ABOUT US: Artistic Director Lena Palermo
Lena Palermo BFA, B,Ed, MEd. (in progress)
In the year and a half since taking on the mantle of Artistic Director of the Peninsula Singers, Lena Palermo has fulfilled our expectations that she would prove to be a strong, creative and thoughtful leader. She is a Victoria native who has pursued her studies and career in music here and in Toronto and New York City, where in 2002 she studied choral conducting at Julliard. She created an extensive choral program at Claremont Secondary School and directed award-winning choirs, including her first musical, “The Will Rogers Follies” which ran for almost thirty performances at the Ridge Theatre. From 2004-2007, Lena worked in Toronto as a musical theatre performer and in television and film. She created her own theatre and performing arts training centre there. Star Potential Studios and Studio 60 Theatre were both owned and run by Lena and her husband, Steve Ivings. In the span of nine years they produced fifty productions. After returning to Victoria, Lena regularly performed professionally at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Dinner Theatre and in “The Fabulous Fridays Series” at Mary Winspear’s Charlie White Theatre. Now she is spreading her love of music to the Peninsula Singers and to Greater Victoria audiences. Lena is looking forward to performing in “Curtains Up,” a variety-style show in August 2018 at the Mary Winspear and the Dave Dunnet Theatre (Oak Bay High School). She will be one of the featured singers with pianist and arranger Bob LeBlanc, and comedian and impressionist Steve Ivings.
“It’s been a wonderful journey with the Peninsula Singers thus far. When I became the artistic director, we started an ambitious and important theme–our country’s 150th Birthday. It was daunting at first, but such an honour. Our Christmas show introduced the chorus and our audiences to new arrangements and different styles of staging. But, “Give Our Regards to Broadway” is the most demanding of all three, has really challenged us and helped us to grow as singers and as a cohesive group. There are many pieces in the repertoire for this concert that I would have not attempted with the group last year. That speaks to the high level of commitment, development and enthusiastic dedication the Singers display. I can only describe my feelings regarding all three concerts as deep pride.”