Monthly Archives: January 2013

Power to the Plus Sized

greta on FAUX vogue cover
Last night I watched the Fashion Police review the celebrity gowns from Sunday’s SAG Award telecast. I know this is Hollywood–where people over size 4 are considered grossly fat–but are designers really unable to make glamorous clothes for normal sized women? Julianne Moore is a beautiful woman, but even she was chosen as worst dressed because the top of her gown made her breasts sag. What decent stylist–or the designer she borrowed the dress from–would have let something like that go? For someone my size the best recommendation would probably be a tent, in black. I am a big fan of the show “What Not to Wear”, which does wonderful transformations on normal sized women, but I’ve never seen them tackle finding a beautiful, award-show worthy gown for someone. Why Not! The faux Vogue cover I’ve added to this post was done for me at a Bar Mitzvah–with my own clothes, and I chose the pose. Shouldn’t real magazines (like the original “Mode” magazine for plus-sizes) be able to do beautiful photo shoots of size 16+ women?

Just to be clear–the photo you’re seeing is Greta Herron, not EMMA.

gretacabaret

I just saw this performance photo of myself from the International Association of, and  Women in Jazz festival last Spring–I didn’t know they’d posted on.  Thank you to them for mounting my photo in their slide show. The festival will be held in April, and it is a fun event–open mike, workshops, and an amazing concert.  Maybe I’ll even bring my chocolate-covered rum cake again….

On another subject, I was shocked–and pleased– to see a cabaret singer promoted on today’s edition of The View!  AT LAST!  Before Emmy Rossum (from the show Shameless) sang, they carefully explained what type of music cabaret involves, and of course discussed her new album, Sentimental Journey.  Both the Jazz and Cabaret communities are concerned about the lack of interest in non-rock music  from the network TV shows, so Kudos to the view for showcasing a young singer.  Now if they would follow up with…

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Women in Jazz Photo

I just saw this performance photo of myself from the International Association of, and  Women in Jazz festival last Spring–I didn’t know they’d posted on.  Thank you to them for mounting my photo in their slide show. The festival will be held in April, and it is a fun event–open mike, workshops, and an amazing concert.  Maybe I’ll even bring my chocolate-covered rum cake again….

On another subject, I was shocked–and pleased– to see a cabaret singer promoted on today’s edition of The View!  AT LAST!  Before Emmy Rossum (from the show Shameless) sang, they carefully explained what type of music cabaret involves, and of course discussed her new album, Sentimental Journey.  Both the Jazz and Cabaret communities are concerned about the lack of interest in non-rock music  from the network TV shows, so Kudos to the view for showcasing a young singer.  Now if they would follow up with a more experienced singer as well–so people could compare the differences, that would be great….Image

Insights from the Jazz Connect Conference

ImageToday was Day 2 of the Jazz Connect Conference at the 54th Street Hilton in NYC, presented by JazzTimes with Jazz Forward.  This amazing free event included several workshops on promoting yourself on the Web, and ideas to promote Jazz through different avenues, including radio!  Many people attending were presenters, managers, agents and PR people–who also tended to be performers as well ,but the great schedule setup allowed 30 minutes between sessions.  They had set up half a floor worth of tables, and everyone would gather in small groups at these and exchange cards and information between sessions, while the tables were eventually filled up with people’s flyers and postcards about various performances in NYC set up for this weekend–including some all-night jams.  Some performers made notations on their cards that your conference ID would get you into their shows for free!  It will take me a while to process all I learned at the conference, but some things they recommended I’ll start doing immediately.  Look for some changes to this page as I incorporate what I’ve learned.  One important word:  Widgets!

Many Thanks

One of my goals this past year was to do more performing.  I have performed with some amazing musicians at Jenna Esposito and Jim Caruso’s open mikes, and I have to thank them for helping me to find my jazz spirit.  I’ve always loved jazz, but my vocal training has been in classical music–which I still love–and singing cabaret style was an easy transition.  I have always performed with piano, but being supported by a trio puts you into a completely different skill set–you’re suddenly willing to take more risks and have more fun.  It has been a blast to stretch myself and finally do what I had always dreamed–to use my voice to express myself in many different styles of music, rather than just one.  That being said, I’d also like to thank Katie Kearns for recording all those videos at the open mikes she attended, and sending them to me so I could see my performances.  I really appreciate her generosity, and her willingness to help other performers.

Getting a new start

Greta at Danny's edited 2010

Welcome to my first blog post. It’s amazing how much time it takes to do something that (theoretically) is so simple. I have new respect for people who post all the time!

Let me tell you about me.  I am one of seven(!) children of a military family, so until I was twelve we traveled back and forth between Army bases.  As a result, I was actually born in Japan(since Mom and Dad are both from the US, that didn’t give me Japaneses citizenship. I have a bachelors degree in Music Education (cum laude), A Masters in Opera Performance, and taught grade school music for five years.  I have participated in vocal competitions since high school, and won third place in the Leontyne Price Vocal Competition, held at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Music has always been my passion; I started singing solos for church in third grade, and throughout my school years I was in choruses, ensembles, and singing groups of all kinds, while continuing solo work.

In sixth grade I wanted to learn a musical instrument, and chose glockenspiel, but since the band director couldn’t get one for me, I learned drums; for a long time I was the only female percussionist in our school district, and I was one of the few drummers who could sight-read the music. (Note: I attended summer choral workshops at K-State, and one year was elected outstanding vocalist by the various choral conductors.  When the orchestra conductor presented the award to me at the final concert, he commented that he had been stunned to hear I was a singer, because he had been so impressed by my skills as a drummer).

Junior high brought a new priest to my school, and he taught me how to play folk guitar so I could accompany myself and play for Mass.

My undergrad degree is in Music Education–elementary school and high school levels, both instrumental and vocal.  Since it was a very small college, with an even smaller music department, everybody had to double and triple up to get productions performed.  So I was a percussionist for the orchestra(and drafted to play for the city’s youth orchestra) pep band, and pit band for the musicals, while singing in all the choirs(concert choir, girls chorus, mixed ensemble and occasionally the folk choir for mass, and working on my minor in voice performance,  Although I lived in the dorms on campus all four years, most people were unaware of this because most of my time was spent in the music building. One notable side note; I was the MC for the campus Mr. Legs competition for two years, which meant I had to entirely ad lib a humorous “beauty” competition involving the few men on campus(ratio of women to men was 3:1).

After graduation, I taught elementary school music for Morris Hill Elementary School at Fort Riley, Kansas, grades k-6, 14 classes per day,  At the same time, I resumed vocal studies at K-State, until I decided to quit teaching and spent a year doing remedial graduate studies there.  I received an honorable mention in the US Army FORSCOM competition, and a participant in the Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians vocal workshop.  Then I transferred to Oklahoma City University where I completed a Masters in Opera Performance.

After completing my degree, i moved to Philadelphia, where I was a soloist for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and other churches in the area. I also performed in concerts with Opera Ebony, and opera with both Pennsylvania Opera, and  Opera  North.  To expand my repertoire, I sang at Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony two summers, and Busch Garden The Old Country in Williamsburg, VA(The Italy Show).

I moved NYC in 1993, and dived into the world of my first musical loves, Jazz and cabaret music. I have performed at various clubs and restaurants in the city, and created a solo show called “Soprano Smolder”,whose focus is on singing standards in their original, higher keys.  Since I am a lyric-coloratura, it means I can float a high C, and sing with a warm tone in higher ranges..Singing cabaret means I can both sing songs I love and indulge my humorous streak.

Please feel free to check out my resume and video pages to learn more about my vocal style.