Photograph by Cassandra Jenkins
Photograph by Alicia King
SAMANTHA DeROSA Poughkeepsie
Move over, Katy Perry. Sam DeRosa’s in the house. The pop singer/songwriter (now in her final year at Boston’s Berklee College of Music) won “Discovered,” a national talent search put on by Mercy College in 2011; her debut EP, Promise Me, dropped the next year. Her songs range from fun, upbeat tunes to emotional ballads — and yes, they’re all her own compositions. She’s performed at the Chance in Poughkeepsie (where she opened for pop star Aaron Carter) and frequently belts out the national anthem with her sisters to kick off Renegades games. A new EP is set to be released this fall along with a music video for her new single, “I Wanna Love You.” www.samderosa.com
DEIRDRE GLENN Newburgh
Many people have stepped up to help suffering Newburgh, but few have gone above and beyond like Deirdre Glenn. She’s the driving force behind the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, a nonprofit organization that hosts educational and athletic events for city youth at the renovated Newburgh Armory. Citizenship and naturalization programs, as well as English language and computer training classes that assist the Latino community, are also gaining popularity — between 500 and 600 people attend the programs at the center each week. Prior to her work at the armory, Glenn led Newburgh’s Habitat for Humanity for close to a decade. During her tenure, the chapter developed ReStore, a program that recycles building materials and furniture, and Habitat increased the number of houses it can build in a year from two to nearly 10.
Laurie McIntosh was an elementary school teacher when she had an epiphany. “The word ‘storytelling’ just magically appeared in my head one day,” she says. “I don’t think I even knew what that was, but I thought it would fit into my life.”
It more than fit: It became her life. McIntosh left teaching to pursue her new calling as a children’s storyteller and performer. “I wasn’t cut out for a real job,” she says. “I always preferred an ‘in the moment’ experience. If there is one consistent thing in my shows, that’s it — it’s in the moment.”
Along the way, the 43-year-old — who lives in Andes with her husband Ira and two children — added music. “I started to sing a bit in my shows, and people liked my voice,” she says. “I learned to play guitar. I evolved. Now my show includes a fair amount of improv,” which includes writing songs on the fly.
When not performing at schools, libraries, and other venues, she’s often in the recording studio. Her most recent CD, Groovin’ in the Garden, includes a tuba-driven “Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy” and a boogiewoogie version of “The Hokey Pokey.”
She tries to include something for adults in her shows. “My ‘Apple Tree and the Bee’ song is about, ahem, pollination,” she says. “When performing it live, I do the ‘buzz-buzz-buzz’ refrain as a call-and-response, starting out simple and taking it to a scat, a la Louis Armstrong. The adults always dig it.” 845-676-4727; www.storylaurie.com
Photograph by Steffen Thalemann
CHRISTINE FROMM OF FROMM DESIGNS Highland
Recycled garb takes on new pizazz with Fromm’s one-of-a-kind designs. During her childhood in Germany, she studied tailoring and pattern making and first caught the designing bug from her European grandmother. “She would take old adult coats and redesign them into beautiful ones for kids — and even make little coats for the dogs with the leftover fabric,” she recalls. After coming to the U.S. and working with designers in Manhattan, Fromm moved north, and focused on expanding her collection of unique creations. Recycled wool, cashmere, mohair sweaters — all are transformed into women’s dresses, skirts, coats, and hats, many with a scarf to complete the outfit. “I use every bit of the material; I’m really into it,” she says.
Along with her distinctive garments, Fromm creates special keepsakes: “If a loved one has passed on, I can take some of their sweaters, for instance, and make them into a lovely blanket to remember them by.” Some of Fromm’s outfits are sold at Eden Boutique in New Paltz, and her designs are featured at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival each October. 845-255-5787; www.frommdesigns.com
LIAM NEESON Millbrook
MELISSA LEO Stone Ridge