Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas

LLI: E.R.: Inside Out: Eleanor Roosevelt in Narration and Song

Hylton Performing Arts Center, Jacquemin Family Foundation Rehearsal Hall


Speaker/Host: Leslie Bennett

During the pandemic, Leslie Bennett researched and wrote about another woman who lived through difficult times: Eleanor Roosevelt. The result is E.R.: Inside Out, a chamber work for narrator, soprano and piano, which begins with Eleanor as a child. Through her eyes, the narrator and soprano will take you on a spoken and musical journey through her life up to FDR’s death.

Lifelong music student Leslie Bennett graduated from James Madison University with majors in piano and voice. She is an experienced public school music teacher, singer, accompanist, conductor, digital orchestrator and composer. She holds joint membership in the Friday Morning Music Club composer and soprano soloist division and has often performed with the Composer’s Society of Montgomery County. Performance venues have included Fairfax Old Town Hall, Strathmore Mansion, the Lyceum, the Sumner School Museum, Women’s Club of Chevy Chase and the National League of American Pen Women. Leslie has given lecture recitals of compositions to Sigma Alpha Iota and OLLI at George Mason University. In addition, she has been music director at Westminster of Lake Ridge since 2007.

Soprano Nancy MacArthur Smith began her career as a member of the Soldiers Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, touring throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed with Choir Symphonica, Carmina, The Washington Kantori, Armonia Nova, The Orchestra of the 17th Century, and The Washington National Opera. She is an experienced soprano soloist in oratorio and musical theatre productions and a performing member of Friday Morning Music Club. Ms. Smith maintains an independent voice studio in Clifton, Virginia.

Pianist Rosanne Conway is a native of Seattle, Washington, where she performed with the Seattle Symphony at the age of 16. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance. As a winner of the Petri Award for Foreign Study, she attended the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hanover, Germany, and received a diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. In New York, she studied with Earl Wild at Juilliard. Ms. Conway has appeared in many local and regional concert series and has served on the faculties of Lewis and Clark College, The University of Maryland, and The National Cathedral School. She is currently a member of the Main Street Chamber Players and maintains a teaching studio in Fairfax, Virginia.

This event is open to the public. For more information about the Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas, visit