You might know Holly McCormack as the gal who belted out Italian opera tunes at your table at the Macaroni Grill on Wolf Road when it opened several years ago.
Now, the New York City resident, well known in several opera theatres throughout the country, is coming back to her hometown of Colonie this summer to participate in Colonie’s Thursday Night Concerts at the Crossings series.
The series is in its third year at the Crossings of Colonie and is sponsored by the Vellano Brothers Inc., a Colonie-based company that sells water pipes.
The Vellano Brothers has been sponsoring the concert series each year, because, as Joe Vellano said, the company saw it as a way to give back to the community in which they have been working for 63 years.
I think the Crossings is a great location and the town, with their budgetary problems, wasn’t really in the position to do additional things, said Vellano. `The music scene seems to have lost a lot of venues for live music. So, the Vellano Brothers Inc. decided to sponsor those concerts.`
The Vellano Brothers pay for all of the performers to come to the park and play before the audience, as well as an ice cream truck that offers soft-serve ice creams for audience members.
For the past three years, the concert series has featured local bands coming from different genres of music, including classic rock and big band orchestra music. But this year, Vellano said they are adding a few twists to the series.
One new act is McCormack, who will bring opera to the crowd at the Crossings.
Vellano said he decided to bring in an opera act to see if the audience would like it. If the audience responds well, opera acts could become a regular part of the concert series, he said.
`We never really tried this before, so we’re going to try it,` he said.
Vellano said he chose McCormack because she was from the area, so the audience could relate to her. McCormack said she and Vellano had a mutual friend who lives in Queens who put them in touch.
McCormack, 30, is a Colonie Central High School graduate who grew up down the street from the Crossings, she said. She began singing opera when she was 17 years old, after her voice instructor ` also an opera singer ` sparked her interest.
After leaving the Capital District, she lived in Chicago for about five years, singing opera there before moving to New York City.
McCormack said she does not only plan to perform opera at the performance at the Crossings.
`My preference is Italian opera,` she said. `I’m going to be singing a few artists that I think the audience will recognize from movies, the second half will be all Broadway show tunes.`
McCormack said she is excited to be performing in her hometown.
`I’m so happy to be back singing in Colonie,` she said. McCormack’s performance will be held on Tuesday, July 30.
Another addition is Kristin Caesar’s Kidz Theater, a musical group of children ages eight through 18 that are showcased throughout many Broadway musicals in New York City.
Vellano said he had learned about the group through his daughter, who lives in the City and watched a show in which some of the students performed and she told her father to bring them up to Colonie.
`Five or six of these kids are going to come up and they’re going to put a little bit of a musical review on,` said Vellano. Though he said he is not sure exactly what the kids will be singing, he expects that they will be singing a lot of show tunes from Broadway plays.
Vellano said he is in a band called the Pipe Kings that plays throughout the series, and at other concert series in the town and Village of Colonie.
The concert series goes from July 9 through Aug. 27. All concerts go on rain or shine and are held in the gazebo at the Crossings, on Albany-Shaker Road.
All performances begin at 6:30 p.m. For a full list of performances, visit www.colonie.org, or call the Youth Bureau at 456-2135 for more information.