SAVANNAH, GA – May 22, 2020 – The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) has announced new members joining its 2020-2021 Board of Directors. This year’s group of individuals will work together and dedicate their time, passion, and commitment to ensure the continued success of the beloved nonprofit musical institution. For the organization’s 28th season the new members will join Kellee Love Haselton, who has taken on the role of board president from Allen Henderson, to preserve all styles of classic American music.
Nathan Godley will serve as vice president while Marc Tate and Starr Holland will continue their officer roles as treasurer and secretary. Also continuing to serve on the board are Les Anderson, Carol Bell, Danny Cohen, Tricia Guggenheim, Beverly Jaques, Samir Nikocevic, Dan Rizzo, Jim Wann, Susan Whitaker, and Beverly Willett. Joining the board this year will be Laurel McCorkle, Trish Lorenz, Diane McCabe, Brenda Rucker, and Diana Langer. The female-strong group of new board members has an extensive background and passion for music to guide their future with ATC.
Savannah native Laurel McCorkle holds a MSN from Emory University and a BSN from Auburn University. After working as a Nurse Practitioner for ten years and designing on the side, Laurel decided to pursue her passion for design. In 2019 she opened M’Liss Designs, an interior and floral design business. Laurel and her husband Robert have two children, daughter Feriby, a budding vocalist, and son Robbie. Laurel is a member of the Seeds and Weeds Garden Club, Community Bible Study and Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church.
Trish Lorenz holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Master of Counseling from the University of Vermont. She was previously employed as a counselor that specialized in addiction and eating disorders. She has a history of volunteering for the Junior League of Savannah, the Irish Dancers of Savannah, St. James Catholic Church Religious Education Program, and Savannah Country Day; however, she has been volunteering consistently with Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia for the longest amount of time.
Diane McCabe is new to the Savannah music scene having relocated here from Philadelphia in 2019. She is a classically trained vocalist who began her formal voice training with Kathryna Barone at the Bryn Mawr Conservatory. She later studied with world class opera singer, Paul Spencer Adkins. She has performed a wide array of repertoire in venues across the U.S. and abroad performing as a professional soloist, cantor, and section leader in various churches and choirs. Diane has also been employed as a private voice teacher, utilizing her teaching degree. Diane has also built a career in information technology. As a new Savannah resident, she is grateful to be a member of both the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist choir.
Brenda Rucker realized Savannah is the place to be after participating in the American Traditions Vocal Competition herself and has now been a resident for 16 years. Musically, she has degrees in Opera and Recital performance, with degrees from Fisk University, University of Louisville and the Cleveland Institute of Music. At Fisk, she was a member of the famed Jubilee Singers. Having sung with orchestras in the US and abroad, Rucker, as a United States Ambassador of Music, was presented in recital in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Rucker considers herself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to sing with jazz legend and beloved Savannah resident, Ben Tucker, shortly before his passing. Currently, her career focus is as a Cardiac Sonographer in the Heart Hospital at St Joseph’s Hospital.
Diana Langer grew up in Michigan studying voice and piano. While attending the University of Michigan, she sang with a group that toured performances to the Far East and Germany. She also attended the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music to complete her schooling. Diana became an Actor’s Equity professional member while touring in summer stock with Jane Mansfield, Liza Minnelli, and Joel Grey. Diana sang in Vietnam for the American GI’s, and after touring the US and Europe for over two years, she returned home and sang in New York’s City Opera Chorus. She had a long career in NYC as a cabaret singer-pianist. After retiring, she became involved with charity work, travel, and soaking up NYC culture. She has served on several boards: NYC Opera, The Bach Foundation, NY Theatre Barn, and Bach Ascending. She also serves on several committees to help with fundraising for various organizations, such as the Worship and Music Committee of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, the Bideawee Gala Committee, and the Savannah VOICE Experience Foundation Committee.
For 29 years, after receiving her BA in music education from Illinois College, ATC Board of Directors President Kellee Love Haselton has been a music educator in Illinois, Michigan and now in Georgia. In Michigan, she has taught for The Gagie School, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Kalamazoo Country Day School and Hackett Catholic Central. Kellee has been a pianist for numerous theatrical and musical events as well as for many notable Broadway artists such as Gavin Creel, Timothy Shew, Michael Gruber, Mykal Kilgore and Karen Ziemba. She has music directed over 30 shows from Quilters and The Music Man for Jacksonville Theater Guild in Jacksonville, IL to High School Musical and White Christmas for Kalamazoo Civic Theater and Avenue Q and The Wizard of Oz for Portage Northern High School. Kellee has music directed the Western Michigan University Senior Showcase and WMU’s production of Kiss Me Kate, and Spamalot as well as several Oh, What A Night productions for Farmer’s Alley Theater. She directed the children’s choirs for two national tours of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and a national tour of Kenny Roger’s Christmas Show. She also served as Music Director for the inaugural Junior ATC in 2019. Kellee is a commissioned (“Make Your Move” for Disney’s Collegiate Showcase) and published (“The Star” for Hal Leonard) composer, a loyal St. Louis Cardinal Fan and proud mom of Sarah and Nat Zegree.
The ATC, held annually in Savannah, Georgia, encourages participation from artists all over the country in hopes to celebrate and protect the unique styles of classic American music. ATC seeks to educate and engage people of all ages in the Savannah area to respect and love various genres of music through community performances and school workshops. In addition to ATC’s community-driven service initiatives, they award over $35,000 in cash prizes during their vocal competition to serve their mission.
– ENDS –