Stephanie Trudeau: History and Performance of American Popular Song

Stephanie Trudeau

Stephanie Trudeau

History and Performance of American Popular Song

B.S. January 2004

Dean’s Certificate for Academic Excellence

Dean’s List

Stephanie Trudeau left the University of California in her senior year (1969) to marry and move to New York. As a dramatic arts major, she was happy to relocate to “the capital of American theatre.” She joined the ranks of aspiring actors, auditioning, taking dance classes, and performing Off-Broadway. She joined a small repertory company, created cabaret acts, helped found an acting company where she produced and directed, and joined Actors Equity and the Screen Actors Guild. Fast forward thirty years: she is divorced and remarried, has a 19 year old son, and has “juggled wifehood, motherhood, acting, singing and wage-earning in office jobs and restaurant/catering services.” In 1996 she created a bio/cabaret act based on the music of 1940’s-50’s jazz artist June Christy, then expanded the repertoire to include other music of that era. With grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council, The American Theatre Wing, the Puffin Foundation and N.Y. City Councilman Ken Fisher, she created and performed “Songs for Seniors,” a participatory music program for nursing homes and senior centers. The principal of a Catholic elementary school caught one performance and offered Trudeau a teaching job. Later, with a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Fund for Creative Communities, she began a music program for children and seniors. To formalize her teaching career and to continue to explore American song and music, “its continual evolvement and its reflection of the richness and diversity of this country,” she entered the CUNY BA/BS Program. Her studies culminated in an Independent Research project with her mentor, Prof. Jeffrey Taylor, Music, Brooklyn College, for which she produced a twenty-six page paper, A Survey of American Popular Song and its Canon (1900-1955). “My course of study in the CUNY BA/BS Program engaged and challenged me and allowed me to fully utilize my skills and life experiences. It brought focus and sense to my educational and professional background. My studies continuously informed and enhanced my teaching and performing.” She graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA. In 2005, Trudeau received a Fulbright Fellowship Award to conduct research in Italy. She will travel there in January 2006 to study three saints’ feasts (that are also celebrated in the U.S.): the Giglio in Nola, St. Joseph’s feast in Caltabellotta and the Festa di Ceri in Gubbio. Her project, “Festa, Family and Food,” will study the way the saints’ feasts provide a compelling opportunity for families to celebrate Italian culture and heritage with music, art, food and religious ritual.