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Mezzo-soprano Deanna Relyea is the founder of KCH, recently retiring as its Artistic Director after 32 years. She continues to perform regularly at KCH and serves as Artistic Director of the internationally-acclaimed Edgefest music festival. Deanna has appeared on concert series and with symphony orchestras in the region and throughout Canada. She frequently tours with her brother, the celebrated Canadian bass baritone Gary Relyea, and his wife Anna, as the “Voices-Relyea,” performing in festivals and concert series throughout Canada. Many composers have written for her and her forays into improvisation have taken her to NYC where she has appeared at John Zorn’s Stone and at Brooklyn’s Roulette in performances with prominent improvisers and composers. She is a featured singer on Jason Hwang’s CD VOICE.
Photo Credit: Mark Jones Photography
Emily Olson brings a breadth of experience to her position as the Development Manager for Kerrytown Concert House, where she combines a background in arts administration and community fundraising with her career as a professional flutist, music educator, therapeutic musician, and arts & mindfulness coach. As a classical flutist, Emily has performed for over 20 years with the Ann Arbor, Flint, and Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestras, Michigan Sinfonietta, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, and the Encore Musical Theatre Company. Summer music performances have brought her to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where she has appeared with the Pine Mountain Music Festival and Strings on the Bay chamber music series.
As an arts administrator, Emily has worked to support music, music education, and arts programming in Ann Arbor and the surrounding community. She has served in positions with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), Ann Arbor and Chelsea School Districts, Ann Arbor Symphony, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Community Music School of Ann Arbor, Shar Music Company, Children’s Creative Center, and most recently, Macon Creek Center for Art, Innovation & Sustainability.
Emily’s connection with Kerrytown Concert House began 25 years ago as an SMTD graduate student, and she has enjoyed countless touchpoints with the House as a soloist and chamber musician, audience member, and volunteer throughout her career. She and her husband, Marc, were even married at the House! It is a privilege, at this stage of her life and career, for Emily to invest in building a future for artists and musicians to thrive at Kerrytown Concert House.
Prior to taking the reins as Artistic & Executive Director in 2019, Monica was an active member of the Kerrytown Concert House community for over 20 years as a performer, producer, studio teacher, and volunteer. Most recently, she has served as the newest creator and director of KCH’s popular cabaret concert series, Wine, Women, and Song! As a regional artist, Monica’s versatile singing and engaging performances have spanned a broad scope of genres from opera roles at the Lincoln Center Institute in New York City, to orchestral solo appearances with symphonies in Adrian, Toledo, Ann Arbor, and Graz, Austria, to jazz gigs at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and to cabaret clubs like Davenport’s in Chicago. Also a seasoned voice teacher, she held a long-term appointment on the voice faculty of Eastern Michigan University, and maintained a private voice studio in the Ann Arbor area for over two decades. Additionally, she is the Founder and Director of Front and Center Cabaret Works, LLC, a performing arts organization whose mission is to develop communication skills and self-confidence in young performers through the act of cabaret performance. A Michigan native, Monica lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, John, and daughter, Delaney, and holds a Master’s Degree with Highest Honors in voice performance from The University of Michigan where she continues to build artistic connections with students and faculty. Monica believes passionately that Kerrytown Concert House brings live performance to music lovers in an up close and personal way that is like no other in Ann Arbor! She enjoys building upon the concert house’s rich artistic history while also helping it expand and grow in meaningful, impactful and delightful ways.
Abby Dotz returned to the KCH staff in the role of Operations & Events Manager after having served as House Manager & Marketing Assistant, then Director of Marketing & Event Management, from 2014 until late 2016. Most recently, Abby served as the Box Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator for the Croswell Opera House (Adrian, MI), where she has also appeared onstage and behind-the-scenes in numerous theatre productions since 2011. As an instructor with Saline Community Education, she has directed and assistant-directed several educational theatre productions as a part of their Youth Theatre Guild and Junior Theatre programs. In recent years, she also served as a board member for the Comic Opera Guild and assisted Monica Swartout-Bebow in her inaugural year of Front & Center Cabaret Works. Abby holds a bachelor’s degree with highest honors in Theatre Arts from The University of Michigan. Outside of work and the performing arts, she is an avid fan of science-fiction and fantasy TV & film, and loves to sew and bake.