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A Masterclass Performance Of Smile By Kristen Chenoweth On the Tonight Show With Jay Leno


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I had three reasons to smile when I watched the sublimely talented Kristen Chenoweth perform Charlie Chaplin’s Smile on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Thursday, January 16th.

  1. This song is one of my absolute favorites and, for whatever reason, I needed to hear this song at this precise moment. The message it brings is one of hope and trust and strength for a brighter future for all.

  2. Kristen Chenoweth, accompanied by her extraordinarily talented musicians, highlighted why live, unaltered musical performances are so inspiring and a spiritual nourishment for one’s mind and heart. There is no facade, no smoke and mirrors – just musical excellence at it’s very best.

  3. American Idol was given a subtle nod via this performance. Accompanying Kristen on the piano was the incomparable pianist/arranger/vocal coach, Michael Orland, as well as the equally talented director of The Tonight Show Band, Rickey Minor. With the retirement of the great Jay Leno as host of The a Tonight Show, Rickey and his band will be returning to American Idol Season XIII, along with vocal coach and singer Dorian Holley . I loved how she nuzzled up to Rickey at the 1:23 mark. Perfect!

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No matter what you are doing at this precise moment – STOP. And LISTEN. To music performed at it’s very best and with real emotion and passion.

I shed a tear or two when Kristen acknowledged Jay Leno during her performance.

As much as I love Jimmy Fallon, he has some mighty big shoes to fill. However, he is the right man for the job. No one better. And he will grow via what I suspect is a strong work ethic behind his zany demeanor and antics.

Enjoy the video! It’s a keeper!

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

4 Responses to “A Masterclass Performance Of Smile By Kristen Chenoweth On the Tonight Show With Jay Leno”

  1. She is a Class act! Extremely happy that Rickey and Dorian are back with Idol and Michael! They are wonderful talented performers.

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  2. Kristan and the musicians did a wonderful job with that! Thanks for posting it. There is no substitute for live music. This has been one of the best years of my life for seeing great live performances. .

    Coincidentally, I listened to “Smile” Thursday night while previewing a Rickie Lee Jones album on iTunes. It’s a favorite song of mine as well. I couldn’t remember who recorded the first vocal version of it but a little research reveled that it was Nat King Cole in 1954. I was surprised to find that Petula Clarke also recorded the song in 1954 as well as recording it again in 1968 after becoming a personal friend of Charlie Chaplin. I didn’t think that she was old enough to have recorded the earlier version.

    I’m looking forward to Rickey Minor returning to Idol. He is very good in that role and helps bring out the best in the kids.

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  3. Yes I agree. Rickey’s presence along with Dorian and Michael spells SUCCESS. Best musicians around. And they know how to perform live. !!!

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  4. I am not musical enough to have realized the difference between Rickey Minor and the previous band leader. Shame on me. Rickey Minor is a cutie, and I always did like how he interacted with the singers when they appeared on the Tonight Show. He seems very nurturing.

    What a lovely song. You know, I had no idea Charlie Chaplin wrote it. And in what year? It sounds like it could’ve been written today. Timeless.

    And Kristen Chenoworth? How does that musical voice come out of that squeaky, nasally speaking voice? I’m imagining her auditioning for Simon Cowell and getting a reaction somewhat like his to Susan Boyle. Is the way she elides her es’s into “sh’s” (ie: Jusht smile.) Is that an affectation of hers, or is it a technique?

    Like, THAT came out of YOU? And Jay picking her up and carrying her to the desk? How cute was that?

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