Mentors

People who inspired Paula G
Georgia Louis 1932 – 2014

Georgia inspired Paula’s singing and teaching style. She teaches a talking technique by breaking up muscle groups. It is quick and effective, as long as the student has a good connection to their own body, breathe and rhythm. Georgia changed Paula’s singing life forever.

More about Georgia Louis:

While being the opening act for Louis Armstrong at Freedom Land in NYC, Mr. Armstrong came up to Georgia Louis after a show and said, “I’ve been all over the world, worked with countless singers and musicians, but you touch a part of my soul that one has been able to reach. I would like you to be my Musical God-Child.” In the 1960’s Ms. Louis was asked to host a new television show called, “TV Gospel Time.” She became not only the first black woman, but the first woman period, to host nationally syndicated television show. It aired out of NYC from WOR TV Channel 9 in the mid 1960’s. It featured acts from all over the country. A young singer named Aretha Franklin, traveling with her father Rev. Franklin, was Miss Georgia’s opening act on many occasions.

Ms. Louis performed with such great artists as Dinah Washington, The Staple Singers, Shirley Caesar, The Caravans and Mahalia Jackson (who Ms. Louis beat out in 1963 for “Top Female Vocalist of the Year” by the AME Zion Church… of course she said it was just a “gimme” cause who could do that?!!?). She had triumphant performances at the New York World’s Fair, Lincoln Center, The Tonight Show, the Ed Sullivan Show, the State Theater in Philadelphia She shared the bill at the Apollo Theater with James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Brooke Benton, The Jackson Five, among others. A young Whitney Houston opened for her as well.

Piano Teacher and activist

Piano Teacher and activist for animal and human rights

Ruth Harvey Manning 1910 – 2006
Ruth Manning inspired and cultivated Paula’s musical ability beginning at 8 years old through high school. With her fascination of musical history, theory, and love of the animal kingdom, she influenced many aspects of Paula’s life, including Paula’s own love of all music to an understanding of life’s mysteries. Mrs. Manning, influenced Paula’s teaching style for piano lessons utilizing her techniques with great results for beginner and intermediate students.

Ruth H. Manning, 96 was a long time Westport, CT resident for more than 60 years. Known for her love of opera and classical music, she shared her knowledge and deep love of music with her many piano students and all who knew her.

She was born Chicago, and at the tender age of 14 she supplied the piano background music for silent movies including DW Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”. In addition to her teaching, she played string bass with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and served as a pianist/organist of the First Church of Christ Scientist in Westport.

Mrs. Manning was a devout admirer of music, and philosophy of Dr. Albert Schweitzer as well as the music dramas of Richard Wagner. Particularly “The Ring” Cycle.

She was an ardent advocate of human and animal rights, she reflected her philosophies in her home and garden – Peaceable Kingdom – offering sustenance to birds and wild animals who suffered the intense development of Westport during post  WW II years. The informal garden surrounding her home used to grow old fashioned perennials and specimen shrubs and trees. A framed Needle work near her two Grand Pianos advised: “The earth has music for those who listen”. ~George Santayana

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