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McDaniel Accompanies O'Hara for Hometown Fundraiser
Professor Jan McDaniel, a vocal coach, conductor and collaborative pianist, accompanied alumna Kelli O'??Hara in a benefit concert in her hometown of Elk City. The April fundraiser in the Pioneer Center was in honor of O'Hara's former high school teacher, Sherry Nutley, who died unexpectedly last year. Money raised will be earmarked for a memorial scholarship to be awarded annually to a college-bound Elk City High School graduate. "??Kelli did a modified version of her Cafe Carlyle cabaret act, and the concert was a great success," McDaniel said. McDaniel's appearances as a collaborative pianist include concerts and recitals across North America and from Germany to Japan. In addition to O'Hara, he has worked with OCU alumni including Kristin Chenoweth, Leona Mitchell, Sarah Coburn and Marquita Lister. O'Hara, a three-time Tony nominee, sold out her run at the Carlyle, a landmark Manhattan club, March 31-April 11. She is expected to return to her role in "?¯South Pacific"?¯ in October, after the anticipated birth of her first child in July. Prior to "??South Pacific,"?¯ O'Hara starred in the Tony-winning revival of "The Pajama Game," earning a Tony nomination for her role as Babe. She also was Tony-nominated for her work as Clara in "??The Light in the Piazza."?¯ She is a 1998 graduate of Oklahoma City University, and an alumna of the voice studio of Professor Florence Birdwell. O'Hara's debut solo recording, "Wonder in the World," is available on the Ghostlight Records label.