Joan Ellison

Joan Ellison has been described by Michael Feinstein as a “rare combination of artist, archivist, and arranger.” As the restorer of Garland’s original orchestral arrangements for the Judy Garland Heirs Trust, she brings musical authenticity and a life-long love for Judy to the stage.

Recent concert highlights include a song-for-song recreation of Garland’s 1961 Carnegie Hall concert hosted by Judy’s daughter, Lorna Luft, and conducted by Michael Berkowitz (Liza Minnelli’s conductor/drummer), with Joan and Broadway divas Debbie Gravitte and Karen Mason; Get Happy! A Judy Garland Celebration with the Jacksonville, Portland, New Haven, Punta Gorda, Toledo, Paducah, Bartlesville, Southwest (IL), and Springfield (OH) Symphonies, The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota, and the Cleveland Pops.; Judy & Liza at the Palladium with the Santa Rosa Pops; and performances of her theatrical concert, Love Finds Judy Garland (with piano and cello), in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maine. Her second album,“Retrophonic Gershwin,” was released in 2015. She was recently featured as part of #PBSForTheArts.

Joan made her Cleveland Pops Orchestra debut at Severance Hall in 2005 and has since sung more than 60 concerts coast-to-coast. She earned an M.M.T. and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and serves as Teacher of Popular Voice at The Cleveland Institute of Music.

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