Richard Addinsell with Rubinoff and His Violin

Richard Addinsell With Rubinoff and His Violin

Richard Addinsell With Rubinoff and His Violin. I worked for over 15 years with violin maestro, David Rubinoff. Dave was a man with passion plus. This was not only for music, but for life. Dave was born into extreme poverty in Kiev, Russia. The year was 1897. Violin was his ticket to success. How did his success transpire? Victor Herbert was on sabbatical in Warsaw, Poland. He heard  David play a student recital at the Warsaw Conservatory. Paderewski was the headmaster.

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Polish pianist, Ignace Paderewski, head of the Warsaw Conservatory,

Here’s the tie in with the Richard Addinsell: Warsaw was close to Rubinoff’s heart. Dave loved the sentiment and music of the Warsaw Concerto.  The music was composed a British film:  Dangerous Moonlight. The subject is the Polish struggle against the 1939 invasion by Nazis. One of Dave’s most memorable moments is in the featured picture. He consulted with the  Addinsell for his violin/piano arrangement. I will be playing piano from the same Rubinoff score this winter. Management just rebuilt their vintage Steinway grand at the Gasparilla Inn. The finest parts were ordered from Germany. It is situated in the dining room. Hear me play it. I am booked at the Inn by the Jay Goodley Group in Sarasota. My contract is 6 nights weekly from Christmas to Easter.

Herbert Places Rubinoff on the Path to Success that also Led Him to Meet with Richard Addinsell

Victor Herbert declared, “Son, you belong to America.” He brought young David and his entire family to the United States. David apprenticed with Victor Herbert in Pittsburgh. Herbert was the conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic. Rubinoff apprenticed his musical art with his benefactor. Dave told me countless stories about Herbert’s Sunday musical get togethers. Dave, for a while actually resided with Victor Herbert. He was able to socialize with John Phillip Sousa, the great tenor-Carouso, Andrew Carnegie…Sousa told Rubinoff to take good music to the public schools. Years later, Dave and I (Dave Ohrenstein) did this throughout the Sarasota area.

Victor August Herbert (February 1, 1859 – May 26, 1924) was an Irish-born, German-raised American composercellist and conductor. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas.  Many premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I. He was also prominent among the tin pan alley composers.  Later he was a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

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Imagine living and apprenticing with this great composer/conductor Victor Herbert.  Cover from The Fortune Teller.

By the way, Rubinoff told me about how Victor Herbert composed while standing by his lectern. I guess conductors are used to standing. Keep checking DSOworks.com for new posts. By the way, a have 1 or 2 openings for piano students in Sarasota.

 

High Stepping on the Steinway at World Class Gasparilla Inn

High Stepping on the Steinway Piano at World Class Gasparilla Inn. I feel like I have a special connection with Steinway grand pianos. My primary teacher on piano was Mischa Kottler. He kept two Steinway grands in his studio. For my lessons, I played on one. He accompanied and demonstrated on the other. What kind of teacher was Mischa? I quote Greg Philliganes in Keyboard Magazine. 

High Stepping with Mischa Kottler

From work with Stevie Wonder while still in his teens, to tours and recordings with Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, and Toto, Phillinganes’ massive discography reads like a “Who’s Who” of pop music, encompassing four decades.

From Greg Philliganes’ interview in Keyboard Magazine

“Sensing that I needed discipline more than anything else, my Mom managed to hook me up with a wonderful teacher named Mischa Kottler.  He was a no-nonsense Russian Jewish guy who could crack a pane of glass with one finger. He was a complete badass, and he cooled my attitude out immediately. I studied with him well into my teens.

What kinds of things were you studying with him?

I was studying technique and classical repertoire. He taught me a certain way of playing that I still use to this day: a sense of evenness where your wrists aren’t loose or moving up and down. It’s a totally linear way of playing, where there’s even movement in both hands so your wrists stay perfectly still. Mischa would take two fingers and weigh them down on my wrists to keep them from moving. He instilled a sense of dexterity and definition in my playing. If I’m known for my speed and precision, it’s probably due to Mischa more than anything else. 

High Stepping on his Steinway was Mischa Kottler
Mischa Kottler preferred old vintage Steinways just like the ones I now play at the Gasparilla Inn.

I also have Mischa to thank for instilling in me speed and precision. He also instilled in me the desired to look for the “truth” in music. What is the music really about? How do you convey it?  Again, thanks to Mischa, I have year round employment. . Until Dec 18, I will be at the Crab and Fin in Sarasota. See events on DSOworks.com. Then, Gasparilla from Dec. 19- April 1 2018 for six nights weekly. I play on a newly rebuilt Steinway Grand. The parts were special ordered from Germany. In between, my wonderful agent Fitz Otis at Jay Goodley Entertainment Group books me any other time I am available. My advice to students: Work hard. Be serious. And yes, I have a couple of openings for piano lessons in Sarasota.

 

 

 

Musical Transcriptions Were One of Bach’s Priorities

Musical Transcriptions Were One of Bach’s Priorities. However, he often transcribed his own works. Most think of transcription by people other than the original composer. For example, Franz Liszt transcribed some of Bach’s organ works for the piano. In fact, Liszt wrote transcriptions for piano of a wide variety of music. Indeed, about half of his composing work (approximately 400 out of 800 items) are arrangements of music by other composers.[52]

Musical transcriptions contributed to Liszt's popularity.
Liszt give the musical public what they wanted- musical transcriptions

During the period 1730-1733 Bach wrote seven concertos for harpsichord and strings. Most were musical transcriptions from his own violin concertos. Bach had a passion for transcriptions. He seemed to be never satisfied with any definitive version of his musical output.  I quote Wanda Landowski in her book, On Music: “His versatile and restless spirit refused to be limited to the use of any one particular instrument or even to instruments in general.”

Reason for Musical Transcriptions

What other reason can there be for writing a composition for different instruments? Perhaps business. It allows you to sell more copies.Instead of selling to only violinists, you can , also sell music to other instrumentalists. Also transcriptions makes a person popular with the public. If they enjoy a particular  work, they can also hear it played by a piano player. Liszt became rich enough to help many composers of his time.  Yes he was a great pianist. However, I feel his transcriptions propelled him to the top and gave him the reputation of being the greatest.

For years I worked as a transcriber for Rubinoff and His Violin. He too made a fortune.  He called me his best arranger in his lifetime of performing. Enjoy our concert at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. We gave it in 1984. Witness the audience going wild over a violinist at age 87. I am playing the piano. Also, see for yourself what a difference arrangements can make. Also I have one or two openings for piano lessons in Sarasota.

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Lost Concert “Rubinoff and His Violin” on Oquaga Lake, 1984

Lesley & Ohrenstein
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Scorpio musicians have strong points and weak points.

Scorpio Musicians Perform with Profound Emotions

Scorpio Musicians Perform with Profound Emotions. This blog is an excerpt from my upcoming book: Music Under the Zodiac. I also composed a ballet and modern dance opus number on the 12 zodiac signs. It also has an introduction and finale. The title Dance of the Zodiac. The work is haunting me to be staged again. Al Smith, a comedian who once toured the Catskills said, “It’s like a collector’s item- It sits around collecting dust.” Any suggestions or contacts out there?

Scorpio Musicians and Dancers Illustrating This Sign's Character
The Dance of the Zodiac had a full 45 minute presentation by the Florida Ballet Arts Ensemble under the choreography and direction of Lynn Winslow and S, Fairwhether

Scorpio Musicians as We Approach the Astrological Month of Scorpio 10/23-11/21

 

First, what is the zodiac? In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the constellations AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquarius and Pisces.[2][3]

Wheel of the zodiac: This 6th century mosaic pavement in a synagogue incorporates Greek-Byzantine elements, Beit Alpha, Israel.

For this blog we will consider Scorpio as a listener and a performer.
  • Scorpio listen with an ear that is tuned to the mystical. For most, music must touch the mind and body. For Scorpio it is about touching the soul. This listener favors complex chords and rhythms. They enjoy “tempo rubato”. Even “dervish” accelerando rhythms are on the listening list. In the classical realm, music from the Baroque era is favored. Counterpoint is enjoyable: Life is complex. Anything with intense mood is enjoyable. Baroque dance suites are on the list. Each dance keeps its own character throughout.
  • Scorpio musicians enjoy varied percussion instruments. These include timpani, triangle, marimba, xylophone or celesta. They favor the cello among stringed instruments.  Cellos express depth of feeling in the “baritone” area. Scorpio has natural charisma. That makes people of this sign great conductors or section leaders. Scorpio will instruments not commonly played. These could include the lute or hurdy gurdy. Enjoy an excerpt from my blog about this rare instrument!
  • The Hurdy Gurdy rose in popularity and the lute fell!

    Hurdy Gurdy Suddenly Came into Vogue

    Hurdy Gurdy Suddenly Came into Vogue. Why am I writing this blog? To prove that no how popular something is, changing style can make it obsolete. For example, once upon a time no one ever doubted the popularity and supremacy of the lute.  The first lutes were brought to Spain by the Moors. Others may have been brought to Europe from Arabic lands. The lute is one of the ancestors of the classical guitar. Sunddenly, among the French royalty and other European courts, the lute was totally shunned. The hurdy gurdy took its place. Styles change! Go ahead Scorpio. Follow the lead of French royalty! Oh yes, I have one or two openings for giving piano lessons in Sarasota.

 

The Hurdy Gurdy rose in popularity and the lute fell!

Hurdy Gurdy Suddenly Came into Vogue

Hurdy Gurdy Suddenly Came into Vogue. Why am I writing this blog? To prove that no how popular something is, changing style can make it obsolete. For example, once upon a time no one ever doubted the popularity and supremacy of the lute.  The first lutes were brought to Spain by the Moors. Others may have been brought to Europe from Arabic lands. The lute is one of the ancestors of the classical guitar.During the Baroque music era, the lute was used as one of the instruments which played the basso continuo accompaniment parts. It is also an accompanying instrument in vocal works. The lute player either improvises (“realizes”) a chordal accompaniment based on the figured bass part, or plays a written-out accompaniment (both music notation and tabulature(“tab”) are used for lute). As a small instrument, the lute produces a relatively quiet sound

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Would you believe this instrument at one time bowed to the hurdy gurdy in popularity?

How the Hurdy Gurdy Came to Replace the Lute

The book Le Parnasse Français is from 1736. Its author is Titon du Tillet. He writes that he had met a great lute amateur, M. Falco. The lute player assured  Tion du Tillet that there are only 3 or 4 accomplished old time lute players left in Paris. Now I quote du Tillet: “M. Falco invited me to go up to his apartment. After having seated me in an antique armchair, he played 5 or 6 pieces on the lute. He looked at me all the while with tender expression. From time to time he shedding tears on his lute. I could not help mingling a few tears with his. And thus we parted.”

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 Wanda Landowska on Music writes: By the end of the 17th century, the best lutes were sought after. However, they were transformed into the theorboes. Somewhat later, the hurdy gurdy totally replaced the lute in popularity. Shockingly, at onetime the hurdy gurdy was mainly used by beggars and village peddlers. As it happens, Marchionesses from the court of Louis XV  called the few remaining lutes “gothic and despicable instruments.” The hurdy gurdy became the aristocratic rage.

Conclusion: Don’t bank on anything being popular for too long. Check out my blogs. Musical style will soon change. By the way. Stay in style. Using this knowledge, I am having my busiest season ever. To this end I offer piano lessons in Sarasota.

Music Transforms Especially in Difficult Times

Music Transforms Especially in Difficult Times. This blog is about a great man that I worked with: David Rubinoff. To the public he was known as Rubinoff and his Violin. Rubinoff had the Midas Touch on the violin. The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. The Maestro made as much as $500,000.00 a year in the 1930’s. That is a lot of money, even now. He played concerts. Also he conducted the orchestra at the Paramount Theater in New York and for Paramount Pictures in Hollywood. David autographed his picture for my wife Sharon, and myself.
Music transforms. Rubinoff transformed his violin playing into gold.

This letter, written during the height of the Vietnam war, is quoted here. The Dance of the Russian Peasant was written about him by his wife, Darlene. She interviewed and recorded Rubinoff’s words for this book.  Darlene was a true friend. I think this letter amply illustrates the keywords: Music Transforms.

A Testimony to How Music Transforms

Dear Maestro Rubinoff: “Mother told me you were a Prophet of Music. You were blessed directly by God to carry out a special purpose. She said you were commissioned to bring down divine harmony to earth and give it to the common man…No more would music be for royalty and the very rich. Thus, the wonderful music you took into the battlefield after your allotted threescore and ten years. Knowing you has made me a better wife, a better mother and better citizen of the world. I cannot willingly drop below the height to which your heavenly music has taken me.”

Now you too can enjoy the Heavenly Music of Rubinoff. I, David Ohrenstein, am the pianist on this Oquaga Lake concert. Enjoy his stories.  They date all the way back to the year 1911. Victor Herbert brought him to America. He lived with Herbert and met Caruso, John Phillip Sousa… At the time he was age 86.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jujqLu-jrN8
Jun 22, 2015 – Uploaded by Lesley & Ohrenstein

Lost Concert “Rubinoff and His Violin” on Oquaga Lake, 1984 …. This video proves that he had not lost …

Changing Music Indicates Changing Times

Changing Music Indicates Changing Times. Welsh music, as recorded in the Welsh Triads, adjusted its music to changing times. Here’s how. In ancient England, changes were foreshadowed by “perpetual choirs.”

Changing Music and Perpetual Choirs?
The Welsh Triads speak of perpetual choirs of saints in the distant past.

How did I discover this? My source is City of Revelaton by the Reverend John Michell. The Welsh Triads are verses of great antiquity. They were written by “prehistoric bardic historians.” Unique choirs are mentioned:

  • One at the now existing site of Glastonbury Abbey.
  • Another operated at the site at which Stonehenge now exists.
  • A third was at Llantwit Major at Glamzorgan.

2,400 saints worked each site. Each kept a perpetual chant going. Each of the 24 hours of the day, at each site, occupied 100 saints with singing.

As the Times Varied, Changing Music Marked Their Song

The character of time changes with the seasons. As light can change by the hour, so could their song. Another aspect of song was planetary. The school of Pythagoras believed that each planet had its own pitch. As their distances from each other changed, so did the music.

We are currently living through times of great change. Music that heralds beautiful melody will lead the way. In all aspects, people will buy what is beautiful. I was taught to play with beautiful tone. Play well-formed two-note phrases are key. Also, how to emphasize the note that is tied over the measure. My instructor was Mischa Kottler.

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Mischa Kottler was a pupil of Emil von Sauer, Sauer studied over two years with Liszt.

In looking to this beautiful past, I am helping to lead the way to the future. We all need beautiful things in our lives. When times are difficult, all need the beautiful in art, poetry and music. To this end, I am working full time this year. I will be playing piano from Christmas to Easter. This will be six days weekly. The location is at the Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande.

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I play here on a vintage and newly reconditioned Steinway concert grand from the 1920’s. Parts were shipped directly from Germany.

 

Until Christmas, I am working to bring musical beauty back at the Crab and Fin Restaurant on Saint Armand’s Circle. I play three days weekly. Call for specifics. Wear something comfortable, but beautiful. Enjoy a tasty and well-presented meal  while dining outdoors to my piano music.

 

 

 

Musical orphanage outlet was his professional anchor.

Musical Orphanage Outlet in Venice for Vivaldi

Musical Orphanage Outlet in Venice for Vivaldi. Antonio Lucio Vivaldi ( 4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an Italian[2] Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. Four orphanages for girls existed in Venice, Italy. They taught females the art of music. Antonio Vivaldi worked at the Ospedale (orphanage) della Pieta. He was employed there for  more than 30 years. He duties included composer, violin maestro, and orchestral conductor.

When musical styles later changed during his employment, he lost his job. He went to Vienna, impoverished. After he died, no one even knew where he was buried until 1938.   My main source of reference is Landowska On Music. Wanda Landowska quotes Italian President, De Brosses.  The points made come in part from his:  Lettres familieres ecrites d’Italie (1739 – 1740). De Brosses lived during Vivaldi’s time. He gives a glimpse into the musical life of Italy.

Musical Orphanage Outlet
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Made its Premier With an All Female Chamber Orchestra at the Orphanage della Pieta. They were virtuosos. Not too many ladies here!

Musical Orphanage Outlet Description

  1.  Why were there four female orphanages needed in Venice? Girls were left in orphanages for three reasons (1) They were illegitimate. (2) They were orphaned. (3) They were placed there by parents who could not afford to keep them. Poor families often orphaned their girls. Hence the key words of this blog:
  2. How were they brought up? The State paid their expenses. They were trained exclusively to excel at music. De Brosses stated: “They sing like angels and play the violin, the cello. the bassoon; in short, there was no big instrument that could terrify them.” Hence the key words of this blog: Musical Orphanage Outlet
  3. De Brosses  stated about Vivaldi: “I heard him claim that he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could write them down.”

Alas, Vivaldi’s music went out of fashion. His death was not even noticed. In 1938 it was learned that he died in 1741 and was buried in Vienna. That’s some 200 years in passing.  Vivaldi would be rich on royalties if he were alive today:

  • Walter Kolneder in Antonio Vivaldi: His Life and Work states: A unofficial survey of diners in Greenwich Ct. in the 1990’s claims: Today Vivaldi’s popularity has taken on such dimensions that it almost threatens that of other music.”
  • P.G. Goulding states in Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1000 Greatest Works: “The 4 violin concertos that make up the Four Seasons are  most popular on many classical radio stations.”

Immediately below in Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Solo violin is played and the orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman.

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The four seasons, Enjoy Itzhak Perlman playing Spring on the youtube below.

 

What conclusions might we draw from this blog?  To make a living, one must know what is on the horizon and be able to respond, appropriately.  Genius does not guarantee a living. Also, everyone has their day in the Sun. That means it is necessary to put aside resources for a rainy day. As a musician, I greatly sympathize with the plight and challenges of all serious musicians- men and women. Even a genius like Vivaldi greatly suffered.

 

 

Music Prolongs Life as it did for David Rubinoff and His Violin

Will Rogers Plays the Violin, or Tries to with Rubinoff

Will Rogers Plays Had a Place in My Life Through Rubinoff. For years I worked with “Rubinoff and His Violin.” He always would praise Will Rogers. Rubinoff stated in his autbiography: “Will used to give me advice. He was a happy fellow and a pleasure to be near. Will advised me on timing, how to time my gestures, how to get the audience to do my bidding, and how to talk to provoke the appropriate responses.”  This quote is from Rubinoff’s book, Dance of the Russian Peasant. His wife, Dame Darlene Rubinoff, co-authored the book with her husband.  Maestro Rubinoff always paid homage to Will Rogers at his concerts.

Will Rogers Plays:

William Penn Adair Rogers was born on November 4, 1879, in present-day Oologah, Oklahoma—then part of Indian territory. … Himself part Cherokee, Rogers socialized with both indigenous people.  Interest in Will Rogers plays found its way into a hit Broadway show: The Will Rogers Follies is a musical with a book by Peter Stone, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Cy Coleman.

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Will Rogers Follies

It focuses on the life and career of famed humorist and performer Will Rogers, using as a backdrop the Ziegfeld Follies, which he often headlined, and describes every episode in his life in the form of a big production number.

He gave Rubinoff a gigantic pocket watch. Will had the poem below engraved on its back. Will also included his picture with Dave with the following inscription: “To the greatest fiddler in the world. Your Pal, Will Rogers 1932.” Rubinoff recited it at every single concert. Audiences loved itHere are some paraphrases::

Will Rogers plays Rubinoff's violin
Will Rogers plays Rubinoff’s Strad in a gag picture. Rubinoff is looking on and smiling.

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

Now is the only time we own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.

― Robert H. Smith

Conclusion: So many were jealous of Rubinoff. Musicians frequently were contemptuous about how he pandered to the public. However, they were really jealous of his income. In the 1930’s he made as much as $500,000/year. Now I offer a present to all my readers. Here is a free youtube link to Rubinoff and I, performing at our last concert in 1984. And yes, he’ll show off his Will Rogers pocket watch. You can hear the thunderstorm at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House during the concert. Oh yes, please share. This is happy and entertaining!

Lost Concert “Rubinoff and His Violin” on Oquaga Lake, 1984 – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jujqLu-jrN8
Jun 22, 2015 – Uploaded by Lesley & Ohrenstein

In one of the final years of his life, renowned violinist Dave Rubinoff plays … Your browser does not currently …

Travel golden roads

Travel Golden Roads With Our New Musical

Travel Golden Roads With Our New Musical. The featured picture is a reference to Sharon and myself. We are called “The Ohs.” This is short for Ohrenstein. Famed artist, Harold Weiner, drew this for us as a thank you for a charity event that we did for the Sarasota Music Archives.

Meir’s GOLDEN ROADS: A One Woman Musical About Golda Meir.  This original musical was written by the performers: Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein, singer, actor, librettist; and David Ohrenstein, pianist- composer. Broadway director, Carlo Thomas, gave the one woman show a wonderful, big time, New York, aura.  From Golda’s dream to its realization, Sharon plays multiple characters.  Her characters include:

  1. Blume (Golda’s mother).
  2. Morris (her husband)
  3. Her sister,  Sheyna
  4. Zion (a spirit character)
  5. Numerous other male and female characters
  •   The musical will work in any sized theater.
  • It can also be booked for a limited run or as a special event.  For example, for a fund raiser, luncheon or after dinner show.
  • The musical has several length options
  •  The set is simple and basic. L & O have  both portable Yamaha piano and sound.
  • For more information or  price quote: email – dsoworks@gmail.com

We are all on a pilgramage as we travel the Golden Roads. We all seek the precious jewels of happiness, peace and plenty found on this road.  Learn about this one woman born into poverty and persecution.  Through her own will power and hard work she overcame these hardships.

travelling Golden Roads
Our Song, The Kitchen Cabinet, provides one of many comic moments in the musical. As prime minister,  Golda with her cabinet in her kitchen, is serving homemade delicacies.

Travel Golden Roads With Golda Meir

Our Golden Roads symbolizes the journey some must take to find a better future. Golda’s was quite dramatic:

  • As a child,  Golda was nearly trampled to death by stampeding Cossacks riding horses.  Her passion became having a safe home.

Be entertained by the beautiful voice of Sharon Lesley and piano artistry of David.  Enjoy the beautiful melodies that punctuate the show. Be enthralled about with the story how one woman’s courage and determination helped to rebuild a nation for millions.

Our New York veteran director is  Carlo Thomas.  He has received positive reviews from Hal Prince, Irving Lowens of the Washington Star, and Werner Vollmann of the Associated Press in Vienna. As a bass, he has appeared in many operas, including Rigoletto, La Traviata, and The Queen of Spades. He has sung on opera stages in Italy.  He personally worked with  Broadway composers Timothy Gray and Hugh Martin. Carlo has helped to shape our show and provided exciting projections.

Travel Golden Roads and Make Money

This one woman show, featuring Sharon, is a money maker. Call or contact DSOworks@gmail.com today to arrange for your special afternoon or evening with Golden Roads. It was SRO as Golda opened the 2017 Sarasolo Festival held at Sarasota’s Crocker Memorial Church. Don’t be shy! Please share with friends.