ALIVE! is a celebration of a generation in song featuring a full company of performers who are age 55 and over.
Deborah Bingham • Matthew Brown • Donna Love Brown
Matthew Burke • Renee Connell • Darlene Eklou
Phyllis Harris • Theo Harris • Susie Jones • Bill McEachern
Gladys Mitchell • Sharon Patrick • Roberta Ross • Rick Vega
THEO HARRIS’ book, Blessed and Highly Favored: Memoirs of a Multiple Felon, is a personal testimony to the power of redemption and reconciliation. His CD, Blessed and Highly Favored: From Prison to Praise! takes the listener inside the dark, cold prison cells from which the songs were conceived. Theo was a motivational speaker and former outreach coordinator for the Interfaith Center of New York. He passed away in 2017. His past is now his testimony.
DEBORAH BINGHAM is a Bible teacher and Psalmist at her church. This mother of three (her son passed away in 2010 from cancer) and grandmother of six enjoys performing in community and church events. "I enjoy using my vocal gift to inspire others so that they, too, will know that with God, you can overcome and forgive."
SUSIE JONES resides in Yonkers, NY. She enjoys sewing, interior design, and spending time with her twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren. “Being a part of ALIVE! is just spectacular. It makes me feel useful, like I’m doing something positive. The show gives such a wonderful message.”
Born in North Carolina, MATTHEW BROWN attends Corona Congregational Church in Corona, Queens. This father of two and grandfather of four enjoys performing in plays for senior centers. Since joining the ALIVE! cast, Matthew says, "I feel like I've been floating and haven't come down ever since."
BILL McEACHERN began singing gospel at the tender age of four in the churches of Fayetteville North Carolina. He gained his experience from singing in choirs, high school choruses, R&B/Pop groups, and solo engagements and studio recordings. He was in the celebrated trio, Odyssey. As a soloist these experiences have helped Bill become the vocalist God has anointed to sing for his glory.
Donna Love Brown
DONNA LOVE BROWN
DONNA LOVE BROWN is an evangelist and serves on the choir and praise team of Soul Saving Station in Harlem. She also auditioned for Amateur Night at the Apollo in May of 2013 and came in third place. Currently, Donna works as an executive administrative assistant. She thanks God for a second chance to do what she loves most — singing to make a change in the lives of those who are in the midst of a challenge.
GLADYS MITCHELL, born in the Bronx, worked at the New York City Police Department as a 911 dispatcher for 25 years while raising three daughters. ALIVE! was her second audition with the producers of MAMA, I WANT TO SING, after being too insecure to accept the role of Doris Winter in the '90s. This time, she is following through.
Reverend Matthew Burke
REVEREND MATTHEW BURKE
REVEREND MATTHEW BURKE serves as overseer of True Worship Temple of God Outreach Ministries, Inc. He also serves as a member of the NYPD Clergy Task Force, Clergy Action Network (Brooklyn, NY). A motivational speaker and independent contractor for small businesses, Rev. Burke also advocates for at-risk youth within the New York City court system.
SHARON PATRICK enjoys painting, arts and crafts, and singing to clients at nursing homes. Patrick comes from a musical family and plays the piano. She feels blessed to be a part of the ALIVE! cast. "It’s so rewarding. So many doors can open as a result. The opportunities are endless."
RENEE CONNELL was nominated for the 2014 AUDELCO Awards for Outstanding Performance in a Musical - Female for her performance in ALIVE 55+ AND KICKIN'. She is a columnist for The Courier Times newspaper, and the recipient of the 2011 NAACP Lorraine Hansberry Theatrical Award for writing and producing The Candle Party, an original inspirational play. Renee has performed with Kool and the Gang, Paul Simon, Donald Malloy, and others.
ROBERTA ROSS is an active member of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. Her vocal talent has brought her to the attention of many churches and venues in New York City and the tri-state area. Ross is a graduate of the Audrey Cohen College for Human Services and Education.
DARLENE EKLOU was born in New York City and loves ministering through song. She is a member of Kingdom Life Temple under the anointed leadership of Pastor Thomas Samuel Cooper, Jr. Darlene also enjoys spending time with her family. She says "Being in the cast of ALIVE! is a transforming experience and enables me to live a lifelong dream."
RICK VEGA didn’t have the easiest of upbringings. Music was the one thing that kept Rick to his goal of making a better life for himself. Working as an electrician, he was told he should share his voice with others. With the support of his five beautiful children, amazing wife, the Mama Foundation, and God, Rick has a testimony that needs to be shared!
PHYLLIS HARRIS and her sisters, the Fabulous Rainbow Gospel Singers of Poughkeepsie, NY, have been ministering in song to men and women in New York State Correctional Facilities — where she met and married her husband of over 20 years, ALIVE! cast member Theo Harris. Phyllis has worked at The Anderson Center for Autism as a direct care worker for the past 16 years and is a licensed evangelist at the Holy Light Pentecostal Church.
Gregory M. Kelly • Musical Direction/Keyboards
Edward Cleghorn, Jr. • Keyboards
Andre Cleghorn • Bass
Denard Talton • Drums
Bryant Synder • Guitar
Edward Cleghorn, Jr.
EDWARD CLEGHORN, JR.
EDWARD CLEGHORN, JR. (Keyboard) has been a part of the Mama Foundation for the Arts family for over 15 years. In addition to traveling with the Foundation on national and international tours, Edward has played keyboard for Mama Foundation shows including MAMA, I WANT TO SING, SING HARLEM SING! and WE ARE! He’s the father of a son who’s already showing a gift for music.
Gregory M. Kelly
GREGORY M. KELLY
GREGORY M. KELLY (Music Director) is a producer, Grammy award-winning song-writer, vocal arranger, teacher and accomplished musician. Musical producer for the European tour The Best Of Black Gospel and musical director writer and musician for several off- Broadway musicals including Vy Higginsen's MAMA, I WANT TO SING, SING HARLEM SING! and WE ARE! Gregory is also the music master for Vy Higginsen's Gospel for Teens program.
BRYANT SNYDER (Guitar) has been performing music professionally for more than 15 years. He holds a degree in performance and jazz composition from Berklee College of Music and has played numerous performances in a variety of styles throughout New York City, nationally, and abroad.
ANDRE CLEGHORN (Bass) is a multi-instrumentalist with a successful and accomplished career as a bass guitarist. Born in Brooklyn, Andre has toured across the globe, mastering his craft while cultivating a sound and style that's all his own.
DENARD TALTON (Drums) a Brooklyn native, started playing drums at nine years old. He got his first touring gig at 15 where he played at the Blue Note in Japan. Since then, he has toured extensively.