Carolyn Brown-Benson started out in musical theater when she was very young. She attended Shenandoah Conservatory of Music for 2 years. Although she possessed natural music talent, Carolyn was not able to recognize her talents at the time.
Carolyn’s career in marketing allowed her to remain creative, but took her away from her musical talents for many years. During that time Carolyn married and had 2 children. Because of their love & support she was able to move forward and step back onto the stage.
In 2002, during a challenging time, Carolyn stepped back into music for refuge by joining a singing group at the Performing Arts Studio. This group reconnected her to music and singing. It ignited her confidence to begin pursuing her natural talent for music.
Carolyn performed in many recitals and stage shows. She auditioned for St. George Productions and appeared in many shows including Ethel Merman & Mae West. She performed for CM Performing Arts as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and Mrs. Paroo in the Music Man.
Although Carolyn loved performing in these stage shows, she wanted to further pursue her singing. She asked the owner of Bliss Restaurant if she could sing at the restaurant and, for 3 years, Carolyn performed on Sunday at Bliss. This opportunity gave Carolyn the opportunity to get her performing “chops” again.
Carolyn auditioned for ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at the John Engeman Theater in Northport, a theater that predominately hires Broadway actors. She landed a lead role. However, the schedule was demanding and would have removed her from her current life for several months. Sadly, she knew she had to decline the opportunity.
Instead, Carolyn decided to create her own band. She thought about the music that most resonated with her clientele and decided to form a Linda Ronstadt Tribute Band – Blue Bayou. When selecting band members, Carolyn only wanted the best. She is very aware of her music audience and wants to meet their needs by choosing dynamic, targeted venues to perform in.
As Carolyn continues to build the following for the Blue Bayou Band, she is also pursuing music in other unique ways with a focus on being the advocate and face of music for women and children on Long Island. Carolyn is introducing a music series entitled, “Women Rock” which will highlight women-led bands in Long Island. In addition, Carolyn will be taking a look at the brilliantly talented bands, orchestras, chorus’, teachers, and students that are breaking out of the typical school ‘concert box’ and taking music to new levels in our Long Island schools.