Sandy Bosko: Vocal Innovator of Forest Hills
by Michael Perlman
Aug 08, 2012 | 5696 views | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Forest Hills has numerous native celebrities, including Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, The Ramones, Ray Romano, Helen Keller, Alan King, Dale Carnegie, Andrea King, and Michael Landon. Could Sandy Bosko, a 30-year resident join the list?

Bosko was raised in Yonkers, and then moved to Forest Hills. Her career spans over three decades as a professional singer, vocal coach, actress, producer, and speech teacher.

“We were a very cultural and singing family,” she said. “My mom always took us to Broadway shows, dance concerts, the ballet, and the Philharmonic.” Her mother had “a natural and beautiful voice,” according to Bosko, and also played piano and composed music.

Bosko’s father played violin, her older sister would play piano by ear, and the four sisters would perform in unison. Her husband was also involved in the entertainment field, working for Saturday Night Live.

Bosko’s artistic career began as a dancer at age five, but then shifted toward pursuits in acting and singing. She trained at Juilliard School, the Boston Conservatory of Music, and at Stony Brook University. Her training paid off in her roles in Damn Yankees, The Three Penny Opera, Godspell, and The Boyfriend.

The cabaret world has seen her perform at notable venues such as Don’t Tell Mama, Danny’s, Rose’s Turn, and Judy’s. Bosko’s musical influences are Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Tim Hardin, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, James Taylor, Carol King, and Adele. In 1997, she recorded her first album, Fields of Vanilla.

Forest Hills resident and acting coach Jim Cowen of Theatre Next Door, and formerly the Artists & Repertoire Director of MGM Records, has had the privilege of coaching Bosko and producing her recent album, Into Love.

It features the rebirth of classic love songs, including The Music of the Night, Time After Time, I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You, The Wind Beneath My Wings, and Adelaide’s Lament.

Her album engages and empowers the soul. One can hear meticulous and spontaneous vocal and instrumental orchestration, great diction and believability, varying dynamics, and original style.

In her repertoire, she explores a variety of themes and establishes a vibrant mental relationship, enabling her to rise to the heights of her performance.

The stage is Bosko’s life, and she considers the arts very therapeutic. When she is not performing, she works on unveiling the inner feelings of her students so they can deliver the most effective and memorable performance.

“It is very difficult for people to express themselves if they haven’t had the proper love, which everything in life depends upon,” explained Bosko. “If you want to be a good singer, you must have love in your fingertips and soul.”

The extent of training is also very important in the growth of an artist. The evidence is in the transcendental singer and actress she became.

“When you lose yourself entirely in a piece, then you have transcended into the being of your soul,” she said.

She admitted that it’s difficult to reach that point, but without consistently striving, a piece has not been performed properly. A three-octave range is one of Bosko’s unique qualities.

“The vocal cord is like an elastic band, and you have to be able to stretch it by exercising,” she said. “You have to sing with your full voice in order to improve.

“I wanted to make people stars and teach them everything I learned, so I developed a business of preparing children, teens, and adults for the New York stage,” she added.

For 17 years, she has been coaching her students for Broadway, band work, commercials, auditions, karaoke, and for specialized schools including LaGuardia Arts, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and Professional Performing Arts School. Now she is preparing her students for The Voice, NBC’s vocal competition show.

“Rising Above The Stage” is her young talent showcase at Swing 46, which Bosko produced and directed. Most recently, her two-day show consisted of 15 to 20 students from age 10 to 22, who performed musical theater, Motown, rock, country, pop, and R&B.

“It was very challenging, but my students worked long hours,” Bosko said. “It was very rewarding.”

Cowen referred to Bosko as “an absolutely brilliant artist with an enormous vocal range and sensibility.”

“We have spent a great amount of time working into getting into the guts and life of the material, to the point where Sandy is truly a transcendental artist,” he said. “She is extremely spontaneous, fresh, with tremendous believability, which most artists don’t have.

That is what grabs an audience, not everything is pre-planned,” Cowen added. “Who is ‘great’ in the artists category today?”

According to Cowen, it is often a challenge living a private life in public, but for a singer to rise to that level is a great achievement. He offered one of the best components of success to musicians of tomorrow.

“Develop your own style, rather than mouthing your favorite singer,” he said. “That can save you years of barking up the wrong tree.”

As for future goals, Bosko and Cowen are collaborating on another CD, which will contain original contemporary compositions from love ballads to rock to other novelties. They are currently in dialogue with various record labels, as well as seeking a performance venue.

For more information, visit, www.sandysperformancestudio.com or tune in to youtube.com/user/SandyBoskoMusic

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