May Program

“CMU Musical Theater Students in Concert”

Students from the CMU School of Drama

Musical Theater Department

with Claudia Benack, Associate Professor of Musical Theater

and featuring:

Safiyah Harris, Allison Ferebee, Hagen Oliveras

Tristan Hernandez, Lauren Medina and Dan Bittner

Claudia Benack

Symphony East welcomes Claudia Benack (she performed for our audience at the March 2013 meeting) along with some of her students.  Ms. Benack, a well-known Pittsburgh vocalist and Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at Carnegie-Mellon’s Drama School, received both her BFA and MFA degrees in Vocal Performance from CMU’s School of Music where she studied voice with Beatrice Krebs and Opera Workshop with Mildred Miller.  She continued her vocal studies with Ellen Faull of the Juilliard School, the late Margaret Hoswell of the Manhattan School of Music, and Gary Race, formerly of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Iowa.  A leading soprano for twenty years with Pittsburgh Opera Theater, she performed frequently with Pittsburgh Opera, the PSO, the Pennsylvania Opera Workshop, and other regional opera companies.  A true advocate and promoter of healthy singing through solid vocal technique and training, Ms. Benack continues her studies in vocal teaching by attending singing workshops throughout the country and working with numerous vocal therapists and throat doctors.  She also maintains her own thriving private studio.  The favorite part of her career has now become watching and enjoying her former and present students appear in countless national tours and regional productions.

For this presentation, she will be bringing six talented current students of the program to present a varied program of musical theatre repertoire.  Ms. Benack writes that: “Rising senior Safiyah Harris hails from Miami, Florida and will be playing Sally Bowles in our winter 2019 production of “Cabaret”.  She will be doing theatrical work in New York City and Florence, Italy this summer.  Rising junior Allison Ferebee is from Tennessee and will also be in Cabaret.  Rising junior Hagen Oliveras is also from Miami and will be spending the summer working in our Pre-College program.  Three rising sophomores will astound you with their talent.  Tristan Hernandez is ALSO from Miami. Lauren Medina is from Northern New Jersey and Dan Bittner is from Shaler, PA! (A rare treat to have a “local” in our program!.)”

Broadway shows that presently have or have had her students as cast members include 42nd Street; Jersey Boys; A Little Night Music; Mary Poppins; Wicked; 9 To 5; Dracula; Flower Drum Song; Rent; The Pajama Game; Good Vibrations; All Shook Up; The Producers; and Pacific Overtures.


Monday, May 21

1:00 PM

Redstone Highlands

4951 Cline Hollow Road

Murrysville, PA   15668


May 21 – CMU Vocalists in Concert Flyer