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Carter NortonCarter Norton (Founder & President of the Magical Music for Life Foundation and Co-Music Director for the Magical Music Troupe - "A Day in the Life of a Child: Musical Revue") is a graduate of Trinity College with BS in biology and a Post-Graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Physical Therapy. Mrs. Norton brings to Magical Music a background in medicine, business, child development, and music. She worked as an Account Executive for Merrill Lynch in Philadelphia and London, and she spent several years working with handicapped and critically ill children as a physical therapist in Philadelphia. While living in London, Mrs. Norton founded and musically directed a women's a cappella group that performed in many pediatric hospitals. In Tokyo, she composed numerous songs for the children of the American School and organized the instrumental and recording teams to produce these recordings. Email.

In 1999, Mrs. Norton founded the Magical Music for Life Foundation, headquartered in New Canaan, CT, to use music to better the lives of children. The Foundation's first production was The Adventures of Zak. In collaboration with a music therapist, Mrs. Norton wrote the music and lyrics for The Adventures of Zak concept CD of songs for children. She then formed the creative and business teams that adapted the CD to a fully produced stage show that has entertained tens of thousands of parents and children across the United States. Following The Adventures of Zak, she wrote the books for, co-composed, and was on the team that adapted Russell, the Hermit Crab and Two Little Snowflakes for the stage. Since then, Mrs. Norton has co-composed numerous other songs for Magical Music for Life, including songs for other charities and the special needs community. Her lifelong love and study of music and composition, coupled with the day to day interaction with her own five children has produced many songs, poems, and ideas to help children learn, find reassurance, and confidence through music.

 

J3Jerold Goldstein (Music Director for the Magical Music Singers and Co-Music Director for the Magical Music Troupe - "A Day in the Life of a Child: Musical Revue") has performed in numerous musical productions in New York City and on national tours, including Face the Music for the ENCORES series at the City Center in NYC and the national tour of Little Shop of Horrors and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. On Broadway he was in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Ain’t Broadway Grand. He won the Barrymore Award for Gun Metal Blues, was in the Kennedy Center's Shear Madness, & toured Europe in 42nd Street. Other shows have included Scandals, Animal Crackers, and Cocoanuts.

He has composed for theater and television. As a composer, Jerold's shows (written with William Squier) have been performed around the country. Their songs include: Babalu and Music Is My Fist, which was featured twice at Steve McGraw’s, their holiday musical The Three Stooges and their newest musical, Route 66 (music: Fred Stark). For more info: www.JeroldGoldstein.com. Email.

 

Noelle3Noëlle Francis (Music Director for “Two Little Snowflakes”) is a 2010 graduate of Northern Arizona University where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance in Opera Theater. After graduating Noelle completed a professional studies degree program in musical theater arts. She is also a skilled violinist and violist, having played in school, church, and state sanctioned orchestras. Noëlle was the soprano section leader for the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, where she had the pleasure of being the soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah under the direction of James Weatherald. 

She is a big supporter of the performing arts and has been working in arts education and administration including her own business, The Hoboken School of Music where she held the Artistic Director position offering private and small group music instruction. Noëlle has been the Director of Children’s Music and Drama at the Congregational Church in New Canaan and an instructor at French Woods Performing Arts Camp.

Noëlle is working toward a career in arts education and administration for the classical music arts.  In the meantime, she enjoys sharing her love of music and performing, especially with young musicians!

 

ZakJason Summers (Music Director for “The Adventures of Zak”) portrayed the role of Zak in The Adventures of Zak for numerous years prior to the show going on hiatus. Jason has reprised his role of Zak and is directing a cast from the Sandbox Theatre (in Mamaroneck, NY), where he is the Artistic Director, in numerous travelling performances of The Adventures of Zak in Westchester and Fairfield Counties.

He has worked extensively as a director, choreographer, teacher, and performer regionally and throughout New York.  Jason received his BFA in Drama at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he graduated with honors and was presented with two outstanding achievement awards, one from the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and the other, the Seidman Award for his work as a performer and a scholar. 

As a director and choreographer, his work has been seen Off-Broadway in New York (most recently as writer and director of the new musical Growing Up '70s, starring TV's "Greg Brady," Barry Williams) and in countless regional and college theaters throughout the country. His productions have been favorably reviewed in many national publications, including The New York Times.  Jason has been a member of Actors' Equity Association since 2002 and a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers since 2005.​

 

Pamela CrumPamela Crum (Executive Director) started as a volunteer with Magical Music in 2004, working on the graphics and assembling one of the choral groups for its first One Town ... One Voice concert. Since then she has been involved in most aspects of the foundation. Mrs. Crum has had a lifelong love of music and belief in the impact it can have on children and adults, both emotionally and educationally. Though she witnessed this in much of her volunteer work, she experienced it most closely in her daughter's response to music in all aspects of her life. Her daughter has been singing publicly since age five, was a member of the Magical Music Singers, and is now in college double majoring in Music and Education (hoping to use music to teach children with learning disabilities). Email.

Volunteering has always been a part of Mrs. Crum's life, whether it was for her college, sorority, or the community. Since moving to New Canaan in 1988, she has served with Newcomers, Encore, Tri Delta, United Way (as co-chair with her husband of the annual campaign), the Congregational Church (as a teacher, chair of Children's & Family Ministries, & treasurer of the Music Ministries), and the Parking Commission.

Mrs. Crum has a BS in Business from the University of Southern California, with a major in Finance & Economics and minor in Management. In 1976, after working in the computer industry and as an administrative analyst, she founded her firm, the design shoppe, which does graphic design and stationery.

 

Beth Styles (Orchestral Arranger) is an award winning producer, musician, composer/arranger, and engineer, recognized for her work as a producer by EQ Magazine. A 20-year music veteran, she has produced a wide variety of projects that include R & B, Jazz, Folk, Rock, musical theater, original scores and full production CD's for singer/songwriters and has created scores for video/documentaries and many commercial projects such as the Mashentucket Pequot Indian Museum in CT, Logitech and the WNBA. She is also a music director for both churches and synagogues. Beth's latest Children's music CD, The Waggamuffins, The Amazing Singing Animal Troupe!, is available around the world. As a professional keyboard player and singer, she has performed in some of the most prestigious venues throughout the U.S. and abroad including Radio City Music Hall, The L.A. Forum, and The Georgia Dome. The Songwriter Studio is the name of Beth's production studio, under the parent company - B. Styles Productions, Inc.



Don RickenbackDon Rickenback (Musical Collaborator & former Artistic Director for Magical Music) collaborated on many of the songs written by Magical Music and served as director for our singing groups for over a decade. He was a key member of the creative team that staged The Adventures of Zak, co-adapted for the stage and co-composed Russell, the Hermit Crab, and directed both shows.

Mr. Rickenback has enjoyed over thirty-five years of experience as director, musical director and performer in Fairfield County, CT schools, churches and community theatres. He has worked professionally directing and musical directing for CT's Renaissance Players and the Actor's Theatre and Island Stage theatre companies of Nantucket, MA.

With a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice/Music Education from Ithaca College and an MA in Educational Musical Theatre from NYU, Mr. Rickenback was a public school vocal music teacher for 20 years. In that capacity, he also directed, musical directed, and often wrote original songs for the annual spring musical, a tradition he started, which featured over 100 middle school students on stage each year.

As an actor, Mr. Rickenback's roles include two USO tours of Germany and Iceland (Don & Cynthia, a Ragtime Duo and as Paul Berthalet in Carnival), Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate (Off-Off Broadway), Harold Hill in The Music Man, and Cole Porter in A Swell Party, a Musical Celebration of Cole Porter, (Long Wharf Theatre) for which he was nominated for the 1995 Outstanding Actor in a Musical Award by the CT Critics Circle.

 

Karen Nisenson (Musical Collaborator) collaborated on the music and lyrics for The Adventures of Zak and has served as an advisor for Magical Music’s songs for children with autism and special needs. Ms. Nisenson is founder and clinical director of Arts for Healing, a creative arts therapy center serving children and adults with special needs, located in New Canaan, CT. She has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Juilliard School and an M.A. degree in Music Therapy from NYU, where she has been an adjunct professor and affiliated with the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy. Ms. Nisenson developed the integrated music and art therapy methodology (IMAT) and the Adaptive Music Teaching Curriculum from her 25+ years of work in the field of creative arts therapies. Email.

 

Don MaitzDon Maitz (Artist) is the designer of the "Zak" (our foundation symbol), "Russell", and "TUNES IN TIMES SQUARE" artwork. He has produced imaginative paintings that have been widely published and enthusiastically received for over 25 years. His career began and continues with extensive book publishing and has expanded into other areas including exposure as the original and continuing artist of the Captain Morgan Spiced Rum character. He has twice won science fiction's Hugo award with nominations for that award for twenty years, has received a Silver Medal and Certificates of Merit from New York's Society of Illustrators, and ten Chesley awards from his peers in the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. His numerous projects also include his work as a conceptual artist on the Academy Award nominated feature film, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius and collaborating on a new Tom Hanks animated movie. Email.

 


Kendall Klingbeil (Scenic Design/Painter) is an award-winning artist whose work is exhibited in art galleries across the country, and her clients include John Lennon, Richard Gere, Dr. Robin Cook, Lord and Lady Walton, Plum Tree Restaurant in New Canaan, and various other restaurants throughout the area. A native of Springfield, Ohio, Kendall graduated Cum Laude from Ohio University as a theatre major, and continued her performing and set designing in NYC. Her artistic talents led to her designing a line of children's furniture for FAO Schwartz and on to landscapes, seascapes, large abstracts, still lifes, murals, and portraits of people and animals. The New York Times described her as an "energy painter whose works make people feel good." She is also an accomplished singer, tap dancer, and cook.