Michelle Langone’s Musical Journey Through the Years

Michelle views music as one of the greatest gifts to the world—it heals, strengthens, and brings peace of mind, to both the listener, and the performer. This is why she has dedicated her life to its creation and promulgation to as wide a range of an audience as possible.

Having virtually no formal vocal training until her junior year of high school, Michelle recognized a passion for the performing arts early on. She began dancing and playing piano at a very young age but fell in love with the art of singing as her method of expression. She sang in her school choir from age 11 to 18, and participated in the Florida All State Choirs of 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016. She competed in Solo and Ensemble singing competitions from 2012-2016 in both the solo and duet categories, receiving superior ratings at the district and state levels, and performance honors at the statewide competitions. In her junior year of high school, she was one of only five students selected to perform in the honors recital at the state-level competition at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The following year, she received this same honor. She also received the first-place prize for the Young Solo Artist Competition in April 2016. Through this musical background, she developed a unique sound that was categorized as a Soprano in terms of range, but a tone quality that was both rich and warm. These early experiences grounded her classical roots and style.

At the same time, she performed classical music, she also developed a passion for musical theatre, as the acting and performance aspect towards expressing music captivated her. In her junior year of high school, she was cast as Rosa Bud, in her school’s production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The leading lady role required strong operatic abilities and a large range. She received an OBIE theater award, recognizing an outstanding performance in the role, and a South Florida Cappie Award in the category of “Best Female Vocalist.” The South Florida Cappie Awards involve the public, private, and parochial schools of the Broward and Palm Beach counties to recognize the best in high school theatre. Thousands attend the “Tony’s Style” gala at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and local journalists, media personalities, professional actors, and community leaders present the prestigious awards to the students. The following year, Michelle had been cast as The Lady of the Lake in Monty Python’s Spamalot. This role, the polar opposite of the previous production’s role, required extreme vocal versatility, covering genres ranging from opera, to soul and R&B, to scat and jazz, and of course, blatantly ostentatious musical theatre. For her stunning vocal abilities showcased through this role as well as her acting, she received yet another OBIE Award and a South Florida Cappie Award in the category of “Best Female Vocalist.” Aside from her high school’s productions, she competed in the International Thespians Society’s Florida Statewide competitions, receiving commendable reviews, a superior rating, and praise, for her performance of “Wishing you were Somehow Here Again,” from the Phantom of the Opera.

In October 2013, as a sophomore in high school, she and her Solo and Ensemble duet partner, Dalit Merenfeld, and classmate Nicole Birmaher, realized what had initially sparked their passion for singing. Their love was sparked not receiving judgment and recognition through competitions, but rather, by watching listeners smile as a melody took them back to their childhood or seeing them tear up as they remembered easier times. This had been unlike anything they had ever known. To witness these elicited emotions, was to share a common human experience. They understood the power of music and wished to bring joy and peace to the community with their offerings. They created “Singing for Smiles,” a non-profit, entirely student driven organization, which utilized the musical talents of local high-school and middle-school aged students and provided performances at local nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospices, centers for the disabled, and children’s hospitals, bringing joy through music to the places that needed it the most. Venues in South Florida included the JCS Special Needs Program, the V.I. Assisted Living Center, Imperial Assisted Living Home, Regents Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Kidz Korner Plantation Rehabilitation Center, Broward Children’s Center, Manor Oaks Nursing Home, Gracious Living Assisted Living Home, and the Miami Beach Senior Center. The South Florida Chapter lives on and continues to grow, even after the founders graduated and moved to different cities and states for college. This organization has won an Honorable Mention Award at the 2015 and 2016 Annual Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards Ceremony.

Michelle then attended college and continued performing. She began her college career studying operatic performance, and in her freshman year at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, she orchestrated a collaborative recital in which she performed “Io Ti Penso Amore,” from the Devil’s Violinist. After a full year of studying classical music through a conservatory-style education, she decided she wanted to venture off into more creative musical pursuits in the realm of popular music and musical theatre. After her freshman year, she collaborated with two other music students in creating a total of eight cover songs as a demo for obtaining local singing gigs at restaurants for the summer, which she recorded on her computer. That summer she received a chance opportunity to record in a recording studio for the first time, and she chose her favorite song on the radio, “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga. This was the moment she decided to undergo a change in direction towards popular music, especially pop acoustic covers, because these songs deeply resonated with her. She continued pursuing musical theatre in her sophomore year, receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2018 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Musical Theatre Category for her rendition of “Burn” from Hamilton and “And This is my Beloved” from Kismet. In the second semester of her sophomore year, she transferred to her state college, the University of Florida, to study History and entrepreneurship while still pursuing music and musical theatre. In her first semester at UF, she was cast as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, and simultaneously found a local recording studio, Skylab Production Studios, where she would create her next musical projects at. One of these was a cover of “Hallelujah,” by Leonard Cohen. At the same time, she began the University of Florida Chapter of her music service organization, Singing for Smiles in February 2018. She continues to manage this organization to this day, and they have monthly performances at Gigi’s Playhouse Gainesville, Shands Children’s Hospital, Parkland Care Center, Oak Hammock Health Pavilion, Oak Hammock Assisted Living Facility, and Annie’s House Assisted Living Facility. In the fall semester of her junior year, she released on all streaming platforms her first album, “Studio Sessions,” a compilation of cover songs which she performed at a tribute concert in memory of her best friend’s mother who passed away from stomach cancer the year before. Shortly after, she released “The Michelle Langone Christmas Album,” as a gift to her father, whose birthday is December 24th. It includes his favorite songs in the classic musical style of his parent’s era, with a modern twist. That New Year’s Eve, she ventured into a brand new musical genre—rap and R&B fusion—with her partner, Parker Strickman, and performed a written collaborative piece and freestyled the rest of the performance. On April 20, 2019, she performed for a Pancreatic Cancer fundraising event, “Mami’s Message,” in memory of another friend’s mother who had passed, singing her favorite music which ranged from classical opera, to jazz, to country, and singer-songwriter pop. Michelle is currently working on collaborative musical projects as she finishes her undergraduate degree and is extremely thankful for her versatile musical experiences in high school and college, preparing her for a lifetime of creating and performing music. She believes that music is truly a medium for healing and strives to create songs which resonate with this ideal, as she works on the process of creating original material.

Share:

Leave a Reply

© Copyright 2019 Michelle Langone
%d bloggers like this: