I took my first piano lesson when I was five years old – a rather early beginning. But my mother later told me that I used to sit and listen to my sister play and could then replicate her pieces, and since I had to go with them to my sister’s lessons anyway, she decided I might as well take lessons, too. So, through my childhood and teenage years, I was a classical pianist –practicing daily and playing at recitals at the music conservatory where we were taught, at church and for family and friends.
When I reached high school, I was happy to be invited into to Music Magnet program where I began learning music theory and composition (I, actually, composed my first pieces there) and sang in the school choir. And, as could be expected, I, of course, took part in the school musicals as well, and those experiences helped solidified my love for the performing arts.
I decided to study music.
I was accepted into and attended the Philadelphia Musical Academy as a piano major, and it was there that I discovered dance in a way I’d never seen it before. When José Limón, the pioneer modern dance choreographer (and dancer) came walking through the door, he took my breath away – his presence, his stature and, when I finally got up the courage to speak to him, his kindness. Suddenly the next turn in the road was clear and I became a dancer.
I dove into dance with a passion, studying not only modern dance, which was and is my main direction, but jazz and ballet forms, African and Asian forms, improvisation and dance theater. Somewhere inside this journey, I discovered writing and the pleasure of the printed word – my printed words – on a page. When I re-entered the university system, I decided to pull all the things I loved together and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism-Performing Arts Criticism and Newswriting from Mercer University– a program the university generously allowed me to design myself. Later, continuing my education and focusing specifically on dance, I received my Master of Education degree in Dance Pedagogy from Temple University, extending the program, again because of the generosity of this university, to include theater arts – acting and improvisation. Another intriguing turn in the road.
I came to Germany in 1986 and in the beginning years taught classes and workshops in modern dance, jazz and improvisation in such places as Tübingen, Köln, Berlin and Stuttgart. But as life changed, I was drawn more and more back to music. This time, as a singer.
Since then, my joy has been to integrate all three disciplines – dance, music, theater – in my work, writing/creating original musical plays for students and professionals alike, solo works for myself, performing in musical theater, as well as directing and choreographing musicals such as “West Side Story” and “Guys and Dolls” for all who wish to join in. Over the years, choir work has developed into an integral part of my artistic expression – arranging pop, jazz and gospel songs for a variety of vocal ensembles and conducting a number of choirs, including – Lib’S LadyS (a women’s choir), Tammkat (a youth choir and theater group) and Voice Affair (a jazz/pop choir).
Presently, I am a voice teacher at the Musikschule Tettnang, where I have also directed musicals, and the choir director of the Ecumenical Choir in Grünkraut. And now, with renewed impetus and motivation, I am in the process of writing new programs. The wheel never stops turning - the excitement and challenge of life.
In a town called Filderstadt, in southern Germany,
Lennora E. was born to a family of three.
Her mother was a pastor's wife, her father came to be,
The husband of a dancer with a journalist's degree.
Her brother then as now was just eight years older than she,
It happened in year 91 of this past century.
In Leonberg is where she learned the elementary ways,
And spent the first half of her secondary schooling days.
She graduated school with very decent final grades,
In Ravensburg, where they had moved to in her teenage phase.
Off to Berlin for acting school she went for love of plays,
And completed training in Munich with honors' praise.
In Kelley Theater Stuttgart in two thousand one plus one,
Is where her love for arts on stage and acting took the run.
She had fallen ever since she saw „A West Side Story“ done,
By her mother as director and starring her mother's son.
The Musicals and Theatreplays and Improv-classes won,
Her heart and soul and thus her artist life had now begun.
She learned to play piano and use her voice in song,
And every year she found a challenge, waves to ride upon.
From „Anni“ and „the Crucible“ she learned how to be strong,
From „Broken Hearts“ and the „West Side“ her dancing flourished on.
„Creating and directing scenes“ was her class two years long,
And in a band she sang the songs of Ella and Armstrong.
After acting school she went in many a direction,
Not wanting to abandon three and choose just one affection.
To dance, to sing, to act, to write are part of the collection,
Of things in life that matter most and give her life perfection.
The challenge how to balance these, takes quite some reflection,
But looking back there are some great moments of recollection.
From starring in a world premiere to creating her own part,
She tries to always stick to and follow what's in her heart.
All the issues and problems tearing our world apart,
Have made her tired, sad at times and pierced her like a dart.
And those that make her furious have come to make her start,
And try and change what she can with what she loves … Art.