Marianne Challis

Obituary
  • "I just found out last night from cabaret artist Jamie..."
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Challis , Marianne
MARIANNE CHALLIS, RENOWNED LOCAL MUSICAL ARTIST DIES A consummate singer, devoted and loving wife and mother, and a loyal and true advocate for her family and friends, Marianne Challis died peacefully in her New York City studio on Thursday, August 29th. Marianne was a professional voice teacher in New York City and primarily taught Broadway theater professionals. She also served as a vocal technician for organizations such as Disney Productions and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Marianne was a graduate of Eastern Illinois University in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She also studied with the Opera Department of Northwestern University and at the famed Guthrie Theater. Se was an Associate Professor of Vocal Studies at the University of Hartford's Hartt School and served as a consultant as their musical theater program developed. Locally, Ms. Challis and her adoring husband of 30 years operated Broadway Boot Camp, a workshop for young actors and musical theater performers through their Southport Studio Theater program, teaching their unique blend of developmental acting and musical theater training. Marianne and Frank Challis-Root joined Southport Congregational Church in October of 1994. Marianne joined the staff of the SCC that same fall as Jr. Choir Director and served for 12 years in that capacity. During that time she directed many musicals for the church, offered her musical talents for fundraisers for the youth group mission trips, sang for special church functions and volunteered in many capacities during the church's annual Fundraiser, Rooms With A View. She served on the Music Committee and the Missions Outreach Board. The Challis-Root family resided in Fairfield for more than 11 years. Their son, Alanson Challis Root is a 2004 graduate of the College of Charleston (South Carolina) as a cello major. Daughter, Abigail Elizabeth Root, is a recent graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with a major in musical theater. Her children are proof that the proverbial "apple does not fall far from the tree." Memorial services will be held Sunday, September 2, 1:30p.m., at Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Avenue, Southport, CT, officiated by the Revs. Paul and Laura Whitmore.
Memorial gifts may be made to the "Marianne Challis Scholarship Fund" for students persuing musical theater - via Southport Studio Theater, 1305 Jennings Rd., Fairfield, CT 06824; or Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,165 W. 46th St. #1300, NY, NY 10036

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Published in Connecticut Post from Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, 2012
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