Ellen Ciompi (vocal) and Glenn Mehrbach (piano) have been creating cabaret shows together in the Triangle since 2002. Together they explore the traditional cabaret literature of the Great American Song Book and Broadway & Hollywood musicals, even as they expand the genre to also embrace songwriters as diverse as Paul Simon, Tom Waits, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Harry Chapin, Sting, and even Lady Gaga! Ellen has both a bachelor's and a master's degree in music, as well as an RN. As an alumna of the prestigious Cabaret Conference at Yale University, she has worked with many greats in the field, including Andrea Marcovicci, Amanda McBroom and Laurel Masse. Steve Ross (NYC's "Crown Price of Cabaret") raves that "Ellen is an extraordinarily talented cabaret singer who deserves to have a wider audience. She has a remarkable knowledge of the repertoire, passion for her work, and a terrific collaborator in her pianist, Glenn Mehrbach. Go hear her sing!" Ellen supports her singing career by working as a surgical nurse at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. Glenn is a staff accompanist at Duke University, music director at the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, and a music teacher at Camelot Academy in Durham.
Ellen was recently profiled in The Daily Tar Heel, the official publication of UNC-Chapel Hill. Read the article here: "Surgery and Singing"
UNC Hospital just paid me the great honor of featuring me as the very first employee profiled in their "Real Nurses, Real People" series. Watch the video on You Tube, and be sure to write a comment so I know you've seen it. I have a few other videos on You Tube, including this one of "Louisiana Serenade", in which Arturo joins me with the sweetest clarinet playing east of the Mississippi.
Other Websites & Links of Interest--Check 'em out!
Glenn's website My fabulous musical director!
Everything you ever wanted to know about cabaret, lovingly compiled by the tireless Stu Hamstra: Cabaret Hotline Online
McElrath Cabaret is full of great info about the art of cabaret, plus they have a special focus for each day of the week (tips, link ups, etc.) Chat up other performers and get tips on what's playing in other parts of the country, too. Check them out at McElrath Cabaret Website and tell them Ellen sent you!
One of the things I've always loved about Durham is being able to attend minor league baseball via The Durham Bulls. Every year, they hold open auditions for a chance to sing the National Anthem before a game. This March, I went, and wrote a piece about my experience, which was picked up by Durham Magazine. Read it on their blog, and Go Bulls!
Listening to NPR's "Piano Puzzler" is one of my favorite activities, and in December 2011, I was really happy to be a guest contestant. It's a game show, hosted by Fred Child, with music provided by Bruce Adolphe. Bruce plays a popular tune in the style of a classical composer, and the contestant has to guess both parts. It's short (under 10 minutes), fun, and really challenging, even for experienced musicians. Listen to my appearance here--just look for the episode dated 12/21/11. You can also listen via iTunes. Great fun! Thanks, Piano Puzzler!
The best bookstore in Durham! Why give your money to national chains when you can keep it local? The Regulator: a thoroughly independent, locally owned bookstore. Visit their website to learn how you can download books for your Kindle using their IB Reader app. You can purchase a copy of my CD, "Taking a Chance on Love", there, too! (Barnes & Noble wouldn't carry it....jerks.) Located at 720 Ninth Street: The Regulator Bookshop
Part of my pre-concert prep always includes some pampering at Durham's best spa, Beauty and the Bull......make an appointment
for yourself, a friend, or even a group of friends with owner Holly
Douglas, and let her and her amazing professional staff pamper you, too!
Go to their website to view the spa menu and reserve your spot.
Here's some really
exciting news: I was a contestant on Jeopardy! Yes, I appeared on the
show which aired January 31, 2012. If you go to www.j-archive.com you
can see a recap of the show, question by question. And you can read
about my thoughts on having been a contestant on Durham Magazine's blog:
This Is Jeopardy!.
They're great musicians, and they're family: The Ciompi Quartet
, master artists at Duke University, Durham NC
I was recently featured in Durham Magazine--click here
to read my "What's Your Favorite Sinatra Song?" contest entry, which won me two tickets to see "Come Fly Away" with Twyla Tharp Dance Company at Durham Performing Arts Center. I knew my love of Frank would one day pay off!