, Seth Carico, Hailey Clark, Eryn LeCroy, Alicia Olatuja, Sean Panikkar, Ava Pine, and Reggie Smith, Jr. There were also almost 50 other alumni who sang in two popular chorus numbers.
Sharon Hieber is President of The Seagle Guild. While 2020 put the Guild on ‘pause’, she has helped to keep the Guild members apprised of all the news from Seagle. Many alumni have spoken about the positive encouragement their Guild families have given to them.

Seth Bader, President of SMC, Inc. continues to cheer and appreciate an enthusiastic Seagle Board of Directors as well as an Advisory Board who come from around the country. Joel Friedman, chair of the Nominating Committee, presented and welcomed the slate at the virtual Annual Meeting of Members on August 9. New Board Members included Floyd Barwig, Carole Clifford, and Tom Seagle. New Advisory Board members included Andrea Nwoke and Kerriann Otaño
Fall 2020
Sharon and David Ohrenstein did a live virtual performance of Music for the Night on November 8th. This show was broadcast from Sarasota and distributed out of the Triad Theater in NYC. The Ohrensteins’ opera, Patra, was workshopped in 2019 as part of the American Center for New Works Development fall program.

Seagle presented alumnus Jack Swanson (2012-13) and pianist Roderick Phipps-Kettlewell in an exciting virtual recital in November. The hour-long program Songs of Love and Loss included songs by Schumann, Grieg, Puccini, Quilter, Rossini. It was professionally recorded at the historic Triune Masonic Temple in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Thanks to the generosity of the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation for their support of the 2021 Seagle Children’s Opera program. 

We offer our sympathy to the family of Erika Crear who was a loyal supporter of the Colony and whose husband, Paul, built the creative and sturdy addition to the Oscar Seagle Memorial Theater back in the 1950’s. We offer our sympathy to the relatives of Regina Porter, a former Oscar Seagle Association Board Member. She invited the folk artist Cate Mandigo to create a painting of the theater and rehearsal studio featuring enthusiastic audience members on the lawn. The copies made were a helpful fundraiser and a memorable keepsake.
News Notes
Please send any alumni news to Chronicle editor, Dodie Seagle. Your emails are always appreciated. Michael Adams had a fan club for his performance of Eugene Onegin at Seattle Opera in January. Rosemarie and John Trainer flew from their home in Pennsylvania for the performance. Rene Burkett did attend one of the Alumni zoom meetings which she reported, “was so interesting. Those young people are so intelligent and so articulate. They are very impressive.” We rejoice in the recent wedding of Ian Kagey to Erica Rotstein. Kathy Kelly and her husband, Jim Frost, enjoyed the world premiere of Remember by composer Brett Strader and lyricist W. Blake Winchell. The San Antonio Symphony accompanied the musical. Warner and Cherie North sang in the chorus. Randy Bass also sang in the chorus and orchestrated a new song added to the performance.

Tony Kostecki is President of the Essex County Arts Council. Darren Keith Woods serves as a member of the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce. Oscar Seagle was a founding member of this board.

The listing of Colony singers performing as principal singers in opera companies and those performing in apprentice programs in 2019-2020 is truly amazing! The list will be updated in the spring, when more theaters, opera houses etc. hopefully are reopened. To whet your appetite for news, there are likely as many as fifty singers performing in 31 major opera companies and up to 14 apprentice programs!
2020 Seagle Holiday Special
Savor an appetizer—uplifting holiday music by Seagle alumni, make your year-end contribution (the main course) and enjoy 14 songs to celebrate the holidays. All donors to the 2020 year-end campaign will receive the link to this holiday concert. Please remember that gifts in honor or in memory of special people in your life are also welcome. Thank you. To receive the feast, mail a check, make a gift online at, or text GIVE to 518-532-3678.
To a Healthy, Safe & Happy 2021!
May the warmth, inspiration, and joy of music be in your hearts. May you be safe and healthy, and ready to be a part of the Seagle singers extended families in the summer. Please remember to be generous in your gifts to help keep Seagle vibrantly alive.

With warm greetings,

Dodie Seagle
Editor of the Seagle Colony Chronicle
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