Guest Conductor and veteran Broadway Director Todd Ellison takes the podium for this delightful program of beloved holiday selections for orchestra, chorus, vocals, and dance. Highlights will include a singing Santa Claus, a dance troupe, and an audience sing-along.
Todd Ellison, Conductor
Veteran Broadway Director Todd Ellison is the composer of the award-winning musical, The Black and White Ball, as well as The Canterville Ghost with Brendan Cull. He also is the Music Supervisor/Arranger of the new Broadway bound musical, Roman Holiday.
Ellison was the Music Supervisor/Orchestrator of 42nd Street at the Drury Lane Theatre in London’s West End. He also supervised and conducted opening night of An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre and supervised both the Tokyo and the Australian productions. Broadway credits include An American in Paris, Annie, La Cage aux Folles, Elton John’s Lestat, Spamalot, 42nd Street, Amour, The Wild Party, On the Town, Once Upon a Mattress, How to Succeed…, She Loves Me, Taller than a Dwarf (incidental music) and A Class Act. Internationally he has conducted at the Vienna Konzerthaus The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mexico City), World Science Festival-Lincoln Center, Cole Porters’ Jubilee at Carnegie Hall, the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, The Philly Pops, Nashville Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, New Haven, New Jersey and York Symphonies. Ellison recently wrote “Crossing Rivers, “a collection of songs for an album released on iTunes and other streaming platforms and his first venture as a singer/songwriter.
Shannon Marie Rugani, Vocalist
Shannon Marie Rugani, known professionally as Empress®, is an American singer, songwriter, composer, dancer, actress, director, and writer. Before pursuing a music career, Rugani joined San Francisco Ballet as one of the youngest professionals in the company’s history and performed with the company from 2004 to 2015. She later transitioned to Broadway, where she performed in the Tony Award®-winning production of An American in Paris as an original ensemble member and later performed the lead role as Lise Dassin (2014 – 2016). She received the ACCA Award for “Best Broadway Chorus” in 2015 for her performance.
An award-winning actress, producer and director, choreographer, and composer, Rugani had her first experience as an actor and choreographer in the short film, Prima, which premiered at TriBeCa Film Festival in 2012. Recently, she starred in, directed, and produced her first series of music videos, many of which have won awards, including eight first prizes at international film festivals. In 2019, Rugani founded her record label, Stardust World Productions LLC, to expand her mission of creating and facilitating innovative ways to bridge the gap between technology and the performing arts. Her stage name, Empress, symbolizes her quest to discover creative new ways to empower her audience through storytelling in a wide variety of media, including music, dance, theater, writing, art, and technology.
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