Music will fill the Newport Performing Arts Center this Sunday, Feb. 24, as the Lincoln County Oregon Music Teachers Association presents its “Broadway, Movies & Fun” benefit concert.

Proceeds from the concert will go toward the Suzanne Brown Student Aid Fund, which has distributed more than $18,000 throughout the past 18 years, usually as partial help for tuition.

“The Spotlight Concerts are the primary means of funding our scholarships,” said Rita Warton, president of the local district. “Our Student Aid Fund supplies money for tuition, books, or event fees for students who otherwise would not be able to take private lessons from experienced and qualified teachers.”

This year’s concert features nine teacher members of OMTA, one alumnus and six guests. New performers include OMTA members Leatrice Lily and Mary Morganti as well as guest Gidget Manucci Ashley.

Leatrice Lily recently moved to Newport to take the position of director of operations for the Newport Symphony Orchestra. She studied at California State University in Los Angeles and teaches voice lessons in Newport. Lily will sing “Art is Calling for Me” by Victor Herbert, accompanied by Milo Graamans on piano.

Mary Morganti, who recently moved to Florence, is a native Oregonian and former president of the Central Oregon Chapter of OMTA. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Western Oregon University and is now a member of the Tholen Fellows, studying with Alexander Shtarkman. Morganti will perform a Disney medley at the piano.

“We are so happy to have two of our new district members willing to share their talents by participating in our concert,” said Jessica Treon, co-chair of the Spotlight series. “We look forward to having them both in many concerts to come.”

Gidget Manucci Ashley is new to Spotlight Concerts but is no stranger to the Newport music scene, having recently wowed audiences with her wonderful voice in “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Ashley will sing “Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” accompanied on piano by Christine McKinney. She and McKinney will also perform as part of a trio alongside Katrina Theodore, singing “At the Ballet” from “A Chorus Line” accompanied by Dr. Mary Lee Scoville on piano.

“One of our main goals in starting the Broadway Spotlights was to be able to build bridges between OMTA and other arts organizations,” Scoville said. “In addition to Gidget, we have Pete and Katrina Theodore and Milo Graamans from local theater companies and the Oregon Coast Chorale as well as Alex Lundquist from the Chorale. Newport Symphony members Kathy Follett, violin, and Walt Hogsett, cello, are also guests on this program. I think we are reaching our goal! With so much talent this is going to be a great show.”

Other performers include OMTA members Cathy Champion-Predmore, Donna Olson, Tonia Storm, Jessica Treon and Rita Warton.

The concert will begin at 2 pm at the Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W. Olive Street. Admission is by donation.

For more information, contact Jessica Treon at 541-563-4183 or go to

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