ShareThis Page

College singer with city roots to perform at Connellsville Canteen

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 1:41 a.m.
Submitted photo Singer Kristin Leigh Markitell will be the first performer for the Connellsville Canteen's Dinner Theater series where audience can enjoy a dinner and watch a performance or a lecture. While Markitell's show is sold out, the Connellsville Canteen will over a series of upcoming shows listed on their website.

Evenings of dinners and shows will kick off this week at one of Connellsville's newest venues.

College student Kristin Leigh Markitell, will be the first in a series of talented singers and musicians to perform at the Connellsville Canteen's “Dinner Theater.”Markitell's performance is set for 6 p.m. Friday at the Crawford Avenue Connellsville Canteen.

Markitell, a singer and a college student in Pittsburgh, has been singing mainly jazz and swing music as a hobby for the past three years, crediting a high-school teacher for unlocking her talent.

“I never really sang until my music teacher from Valley School of Ligonier gave me my first solo in ‘Godspell' when I was in eighth grade,” Markitell said. That led her in the lead role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Along with jazz and swing, Markitell also performs music from the 1950s and 1960s.

“I think the best part of performing my music in particular is that it reaches out to people in a way other music genres can't,” Markitell said. She likes to see the smiles on the faces of her audience as the music and the visuals take them down memory lane. “They should expect to see a flash in the past. Not only do I like to sound like the old artists, but I also love dressing like them as well.”

Friday will actually mark the second time that Markitell has performed in Connellsville. She sang during June's Art on the Yough.

“I was proud to perform in Fayette County since that's where my mother's family was originally from,” Markitell said. “I'm so thrilled, and I plan on giving them a wonderful experience.”

Markitell is currently studying biology at Mercyhurst University with a minor in fashion merchandising. She said she will continue to sing and perform on the side as a hobby.

“This is an exciting time for Connellsville and the surrounding area as we are able to give the musicians the whole experience not only to perform in front of a crowd, but also getting them professionally photographed by one of our local photographers, Jackie Lynn's Photography,” said Daniel Cocks of the Connellsville Canteen.

Markitell's performance is the first of many.

Other performers scheduled include local film writer/director/actor Jeff Monahan on Sept. 9 to discuss his experience in the film industry and his current projects, music performed by Katelyn Ritenour and Tyler Hough on Oct. 18, and a blue grass dinner show staring Barry Hall and George Kenney on Nov. 14. There is also a Christmas program on Dec. 13 with Talbot and Maddox Maruca.

“Barry is actually the opening act for Willie Nelson at the Benedum Center in September, so we were glad to be able to have him play in Connellsville,” Cocks said.

The Fayette County Cultural Trust is currently putting together more shows and lecture series events for the remainder of this year and into next year. Officials are currently looking for more regional talent to be put on display.

For more information and to view a current listing of shows, visit

The events are sponsored by the Fayette County Cultural Trust and The Three Rivers Community Foundation and the dinners are catered by Miller's Catering.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.