Colleen’s musical journey started at the age of four when she heard her sister play a piece at the piano and she then played it back by ear. Piano lessons started shortly thereafter, followed by voice a few years later.
“The first time I remember singing for an audience was when my family doctor asked me if I knew any songs. I was thrilled to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and remember being so proud that he wanted to hear me sing. Of course he was just trying to distract me because he was setting my broken collar bone.” Luckily, future performances were under happier circumstances.
After receiving her degree in Voice Performance from DePauw University, Colleen spent the next several years performing at regional theatres and working at the acclaimed Interlochen National Music Camp. “I performed one of my favorite roles of all time that first summer at Interlochen. I didn’t even realize when I was cast that I had received a leading role because I wasn’t familiar with the show.” The show was “The Fantasticks” and the role was Luisa, which Colleen would perform a few times throughout her career.
Her ability to flow easily from one style of music to another led her to perform another vastly different role a few years later when she was cast as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret”. “The vocals were so low for me, and I remember laughing about it at the audition,” she recalls. “The director later told me it was my willingness to laugh at myself that won me the role.” Another favorite role was Nellie Forbush in “South Pacific”. “Growing up in northern Indiana in Amish country, this role really speaks to me. Nellie is so loving, but so sheltered. Her growth into an accepting and loving woman is endearing, and such a joy to play.”
Known for her clear, floating soprano voice, she is most at home when singing the songs of a bygone era. Audiences will thrill with her stories of Jane Powell, Kathryn Grayson and Judy Garland, and the music from the golden age of Hollywood. “I’m so grateful that there’s an audience out there wanting to relive those classics from the silver screen. Some of the most beautiful melodies ever written were in those wonderful old movies with scores by Gershwin and Cole Porter, and I’m thrilled every time I get to share them with an audience.”