In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

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Rita Gershengorn

According to my parents, I started singing at nine months and could harmonize by age two. (Really?) Now whether or not that's accurate, I can't remember a time in my life when I was NOT singing. My mom, my dad (a real ham and perfect Jolson mimic) his three brothers, my sister and even my grandparents, all sang - at home, in the car, at every family get-together. The first of many songs I've written was composed when I was nine. Unlike many children, I begged my parents to let me take piano lessons. In sixth grade, I wrote and starred in an abbreviated version of "H.M.S Pinafore"; in my junior high school's production of "The Mikado", I was one of the "Three Little Maids"; during high school, I was in Girls' Chorus and in college, I was "Song Leader" of my sorority.

Writing parodies for friends and family for special occasions became an avocation many years ago. Now, having written more than 100, I write parodies professionally. For over 20 years, I was both a third grade teacher as well as Chorus Director of as many as 60 students. I also wrote and directed musical productions at the end of every school year. After retiring from teaching in 2005, I fantasized about starting a singing group. Gathering musical friends and forming "Rita & The Cosmos" has been a dream come true. Creating four part arrangements and having them come to life through the voices of my treasured ensemble has been a thrill. Performing them for appreciative audiences is the icing on the cake!

Groups directed - Rita and the Cosmos

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