Producer, actress and singer and West Texas native Jenness Rouse will present of “Jenness Rouse & Friends: IT’S TIME,” A Concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, 1310 N. Farm to Market Road 1788 in Midland.
The concert will benefit The Life Center, a nonprofit pregnancy resource center that helps teens and offers abstinence plus education. Tickets range from $37 to $52, the website said.
The music will range from Celtic to classical to Broadway show tunes, jazz and pop. Performers include Current Nine, which is Eric and Emily Baker, David and Kimberly Corman and classical duo Sonates en Duo, which is Maiwenn and Willy Ekoue. Baker is department chair and instructor of music at Odessa College and David Corman is instructor of music and Kimberly Corman is an adjunct faculty member. All of them are at Odessa College.
Rouse, who was born in Odessa and grew up in Midland, said she moved to New York City in 2011 and Los Angeles in 2013. She said she learned in Los Angeles that unless you created your own work, things don’t happen very quickly. After launching her company Rising Monarch Productions, doors started opening.
“I figured out I had a knack for production. I produced my television pilot ‘Becca on Call,’” she said. “I have a background in singing opera, stage and musicals.”
“Becca on Call” is an independent series that will be available to view or purchase on Amazon Prime. It was shot in Midland and Rouse said it’s a medical comedy with a “Scrubs”-type of feel. “Scrubs” was on from 2001-2010.
While she was waiting for the television pilot to pick up steam, she started Rising Monarch Productions through which she organized musical showcases like the one planned for Jan. 30. Rouse said she will be the host and sing some songs, but she has invited different musicians to participate.
David Corman is her former voice coach. He said he and his wife, Kimberly, who offers private voice lessons, will sing “Con Te Partiro” as the show’s finale. The song was performed by Andrea Bocelli.
“It’s wonderful to take part in a former student’s concert and it’s a real honor and a blast to see somebody who did so much here at OC really blossoming,” Corman said.
“He’s the one who kind of started me off,” Rouse said of Corman. “I used to have horrific stage fright and I would not even go and interview for voice lessons. This was back in early 2000s. I had a friend who got in my face and said, ‘Jenness, you have a gift and you’re responsible to use it.’ Then she went and got me this interview with David Corman. It took about 10 minutes he put me in his choir his ensemble. He started training me vocally.”
Corman said Rouse performed in operas at OC, including “Sister Angelica,” with his wife, Kimberly.
She was also earning a bachelor’s degree in business and leadership from Williamson College and a master’s degree in religion from Liberty University. She needed some electives, so she took them through OC.
A graduate of Trinity School in Midland, Rouse said she was an athlete growing up.
“I was big into sports and academics, and again, I suffered tremendous stage fright beginning in junior high where I didn’t like my voice, didn’t want to sing in front of people and I was perfectly comfortable being on the volleyball court, or on the soccer field,” Rouse said.
At 18, she had to take an elective and felt the easiest one was choir. She also was cat in the lead of a “A Little Night Music” at Trinity.
“I sang ‘Send in the Clowns.’ That was when something struck, like this is what I’m supposed to do. Being a character rather than singing as myself was far easier,” Rouse said.
She added that she didn’t overcome her stage fright for another seven years.
“… The more you do it, the more you break through that barrier …,” Rouse said.
Rouse is also the author of “Nessipees: Nesseys Recipes for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wholeness” a cookbook with inspirational articles. She wrote it in 2008 while suffering from Lyme disease and it was published in 2012. She was bitten by a tick while living in Nashville, Tenn.
“I have overcome years of fighting Lyme disease and its detrimental effects,” Rouse said.
She added that she also writes about encouragement and that while going through difficulties there is a hope of new beginnings.
Corman said when he first met Rouse she could barely stand because of Lyme disease. Part of the time she was at OC, Corman said she was in a wheelchair.
He added that Rouse is an incredible worker with an “excellent mind.”
“One of the most amazing moments in the 14 years that I’ve been here we did a spring concert here in Jack Rodgers at OC. She was in wheelchair. She’d been out for a month or so. She came back at the last minute (for the performance) and she did the song ‘God Help the Outcasts’ from ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was electric,” Corman said.
- What: “Jenness Rouse & Friends: IT’S TIME,” A Concert.
- When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30.
- Where: Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, 1310 N. Farm to Market Road 1788 in Midland.
- Why: The concert will benefit The Life Center, a nonprofit pregnancy resource center that helps teens and offers abstinence plus education. Tickets range from $37 to $52, the website said.