Photo Credit: Michael Gold

Cabaret Workshop
Alpher & Litt
Lubec Maine:
7/15-19 and 7/22-26

Ah, summer in Maine: ocean breezes, lobster rolls, mussel-shell beaches, cabaret master classes . . .

At SummerKeys, a music adventure for adults in coastal Lubec, adults at all levels of experience and expertise plunge into week-long workshops to learn, grow, and deepen their connection to their instrument or art-form of choice.  

The quaint fishing village of Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the US, provides a peaceful and picturesque backdrop to the music.  When not in class (or practicing!), participants can attend nightly concerts—classical, jazz, cabaret, new music, folk, traditional—or dine out with friends on Lubec’s historic Water Street overlooking the Bay of Fundy; hike; collect sea-glass on the beach; visit Campobello Island (across the international bridge to Canada, in the middle of town); or visit local sights like the candy-striped Quoddy Head Lighthouse or the local goat farm with its herd of friendly nanny goats.  The coastal waters around Lubec are home to bald eagles, right whales, seals, and puffins; at low tide, the beaches are dotted with clammers, and the wharves are piled with lobster pots.

This coming summer will be NYC-based husband-and-wife cabaret and songwriting duo David Alpher and Jennie Litt’s fifth year teaching cabaret at SummerKeys in the town’s repurposed Grange Hall.  In daily master-class-style sessions, students explore the unique ways that the intimate art form of cabaret allows them to connect with an audience, from digging deep into a lyric to reimagining a standard to make a personal statement.  Along the way, they work on techniques such as vocal styling, mic use, stagecraft, and patter, which help to focus their performance more sharply.

Alpher and Litt’s Cabaret Workshop is process-, not product-oriented; a laboratory in which students are encouraged to experiment, take risks, and engage in self-discovery.  The mutual risk-taking, coupled with Alpher and Litt’s supportive coaching, create a warm, close-knit community feeling.

Each week at SummerKeys concludes with a student showcase, and the Cabaret Workshop showcase has become a summer highlight for the SummerKeys and greater Lubec communities alike.  Applying an intensive week’s worth of work, workshop participants create a cohesive show with each singer performing, at minimum, a two-song set with patter.  Pianist-composer Alpher serves as Musical Director, and Litt directs.

“I can’t stop thinking about the incredible week I spent working with you both at Summerkeys,” two-time Workshop alumna Bobbi Giardina writes. “Thank you so much for such an amazing experience! The entire week was a challenge for me, from driving up there alone, to singing from my heart in front of so many people. But you both offered me so much encouragement, and created such a safe space to open up and explore the lyrics of each song. It was the highlight of my summer and I will never forget it!”

Summer 2019 Cabaret Workshops run July 15-19 and July 22-26.  Tuition for the week is $715.  For more information about the Cabaret Workshop, SummerKeys, and Lubec, plus travel and accommodations, visit Learn more about instructors David Alpher and Jennie Litt at