Nyack College School of Music dean, Dr. Sue Lane Talley, reports on the storied life of the newest addition to the School’s collection of exquisite instruments.
Ms. Tamie Laurance Goldstine, a long-time friend and benefactor of Nyack College, recently donated her baby grand piano to the Nyack College School of Music. This historic instrument was first owned by the renowned Italian coach at The Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Alberta Masiello. In Ms. Laurance’s home, it continued its distinguished career by accompanying many famous and aspiring opera singers, not a few from our School of Music, where Ms. Laurance had served as a guest lecturer in Opera Workshop for several seasons.
Tamie Laurance was a prodigy as an opera singer, who, in her early twenties, made her debut at Bayreuth (a five-week festival featuring operatic works of composer Richard Wagner held in Germany) as a soprano. She was on the Board and a judge for most of the major vocal competitions in New York City for many years.
Dr. Dana Talley, School of Music Director of Vocal Music, says, “For many decades, the 100-year-old instrument was played by Ms. Masiello, and later, Ms. Laurance. Such great singers as Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, and many others of their stature worked with Ms. Masiello and Ms. Laurance. Most recently Ms. Laurance coached Nyack alumnus José Heredia, tenor, to excellence in Italian Opera.” One review of this production, given at Brooklyn Academy of Music, stated, “In the opera world, some performances are preceded by opera ‘buzz.’ For this writer, the performance …was about the tenor, Jose Heredia, (who sang) with sweetness and power. This was a full lyric voice with a Pavarottian shimmer.…”
An opera coach greatly helps bring voices such as José’s to the pinnacle of success, not only by virtue of their fine and knowledgeable teaching, but also by their constant encouragement and guidance. We, at Nyack College owe our thanks to “Miss Tamie,” as she was affectionately known, for her sharing of her fine talent and for the many contacts she prepared for singers such as Jose. The fact that the wonderful Mason & Hamlin instrument, that now stands proudly in the Dean’s office is more proof of the love Ms. Laurence has for music at Nyack College.
by Dr. Sue Lane Talley