Choral Chameleon Artist Profile: Leigh Trifari

Leigh Trifari  has been drawing and painting about as long as she has been singing (that is, since childhood) and has always juggled between the two muses.
 A life-long resident of the Hudson Valley, she grew up in a musical household (“My grandmother was the church organist, my father played sax and clarinet, and sang in college glee clubs and community choruses, and my mom was always playing records and singing in the house”), and decided to pursue training at SUNY Potsdam’s Julia E. Crane School of Music, where she received her Bachelor’s in Music Education. But drawing and painting were never far behind…..
After a brief stint of school teaching in central New York State, Leigh returned to the Hudson Valley to pursue a second career as a visual artist. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Columbia Counties, and she is a past recipient of New York Foundation for the Art’s Strategic Opportuntiy Stipend and former Artist-in-Residence for the Peekskill City School District, where she has resided for the past 12 years. 
When she is not venturing into New York City for Choral Chameleon rehearsals or voice lessons, she works as a professional model and enjoys gardening, cooking, and her latest obsession, Zumba!

Leigh Trifari sings alto with Choral Chameleon.

What is a multi-talented life force such as Leigh Trifari working on right now?
I just started a seasonal position with a Halloween store in Westchester–Halloween is my favorite holiday (and what great timing with Chameleon’s upcoming “Day of the Dead” concert!) I have an exhibit of my artwork called “Landscapes of Mystery & Imagination” on view at the John C. Hart Memorial Library in Shrub Oak, NY through Sept. 30. This exhibit was featured in the 9/20/09 Metropolitan section of the New York Times. I’m also modeling every week, taking voice lessons, and rehearsing with Charis Chamber Voices, a group that I perform with in Westchester.
How about a favorite quote that inspires you?
To paraphrase W.L. Bateman: “If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before.”
What is your favorite Choral Chameleon piece to date? “There Will Be Rest”. This piece is really growing on me–it reminds me a little bit of “Frostiana: Choose Something Like A Star”, but also, the poetry by Sara Teasdale has echoes of Sylvia Plath in it, whose poetry always moves me.  I, too, look up at the stars on a nightly basis, and draw strength from their ancient promise of peace and steadfastness.
What’s the best part about singing with Choral Chameleon? To love what I do and feel that it matters–how could anything be more fun? And, to do it with great people who feel the same way? Priceless!!!!
So, you invited someone to a Choral Chameleon concert… and then found out that their RSVP is MAYBE!  What would you say to change their mind?  Whatever it is that you think you know about choral music (and choral music concerts), we will change that forever. Even if you don’t sing, we will give you a voice–something you can connect to, grasp onto and claim for your own–and bring you an experience you will not soon forget.


Choral Chameleon’s Blog is written by Andrew Cook-Feltz, baritone and Choral Representative to the board.


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