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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Raye, Lawellin, bring Conroy’s music to life at Joy Lutheran Church concert this Sunday

Call it a “creation chain”

That’s the best way to describe the relationship between the music Rosie Conroy writes, the same music Colleen Raye sings and the same music Norton Lawellin arranges and produces.

“You could say I bring her music to life and Norton gives it even more life in the way he puts it together,” Raye said.

Conroy, who lives in Bay City and is a Prescott High School graduate, Class of 1968, writes her own music which Raye, the Ellsworth-based professional singer and performer, has sung and in several recordings and concerts that Lawellin has arranged and produced in his studio in St. Paul.  One such concert will take place this Sunday, Sept. 18 at Joy Lutheran Church in Prescott starting at 4 p.m. Raye and Lawellin will be singing and performing Conroy’s music in a concert sponsored by Tony Huppert and Don Nellessen. Deanna Roen has helped to arrange to bring the concert to Joy Lutheran. A free will donations to the Prescott Food Shelf will be accepted.

But the songs themselves have come from a burst of creativity which began in 1997 for Conroy which she said is divinely inspired. Without music sheets she began to put together songs together by ear rather than by note.

“For me it all started on July 10, 1997,” Conroy said. “My husband Chuck and I were married in September 1974. For nearly 23 years while preparing our evening meal, I would leave the kitchen and go play piano always needing to use music sheets.  But on July 10, 1997 doing what had become a ritual, I sat down to play the piano and the music simply flowed from my fingers.  In September of 1999 I shared this with Sister Vivian Huppert and she said, ‘You have a gift. You have tapped into composing’. I call the music, ‘A Gift to Share by Rose Marie’. I believe when God gives a gift, he wants us to share the gift, for the good of all.”  

Read more of this story in this week's Prescott Journal, on newsstands and in town on Wednesday. 

Colleen Raye

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