Deanna Relyea Celebrated

We like to support our neighborhood businesses, so we checked out the Kerrytown Concert House on October 1 for a tribute to Deanna Relyea. Relyea founded the Kerrytown Concert House in 1984, so when she turned 80, KCH was the logical site for her birthday bash…or as she called it, her “Founder’s Fete.”

She invited a long line of performers for the event, including other singers she has performed with over the years, like fellow sopranos Julia Broxholm, Jane Schoomaker Rodgers, and Monica Swartout-Bebow (present Artistic Director at KCH). Relyea’s musical tastes are very eclectic, so she also included pianist/vocalist Alvin Waddles doing several jazz standards such as “I’m Confessing That I Love You,” which he transformed to a love song addressed to Relyea. It brought down the house as everyone chimed in loudly with that sentiment. Cornetist Ken Kozora and Relyea’s husband/reed player Piotr Michalowski did jazz with a more avant-garde bent while Relyea contributed her own wordless vocals to that portion of the program. Her son Matt Boylan strapped on his guitar and sang several folk songs and offered a heartfelt tribute to his mother as well.

It was a concert with a lot of family feeling and something for everyone, and the packed Concert House responded approvingly with applause, stomping of feet and spontaneous yells. It was a wonderful time and a privilege to be in the old Concert House that night!