Confucius has been credited with saying “it is easy to hate, and difficult to love.” Songwriters might agree, what with the vast book of songs about love. Singers, however, seem to love singing about love, and that's what is planned for the next performance in the 2019 Tuesday Summer Concert Series. The Aug. 6 concert, hosted by Zion Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, features mother and daughter Patty Dorn and Shelby Cochran performing some of their favorite songs about love from musicals of stage and screen.
The program will include songs from well-known musicals such as “South Pacific,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Into the Woods;” and songs from musicals perhaps a bit less familiar: “Sideshow,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Mack and Mabel” and “Songs for a New World.”
Mother and soprano Patty Dorn is the Music and Worship Director at Zion Lutheran. Dorn moved to Grand Rapids two years ago from Duluth, where musical theatre and opera roles included Mother Abbess in “The Sound of Music” at the Duluth Playhouse, Aldonza/Dulcinea in “Man of La Mancha” at Zeitgeist, Beggar Woman in “Sweeney Todd” at the Playground Theatre, Ida Straus in “Titanic” at Spirit of the North Theatre, and Beaujolais/Nicollet in Lyric Opera of the North's production of “Les Uncomfortables.”
While in Duluth for two decades, Dorn taught music and directed choirs at elementary to college levels; guided church music as choral director, organist and vocalist; and directed choirs of the Lake Superior Youth Chorus. She has appeared on stage with Arrowhead Chorale, Duluth Festival Opera, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, and other groups in the Duluth-Superior area.
Dorn has degrees in music performance and education from the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) and University of Minnesota Duluth. While at Morris, she was vocalist for the primary UMM jazz ensemble on tours to New Orleans and Europe, performing on stages of the North Sea and Montreaux jazz festivals.
Daughter and mezzo-soprano Shelby Cochran grew up in Duluth, performing in local music and theatre organizations. She attended Concordia College in Moorhead, graduating with a theatre arts and communications degree in 2011. She continues to live and work in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and can often be found on a local theatre stage, or working offstage to support local theatre. Recent musical theatre roles include Cinderella in the Music Theatre Fargo-Moorhead production of “Into the Woods,” Muriel Eubanks in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” Betty Haynes in “White Christmas,” Alice Beineke in “The Addams Family,” and Dorothy Gale in “The Wizard of Oz,” all at Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT).
Since 2018, Cochran has been a member of the FMCT board of directors, and again in 2019 she appeared in the FMCT production of “Cocktails+Cabaret,” a Broadway review to support theatre in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Accompanying the mother and daughter are bassist Tim Churchill and pianist Karen Sande, both of Duluth. Dorn has worked with the two musicians over the past two decades, from church music collaborations to classical recitals with Sande, and in a wide array of ensembles with Churchill.
Sande is Director of Music Ministries at First Lutheran Church in Duluth, where she serves as organist, choir accompanist, directs handbell choirs, and coordinates youth and adult involvement in instrumental ensembles. Sande received degrees in church music from St. Olaf College and Westminster Choir College in New Jersey, and served churches in New Jersey, Chicago and Rochester, Minn. before moving to Duluth in 1998.
Sande regularly performs organ recitals in concert venues across Minnesota, from Rochester to Duluth and the Iron Range. Her most recent recital, at Hibbing's First Lutheran Church in late July, included her daughter on violin for the 36th season of the Organs in Revue summer concert series.
Churchill is a middle school math teacher in Duluth, with broad musical endeavors. They include performing with classical musical ensembles (Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Itasca Symphony Orchestra, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra); performing with folk, jazz and church ensembles; president of the board of Matinee Musicale (an organization founded in 1900 to “promote the culture of musical art” in Duluth); and he played for 20 years with The Strollers, a trio that often held court at the top of the Radisson in Duluth.
And on a pleasant summer day in Duluth, one might find Churchill busking with other musicians on the Lakewalk on the shore of Lake Superior.
The 45-minute concert will begin at 12 p.m. at Zion Lutheran in Grand Rapids. Following the concert, a lunch, provided by the host church, is available for purchase. Free-will donations made to the 18th season of the Tuesday Summer Concert Series fund a scholarship offered to an area music student who is entering at least their third year of studying music in college. The performers donate their time, and at the end of the concert season after expenses are paid, donations are made to support music ministry at the host churches.