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Brenda Freed and Karen Douglas combined their talents in Songbook, a series of concerts featuring the music of some of America's best-loved composers. Each concert was approximately 50 minutes in length and included a biography of the composer(s) and over 20 songs performed as solos, duets and medleys, including harmonies and some choreography. Available shows were: Rodgers & Hart; Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. These four shows were well-received in settings such as retirement homes, residential care facilities, banquets and private parties wanting to provide a show for their guests. Douglas and Freed also had a Combo Show comprised of music from all four of the other shows. That show was less staged and therefore was more appropriate for social events like Happy Hour entertainment at retirement homes.
Brenda Freed began singing in the church choir at the age of six and has been performing ever since. She earned a Masters Degree in Music Therapy and Music Education from the University of Iowa. In 1991 she arrived in Texas after a cross-country bicycle trip led her to the Kerrville Folk Festival. As a singer/songwriter Freed has released three CD's and toured Texas, the Midwest, Southern California, England and Ireland. She was the founder of Texas Hot Flash , a cappella and then some, who released 3 CD's and won an Austin Music Award in 2005. Currently, she also performs as a duo with her husband, Michael D'Eath, called Him and Her. Freed teaches piano, guitar and voice at her studio in Blanco, Texas and is developing a line of Effortless Music Instruction products.
Douglas and Freed Songbook Concerts was a project filled with love, laughter and respect for each other's talent and the artistry of the material they were performing. The act was retired in 2010 when Karen Douglas moved to Oregon. However, Brenda did not retire the music. Performing in the Douglas and Freed Songbook Concert Series from 2002-2010 had a direct influence on Brenda’s musical preferences. She really fell in love with some of the music and incorporated it into her other acts. Texas Hot Flash performed some selections from the Songbook Concert Series and Him & Her continue to add more and more jazz renditions of that music to their act.
About Douglas and Freed
Both women come from professional backgrounds. Karen Douglas moved to Texas in 1981 after an extensive career in New York theater where she played in everything from Shakespeare to musical comedy. She is a member of both the Screen Actor's Guild and Actor's Equity and has appeared in off-Broadway shows, National Touring Companies, Summer Stock, Dinner Theater, on film and television including the popular soap opera, Dark Shadows. In 1983, Douglas founded the Actor's Workshop in Houston, Texas where she produced and directed over 60 shows and taught classes in beginning and advanced acting. She also wrote and performed her own one-woman musical at St. Thomas University in Houston. Karen resided happily in Wimberley, TX until 2010 when she moved to Ashland, Oregon for a new life adventure.