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Wonderful songs at FountainGlen

Concert offers up standards and show tunes for Valencia seniors

Posted: May 27, 2009 6:05 p.m.
Updated: May 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Jerry Lench works the crowd as he sings "Ochi Chornye."

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It was a pre-dinner dinner concert of “wonderful songs” that drew dozens of residents of FountainGlen at Valencia to the main community room to listen as Katherine Lench, Charles Herrera and Dennis Poore entertained with a roster of familiar songs that included standards and show tunes.

The trio, with vocals by Lench and Herrera and keyboard by Poore, were joined by performances from: Jerry Lench and Jean Rawls, who sang a touching rendition of “Make Believe;” Jenna Myers, who sang “Someone to Watch Over Me;” and Alex Myering who performed on keyboards and sang a haunting rendition of “Upward Over the Mountain.”

Lench, who coordinates the concerts at the FountainGlen community twice a year, is a Santa Clarita Valley voice teacher and has performed professionally in many musical theater productions.

She is the daughter of FountainGlen resident of Jerry Lench. Her stage credits include: The first national touring companies of “They’re Playing Our Song,” (directed by Robert Moore, and starring Victor Garber and Ellen Greene) and the Tony Award winning, “Nine,” (directed by Tommy Tune, and starring Sergio Franchi).

Katherine Lench was in the original “Goya ... Life in Song,” performed at the Hollywood Bowl, starring Placido Domingo, and she has sung with John Raitt, in “The Most Happy Fella,” in Pasadena.

She has also performed Off Broadway, in the original productions of: “A ... My Name is Alice” and “Oh Johnny!” In addition to her stage work she is also known for her voice-over work. She can be heard in theme parks throughout the world. In Paris, she frightens guests daily singing the role of Melanie, the Haunted Bride, in Disney’s Phantom Manor. In Florida, she screams on the Disney World Tower of Terror, and at Disneyland in  Mickey’s Toontown, in Anaheim, she is Clara Cluck, the singing chicken.

Katherine Lench opened the concert with “Loverly” from “My Fair Lady” and also sang “I’ll Wait for Joe” and “I Don’t Wanna Show Off.”

Charles Herrera dazzled the audience with a host of tunes including “The Street Where You Live” from “My Fair Lady,” “Night of a Thousand Stars” from “Evita,” “We Kiss in the Shadows,” “All the Things You Are” and “Man of La Mancha.”

Members of the rapt audience became teary-eyed as Herrera sang the moving “Bring Him Home.”

Herrera is a singer and actor who has appeared in a variety of stage productions in Los Angeles and worked on the animated production of “The Prince of Egypt.”

Poore, who manned the keyboards at the concert, also performed “Put on a Happy Face.” He is a founder of the Showdown Stage Company which offers performing arts programs to youth and teens throughout the United States and is a professional composer with numerous stage, television and film credits.

Jerry Lench, 83, worked the crowd as he sang “Ochi Chornye” in several languages.

He is an expert in linguistics, in addition to English Lench speaks fluent Spanish, French, Italian, German and Yiddish with a smattering of Japanese.

His final number of the concert is the one for which he is best known among his FountainGlen neighbors, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” He often finds dimes on his balcony, placed there by his fans at the complex.

The program also included the duo of Katherine Lench and Herrera who teamed up to sing “El Dia Que Me Quieras,” “Wheels of a Dream,” “They Were You” and “How High the Moon.”

Enthusiastic applause greeted the performers after each number and at the conclusion of the concert.

“The songs I choose for the program are mostly numbers I feel would entertain people of a certain age,” Katherine Lench said. “I always loved these songs.”

Concert-goers then lined up for a complimentary dinner served up my Mama’s Munchies, a Santa Clarita Valley-based catering company.



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