First Posted: 11/5/2014
With some added bling, Lauren Berry will be dressed in a black dress and her sister, Cameryn in a red dress with sequins as they take their talents to the stage on Saturday, Nov. 8 as “Mostly Opera Goes to the Movies” at the Hilton Scranton Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave., Scranton. The performance marks their debut with Mostly Opera.
The 13- and 10-year-old Dalton residents, respectively, will sing “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie” at the Mostly Opera annual dinner theater, where the audience can expect to a variety of tunes, old and new. Twenty-two singers, a seven-piece orchestra and dancers from Scranton Civic Ballet are all part of the line-up.
Norbert K. Betti founded OPERA IV in 1967 and following his retirement in 1997, two groups, N.E. Opera and Encore! OPERA IV emerged and presented operatic concerts to northeast Pennsylvania residents. In 2000, the groups merged, giving birth to Mostly Opera.
Helene Tinsley, Mostly Opera executive director extended the invitation to the Berry sisters on behalf of Mostly Opera.
“Our mission is to keep opera and classical music alive in our area. Another of our aims is to introduce young talent to our audiences and give them a chance to perform,” she said.
Lauren and Cameryn will also perform chorale pieces with the group’s professional singers.
“We’re very glad to have them. I saw the girls sing at their grandmother’s birthday party and they were good. They’re charming girls and they’re very musical and they both play instruments. The girls will impress the audience,” added Tinsley.
Linda Houck is musical director and Edwin Utan, Esq. is president.
Lauren and Cameryn, who perform often for their parents and family, love to sing and dance. Lauren described she and her sister as “good alone, but great together. I sing with her a lot and we can do harmonies.” They share their love and talent for music with their paternal grandmother, Gina Cochran of Clarks Green.
“I used to sing a lot when I was really little, but that was standing on the dining room table. And then my other grandmother (Gerrie Carey) got me to sing ‘God Bless America’ at all these little tiny events everywhere…then I started singing at more populated places like at the Memorial Day Parade in Clarks Summit,” said Lauren.
Three years ago she performed at the Irish Society of Woman before a few hundred people. Lauren started playing piano when she was five-years-old. While a fourth-grade student at Waverly Elementary School, she played the viola fluently. In fifth and sixth grades at Abington Heights Middle School, she noted she has played first or second clarinet and switched to chorus this year. She also has a guitar, but said she hasn’t learned to play it yet.
Cameryn came on the music scene a few years later. “It (music) randomly came to me. I never knew I had a passion (for music). I’ll randomly start singing and I won’t even notice it. It’s so random I don’t know when I’m about to sing,” she said.
She started playing piano at six-years-old and hopes to play for the rest of her life. In fourth grade at Waverly Elementary, she asked her teacher if she could play the viola in place of the violin lessons offered to students.
“I had the viola (one that belonged to her great-grandmother) in my closet, so I asked my teacher if I could do viola instead of the violin and she said I could. I was the only one who played viola, so I named myself the queen out of everyone, because mine was the loudest.”
She’s currently in the orchestra at the middle school.
As for a career in music, Lauren plans to continue to share her musical talents. “I don’t want to sing for a living,” she said. Lauren has set goals to be a doctor, nurse, author, or perhaps a history teacher.
Cameryn, on the other hand, said she wants to be a singer. “I can move to California and buy a giant mansion,” she said. “I want to be either a dentist or a singer.”
“Maybe she can be a singing dentist,” added Lauren.