Broadway actress, Karen Mason, visited Tappan Zee High School Chorus teacher Russell Wagoner’s Chorale class last week to speak and work with students as they prepare for their spring concert.
Mason starred in the original Broadway production of “Mamma Mia” and members of the Chorale will be performing a medley of songs from the musical on May 31. “One of the objectives that I have with my students is to introduce them to as many professionals in the music field as possible and give them that face-to-face opportunity to learn from them in masterclasses and speak candidly about the profession. Karen originated the role of Tanya in the original Broadway cast of “Mamma Mia” and I thought they could learn from her about specifics that pertained to performing selections from the show to enlighten and raise their performance level,” said Wagoner.
Mason has been in numerous Broadway, Off-Broadway and National tour productions and spoke with students about the audition process and how to keep your voice healthy as a performer. Mason worked one-on-one with a student who will be performing a solo during the song “Take a Chance on Me” and gave her helpful tips on how to create a powerful performance that will draw the attention of the audience members. Students also had the opportunity to try on the go-go boots that graced the Broadway stage when she was in “Mamma Mia!”
“The students were thrilled to learn some of the ‘inside’ story about “Mamma Mia,” as well as learn helpful recommendations in selecting audition material, how auditions differ between television and musical theatre and how important it is to keep studying privately and maintaining their vocal instrument daily in order to keep their voices in healthy shape,” explained Wagoner.