The Shorthorn: Marc Chartrand
Cabaret diva Colleen Mallette and pianist Sheild-Collins Bray performed at the
University Center Monday at noon. They are currently on tour to promote their album,
Saints and Sinners.
Performer kicks off arts gala with tunes about love, living
by Sally Claunch
Special to The Shorthorn
EX-CEL Campus Activities kicked off Arts Festival ‘99 with the comedy and musical
styling of diva Colleen Mallette on Monday.
"Buddy (the piano accompanist) and I are rabble rousers," she said.
"Being a serious classical performer is a lot of hard work and self discipline — one
needs to have fun and balance."
Mallette performed her show "The Lemaze School of Singing: How to Birth a
Song" in the UC Atrium.
She bills herself as a local cowtown soprano and "American Cabaret and Comedy
Diva." She was accompanied by Shields-Collins "Buddy" Bray, who is the
principal pianist for the Fort Worth Symphony.
Bray said they titled the show "The Lemaze School of Singing" after one
of his former voice instructors.
"We would walk down the halls in the music school and could hear her shouting
at her students, ‘push!' and we thought it was funny," he said.
Mallette performs opera parodies and bawdy songs about a woman who, among other
pursuits, poisons her lovers.
"This show presents a variety, a hodgepodge, no one will be left
wanting," Mallette said.
As students passed by and looked in to see what was happening, Mallette called out
"Hey come on in have a seat, this is a party," she said.
Art freshman Laura Dye said she came out to hear the music.
"I like music. I couldn't understand the first two songs she sang — they were
in a foreign language," she said. "These other two (songs) are pretty
Jim Walther, director of graduate recruitment and support services, said he used to
have a jazz combo and likes to come to the atrium to hear the students play the piano and
sing during lunch.
He also purchased one of Mallette's CDs.
In addition to pursuing her performing career, Mallette also teaches vocal
instruction at Texas Christian University and produces a show on a local Arlington cable
Susan English, assistant director for student activities, said she gets grants from
the Texas Commission for the Arts to have performance artists come to the university. She
said she gets a roster from which she can choose a performer.
"She (Mallette) was on the list, and we thought it would be fun," she
said. "We thought it (the show) would be a good way to kick off the festival."
Copyright © 1999 The Shorthorn web staff. All rights reserved.