Musical roots run deep in Chelsea Retirement Community resident Lillian Livingston’s family. Lillian’s mother was an opera singer in Vienna, Austria. Lillian is a retired piano faculty member from Rider University’s Westminster Choir College in New Jersey, located on the Princeton campus, where she taught for 39 years. Many of her students won competitions at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Lillian’s daughter, Diana, is an accomplished operatic soloist and Professor of Music at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho, where her husband, Geoffrey, is also a distinguished tenor and instructor of voice and music history. Lillian’s granddaughter, Grace is a budding young violinist.
When Lillian learned her family was coming for a Thanksgiving visit, she asked Life Enrichment Coordinator, Hazel Mead, if they could offer a recital for the residents at CRC. Hazel quickly replied, “Of course!” On Friday, November 26, Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC) residents were treated to a Guest Recital by the Livingston-Friedley family, accompanied by pianist Philip Rowland, organist at Knox Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor.
“My family loves to perform,” said Lillian of her daughter and son-in-law who have appeared throughout the United States as well as Germany, Italy, and Taiwan. “They really enjoyed getting to perform for us at CRC and the chance to meet everyone.”
Diana and Geoffrey performed operatic classics such as “O sole mio” and music from Rigoletto and La Bohème, as well as favorites by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Cole Porter. “It was a perfect program with selections that everyone could relate to,” said Lillian. Coincidentally, Cole Porter grew up in the same town in Indiana where Lillian’s family settled after moving from Austria when Lillian was a girl. “My grandmother and Cole Porter’s mother were friends,” Lillian shared.
Grace, who is an 8th grader at Christian school in Pocatello, performed Emil Mlynarski’s “Mazurka”. She is also an aspiring ballet dancer and will be featured in upcoming performances with Pocatello’s Alliance Academy of Dance.
Lillian also has a daughter who has retired from teaching calculus at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and son-in-law who is an aeronautical engineering professor at University of Michigan.
“I’m so proud of my talented family,” said Lillian.
To learn more about the United Methodist Retirement Communities and Chelsea Retirement Community, visit https://umrc.com/ or call 734-433-1000.